Maybe the curse of the AG's office in Rhode Island is over. Having served as the state's top prosecutor didn't hurt Sheldon Whitehouse last year, and Patrick Lynch very much remains in play for the 2010 gubernatorial race even while dealing with the contentious issues usually faced by AGs here.
Still, it was no secret that the General Assembly was planning to use tobacco money to plug a big hole in the budget.
"How can you separate this from his bid to run for governor?" wonders John DePetro this morning. " . . . I don't see any other way to interpret this."
Lynch's move injects more last-minute drama into budget process -- and there are plenty of reasons to oppose using the tobacco dough to close the deficit. RI's Future says the move could help to differentiate Lynch from other gubernatorial hopefuls, yet there's no guarantee that this will work to the AG's political benefit.