"but in politics there is almost always a "bigger picture" situation..."
By "bigger picture situation" you mean money grabs, pointless power-plays and exchanges of influence.
Mr Tact you may be thinking too highly of those who govern, especially those who govern at the state and town level. For the most part these folks are either dull-headed, or mercenary, or both.
As a born and bred Rhode Islander I can say for sure that the state government was mindless in this instance. Everyone involved in the "38 studios" decision is gone from office, which is convenient and typical.
There's no "more important bigger picture" that is happening behind the scenes here Mr Tact. But if that makes you feel good thinking like that, well that's cool!