A sucker is born every minute, except for Providence where it is more like every :30 seconds. Congrats to the Boston Globe for at least opening the door on a story that won’t go away. We are suppose to believe that somehow a group in the Providence school department found a book they wanted all high school and middle school students to read. Was it a best seller? A well known author? A highly recommended book? No. It was an unknown book by an unknown author who self-published a collection of basketball quotes and quotes about God. The “author” was peddling his book on Amazon for $14 per copy but was willing to drop the price by a whopping $3 since the Providence schools agreed to buy close to 17,000 copies.
Experts in publishing have said the price should have been closer to $4 a copy since it was self-published and was being bought by non-profit public schools. The “author” charged Providence schools for shipping and handling, even though one author said she would have driven the books to Providence overnight at the prospect of selling close to $200,000 worth. The “author” also had to incorporate his new found business after he received the giant book offer. The “author” would not respond to media requests or even offers by other school districts who wanted to buy his book. A self-published author who claims to be a motivational speaker who refuses to respond to the media or do interviews? That is a first. The author comes to Providence and is hidden as he sneaks into public schools to meet students and refuses to grant one media interview, even as he is supposedly trying to sell more books and get hired as a motivational speaker. Of course none of this makes any sense and an audit will show that this scam has been used in the past.
Many times in government a lease on a building is secured by individuals who inflate the price and then “kickback” part of the overpaid lease to the corrupt person who gave them the contract. The kickback is frequently used in corrupt situations of contracts with little to no oversight. $187,000 for a bunch of books worth about $50,000 from an unknown author who hides from the media and makes no attempt to sell more books to other schools. If this were a real situation, the author would hold a press conference and answer every question about his book. He would meet with other schools and try to get more schools to buy his book and he would explain why it is appropriate reading for students. A real author would cut the price in half and try to get a real publisher to pick up his book and try to get every school to buy his book. What author and motivational speaker hides from the press and refuses to do interviews? Why does the author not respond to other school districts who have inquired about his book? Where is the $187,000? Cianci would be proud.
To find out what is really happening in Rhode Island listen to the John DePetro Radio show.