Providence mayoral candidate Angel Taveras, who was appointed as a housing court judge by outgoing mayor David Cicilline, has engaged in a delicate dance with his predecessor's legacy: embracing the post-Buddy, anti-corruption image Cicilline has cultivated while seeking to establish a few points of departure from a long-serving pol whose approval ratings have taken a hit in recent years.
Taveras' new political ad seems to lean heavily toward an embrace of Cicilline's legacy: featuring headlines about Providence's culture of corruption and splashing the words "Operation Plunder Dome" across the screen as a voice-over intones, "Providence suffered too long from corruption and backroom deals. Providence is at a critical crossroads and we can't afford to go back."
"We need a leader who will move Providence forward," it concludes. "We need Angel Taveras."
Rival Steven Costantino, meanwhile, goes straight for the big issue with his ad: jobs. His spot, released a couple of weeks ago, touts his credentials in business and says he's the only candidate who has brought jobs to Providence. The tagline: "Steven Costantino. For job. For Us. For Providence."
John Lombardi, the third major Democrat in the race, uses a spot to emphasize his long track record - touting his brief tenure as mayor after Buddy Cianci stepped down. Providence, he says, was in crisis and "some said I should have done nothing but warm the chair." Instead, he says, he restored morale in the police department and cut expenses in the mayor's office. Once again, he says, the city is in crisis: "Providence, I was here for you then, I'm here for you now."