Google and Bing Name That (Wrong) Party of Twice-Convicted Former Providence Mayor Again Running For Office

News reports indicate that Vincent A. "Buddy" Cianci, who was Mayor of Providence, Rhode Island from 1975 to 1984 and 1991 to 2002, is again running to be mayor of the Ocean State's capital city. The opening sentence at the Associated Press's Thursday morning story calls him a "twice-convicted felon who led Providence as mayor for 21 years," who is going "to run as an independent."

Local web news outlet GoLocalProv reports that "Cianci has filed papers Wednesday declaring his candidacy for Mayor of Providence - as an Independent." Cianci's Wikipedia entry indicates that he was a Republican from 1974 until December of 1982, and has been an independent for the past three decades. All of this makes it mystifying how a Google search on the former two-time mayor's name, as seen after the jump, could tag him as a Republican:


BuddyCianciGoogleResult062614

Bing has the same mistake. Yahoo doesn't identify Cianci's party affiliation.

If these are inadvertent errors, someone needs to work their data-gleaning algorithms.

Here's more on Cianci's history from Michelle R. Smith's AP story:

Cianci, 73, made the announcement Wednesday on his radio show, saying he has the right combination of vision, experience and ability to get things done.

"This is a great city. I miss being mayor, and I love being mayor," he said during a break in his show. "I felt I had some unfinished business."

He said he realized he had baggage, but he hopes voters will give him a chance.

... Cianci mounted his first campaign in 1974 and never lost a mayoral election. But he was forced to resign in 1984 after he was convicted of using a fireplace log and lit cigarette to assault a man he believed was having an affair with his estranged wife. Six years after that conviction, in 1990, he ran for mayor again and won.

His second stint as mayor, known around town as Buddy II, came to an end in 2002 when he was convicted as part of a federal investigation into corruption in City Hall, called Operation Plunder Dome by the FBI. Several members of his administration were convicted. He spent 4-1/2 years in federal prison.

... Cianci was diagnosed in January with cancer and has undergone chemotherapy and radiation treatments, but says his health is good now and won't keep him from running a campaign or the city. He said his final radiation treatment is Friday.

So if Cianci is to pull off a "Buddy III," he will do so as an independent.

An earlier AP report on Cianci reported that he "previously won office as a Republican and independent. This time, he is running as an independent," which of course is accurate. Smith's latest version doesn't apply the Republican tag to him at all.

But somehow, Google and Bing have determined that two-time felon Cianci is still a Republican. Imagine that.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.