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Kilmartin Could Be Vulnerable to Hodgson in RI AG’s Race

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

 

RI Attorney General candidate Dawson Hodgson can’t match his opponent’s war chest, but he may have found the boost he needs in the 38 Studios saga.

Hodgson, a Republican state senator from North Kingstown, faces incumbent Peter F. Kilmartin, a 20-year General Assembly Democrat who has 7 times more campaign cash, won his last election by 41%, and can rely on his Pawtucket Police career to net him plenty of votes.

However, "Hodgson could make some headway by pressing his arguments about the need to dig deeper into the 38 Studios scandal," said former Providence Journal Political Columnist M. Charles Bakst.

Anyone who touched the state’s involvement with former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling’s failed video game company will likely have to answer to their challengers and the voters on the campaign trail. Kilmartin is among them. He voted for the loan guarantee legislation that eventually went to 38 Studios.

"Hodgson's claim is that Kilmartin was the Majority Whip who got the vote for 38 Studios and then didn't do any investigations [as Attorney General]," said former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci.

Kilmartin lacks media presence

"Peter Kilmartin is a good candidate. So is Hodgson. I think that Peter has got to get out there more than he has. As far as the press is concerned, he's not available," Cianci said.

The former mayor speculated that Kilmartin may not think it's the responsibility of the Attorney General to be available to the media. But the public, however, may expect more during election time.

"He still has to stand for the election. And he has an aggressive candidate [Hodgson] who speaks well and will bring up a couple of issues that Peter has to squash. I think 38 Studios will be a defining issue in every single election," Cianci said.

Pete Kavanaugh, a partner at Hilltop Public Solutions, advised Kilmartin to his 2010 victory and is doing so again with this year's election. He would not comment on 38 Studios – "we don't consider 38 Studios to be a campaign issue" – but he did highlight Kilmartin's first-term achievements.

Peter F. Kilmartin

Campaign promises

"I think it's important to go back to the promises he made and the platform he ran on in 2009-2010. The three key things were enhancing economic security, protecting public safety, and helping restore public trust in the government," Kavanaugh said.

Kavanaugh cited specific actions by Kilmartin for each of the three campaign promises. Kilmartin created the Child Abuse Unit within the department of Attorney General to prosecute individuals charged with physical and sexual abuse of minors. He also proposed stricter penalties for those who illegally possess firearms, and announced indictments charging MS-13 gang members, including their leader, for various gun, drug and assault crimes.

In terms of economic security, Kavanaugh said "Kilmartin helped to take on Wall Street and announced the landmark national mortgage settlement with the nation’s five largest mortgage service providers over foreclosure abuses and mortgage servings practices, bringing more than $150 million in benefits and relief to Rhode Island homeowners."

Finally, the campaign believes Kilmartin has helped restore the public's trust in government by establishing a confidential tip line to report disability pension fraud and an online, anonymous method for reporting Medicaid fraud and abuse.

"Attorney General Kilmartin has also moved aggressively to prosecute elected officials who violate the public trust. Along with the US Attorney, the Attorney General prosecuted former Central Falls Mayor Charles Moreau for his scheme in boarding up vacant buildings for personal profit. Attorney General Kilmartin also successfully prosecuted former North Providence Police Chief John Whiting for larceny and conspiracy."

War chest disparity

Kilmartin is currently sitting on $154,000 in campaign funds, compared to his opponent's $21,717.

Hodgson said those dollars aren't as important as the millions the state lost in the 38 Studios failure – and why. The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation is suing Schilling and 13 others in state superior court over the failed $75 million 38 Studios investment. Governor Chafee's proposal to encourage a settlement in the state's lawsuit is now headed to the senate. The proposal would protect parties who settle with the state. Hodgson believes this could recoup some cash, but also shut the door on the truth behind the deal.

"It's a multifaceted scandal. It's about accountability, justice and a matter of exercising our fiduciary responsibility to the people,” Hodgson said.

Dawson Hodgson

Hodgson's campaign cornerstone

It's also become the cornerstone of his campaign against Kilmartin.

"The AG voted for the 38 Studios project as a rep. He is, in fact, partially responsible for this. Unlike the other legislators who were part of this he's the only one who six months later became the attorney general. He could have done something about this."

Had Hodgson been the Attorney General, he said he would have convened an investigative grand jury – "a fact-finding and truth-seeking exercise that is a powerful tool that only the AG and the US Attorney have at their disposal." Hodgson went on to say he would have been a participant, if not the lead counsel, in any civil action related to 38 Studios, as well as the current lawsuit.

But he was not the Attorney General during the height of this debacle, and he has a long way to go to get there. A self-proclaimed "outsider," he believes Kilmartin's performance in his first term makes him vulnerable.

"He has a significant financial head start. I have a head start in being engaged in all of the substantive policy issues that have come in the past three years. That's really the strength of my campaign. I've been engaged in issues that matter. I have been known as somebody who stands up for my constituents. Why won't he stand up?"

 

Related Slideshow: 10 Big Companies with Recent Major Security Breaches

Prev Next

Epsilon

March 2011

Tens of millions affected

In March 2011, Epsilon, the world's largest permission-based email marketing service, announced that the names and email addresses of customers of Citigroup, TiVo, and many other U.S. companies, were exposed in a huge data breach. The hack affected names and email addresses stored in over 108 retail stores, major financial firms and non-profit organizations like College Board. At the time of the incident, Epsilon had more than 2,500 clients sending 40 billion emails annually.

Result: Epsilon notified clients of the breach on April 1. Epsilon's clients then notified their customers of the hack. Epsilon has stated that 50 clients were affected, but the exact number of names and email addresses has not been released. Computerworld.com estimated that "tens of millions" of people were affected.

Prev Next

Sony

April 2011

77 million customers affected

In the spring of 2011, Sony was hacked through its through its PlayStation Network twice. The first security breach exposed customers' personal information to hackers, but not their credit card information. The second hack, disclosed in late April, did result in customers' credit card information being stolen. The pair of hacks affected 77 million people.

Result: Two weeks after the breach, Sony released a PlayStation 3 firmware update as a security patch. The firmware required users to change their password.

Prev Next

Global Payment Systems

March 2012

7 million customers affected

In the spring of 2012, the credit card processor service Global Payment Systems discovered that 1.5 million credit card records had been stolen from its system. Additionally, roughly 5.5 million consumer records were compromised, bringing the total to 7 million.

Result: As a result of the breach, Global Payments was delisted until it could prove it was in compliance with security standards. In April 2013, the payment card networks returned Global Payments its client list after it proved it was compliant with security standards.

Prev Next

Zappos

January 2012

24 million customers affected

In early 2012, the online retail store Zappos announced that it had been hacked, exposing the names, addresses, phone numbers, partial credit card numbers, and email addresses of 24 million customers.

Result: One day following the cyberattack, Zappos sent emails to all customers directing them to change their passwords.

Prev Next

Adobe Systems

October 2013

152 million customers affected

In October, the computer software company Adobe disclosed that hackers obtained personal data for almost 38 million of its customers, including names, credit and debit card numbers, and expiration dates. In November, it was discovered that the hackers had posted the personal data of more than 150 million Adobe users.

Adobe Call Center: 1-800-833-6687

For more information, Rhode Islanders may contact the Consumer Protection Unit at the Office of Attorney General at 401-274-4400 or by email at contactus@riag.ri.gov.

Prev Next

Target

December 2013

110 million customers affected

In December, Target announced that 40 million customer accounts were hacked stealing encrypted PIN numbers, credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates, and the embedded code on the magnetic strip on the back of cars. Additionally, 70 million customers' personal information was compromised.

Target Call Center: 1-800-440-0680  

For more information, Rhode Islanders may contact the Consumer Protection Unit at the Office of Attorney General at 401-274-4400 or by email at contactus@riag.ri.gov.

Prev Next

Neiman Marcus

January 2014

1.1 million customers affected

In January, high-end retailer Neiman Marcus revealed more than 1.1 million customers were affected in hack. Between July 2013 and October 2013, customer payment cards could have been potentially visible to hackers. Additionally, 2,400 unique customer payment cards used at Neiman Marcus stores were subsequently used fraudulently.

Neiman Marcus Call Center: 1-888-888-4757

For more information, Rhode Islanders may contact the Consumer Protection Unit at the Office of Attorney General at 401-274-4400 or by email at contactus@riag.ri.gov.

Prev Next

Yahoo

January 2014

Up to 81 million U.S. users

Late last month, Yahoo disclosed that Yahoo's email customers may have had their passwords compromised through a third-party application. The web company recently identified a coordinated effort to gain unauthorized access to Yahoo Mail accounts, and notified RI Attorney General Peter Kilmartin. Upon discovery, the Company took action, urging users to reset passwords on impacted accounts.

Yahoo Call Center: 1-800-318-0612

For more information, Rhode Islanders may contact the Consumer Protection Unit at the Office of Attorney General at 401-274-4400 or by email at contactus@riag.ri.gov.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prev Next

Michaels Stores

January 2014

Number of affected customers yet to be determined

In January, Michaels Stores announced that it is investigating a possible data security breach that may have led to customers' debit and credit card information being compromised. Michaels has more than 1,250 locations in the United States, including four in Rhode Island.

Michaels Stores Call Center: 1-800-642-4235

For more information, Rhode Islanders may contact the Consumer Protection Unit at the Office of Attorney General at 401-274-4400 or by email at contactus@riag.ri.gov.

Prev Next

White Lodging - Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton, Westin

February 2014

Number of affected customers yet to be determined



This week, the hospitality company White Lodging Services announced that a data breach occurred at 14 of its properties including Marriott, Radisson, Renaissance, Sheraton, Westin and Holiday Inn franchises around the country. Compromised information may have included names printed on credit or debit cards, the actual numbers, the security codes and expiration dates.



White Lodging Call Center: 219-472-2900.

For more information, Rhode Islanders may contact the Consumer Protection Unit at the Office of Attorney General at 401-274-4400 or by email at contactus@riag.ri.gov.

 
 

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