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Apr-11-2013 16:27printcomments

Anti-Iran Bill 521 in RI Senate Committee

The committee has not voted. So letters and calls to committee members would be most relevant.

Rhode Island state capital

(PROVIDENCE, RI) - Yesterday's Senate Finance committee hearing on bill 521 was scary. There was no attempt to hide the fact that 521 is an Israeli bill. They had scheduled the hearing so that a certain high Israeli official could be there to testify.

No one felt any need to explain why the bill is needed. Everyone “knows” that Iran is the evil aggressor while Israel is the innocent victim. So instead they tried to explain why the RI legislature should be involved in foreign policy. It seems that 24 other states have adopted such punitive legislation. We could be the 25th to support the anti-Iran actions of Obama and Congress.

The committee has not voted. So letters and calls to committee members would be most relevant. Here are the names and email addresses for the committee. (Only three were present yesterday – DiPalma, Bates and O’Neill.) Please include Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed



Senate Committee on Finance




  Senator David E. Bates


  Senator Daniel DaPonte


  Senator Louis P. DiPalma

  1st Vice Chairperson

  Senator James E. Doyle, II


  Senator Walter S. Felag Jr.

  2nd Vice Chairperson

  Senator Maryellen Goodwin


  Senator Edward J. O'Neill


  Senator Ryan w. Pearson


  Senator Juan M. Pichardo


  Senator V. Susan Sosnowski



Clerk: Jamie Plume

Phone: 276-5584



At the hearing the bill was vigorously supported by RI Atty. Gen. Peter Kilmartin, the Israeli official, one of his followers and the primary sponsor Sen. Joshua Miller. It will send a message that anyone wanting to do business with RI must not be doing business with Iran.

I was the only opponent.  More voices with brief messages of opposition would be desirable.

Please Note: Sen. Josh Miller and former Sen. Rhoda Perry have always been eager to sponsor AIPAC bills.    Yet theirs are the leading names to be honored by RI Progressive Democrats of America on May 3.  (Apparently support for justice and human rights is not among the criteria.)

You can find the bill itself, the companion House bill 5620 and lists of sponsors at

Put the two bill numbers 521, 5620 on the line labeled “Bills” and choose “Enter.”  You’ll see that the House bill is now scheduled for a hearing on April 30.


Rod Driver studied engineering and mathematics at the University of Minnesota, receiving a Ph.D. in mathematics in 1960. He worked at Sandia Laboratories in Albuquerque for six years before taking a teaching position at the University of Rhode Island for 30 years. Rod says he became a 'peacenik' in 1951 (thanks to a few weeks on Paris Island). He became particularly active in opposition to U.S. wars in Indochina and U.S. involvement in overthrowing governments and supporting dictators in Latin America and Iran. As the Vietnam war was winding down Rod began paying attention to the abuse of Palestinians - enabled with U.S. weapons and dollars, which has never stopped. Rod is the founder and president of the non-profit Justice First Foundation.

In Rhode Island Rod was an elected delegate to the state constitutional convention of 1986, Then he was elected a state representative for 10 years. At this time he is not in office. You can write to Rod Driver at this address:


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News Editor April 13, 2013 12:21 pm (Pacific time)

The list of email addresses for the RI Senate Finance Committee that we published was defective, corrections are listed below.;;;;;;;;;


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