A recent story by Golocalprov.com found that Cranston Mayor Allan Fung has donated to several Rhode Island Democrats. The list includes Angel Taveras, Gordon Fox, David Cicilline, and William Irons. Some have excused the contributions by writing them off as a necessary evil to be expected, since Fung was a lobbyist. Then there are the contributions to Angel Taveras, who is a former classmate and friend of Fung. Personally, I can overlook the Taveras donation, but the others don’t sit right with me.
After reading the Golocalprov.com article, I decided to visit the Federal Election Commission’s website to look at Mayor Fung’s federal campaign contributions. What I saw didn’t make me happy. Besides a campaign contribution to Angel Taveras during his run for Congress, he also made contributions to Bob Weygand and Harry Reid. Yes, that Harry Reid.
So, that leaves us with two Republican candidates for governor. The first, Allan Fung, has made a habit of supporting Democrats, including one of the most objectionable Democrats in the country. The second, Ken Block, joined the party last week, bashed the party in the past, and very possibly cost John Robitaille the election in 2010.
I’m not too excited about my choices in 2014.
Providence councilman Davian Sanchez is once again criticizing Mayor Angel Taveras for his decision to close the Davey Lopes pool. Sanchez pointed out that there is $100,000 in federal block grant money, as well as contractors willing to donate their labor. This press conference was held on the same day the city received a low bid of $36,500 to fill in the pool.
Sanchez’s argument is full of holes. While it is true that the work to complete the pool probably could be completed with the money from the block grant, what about future costs related to staffing, maintenance, and liability issues? Conveniently, those little details weren’t mentioned, along with one of the reasons the pool was closed in the first place: Low attendance. As for the block grant money, isn’t there another, better use for it?
Alan Fung is planning on making an announcement on November 4th. I would be shocked if it turned out to be anything other than to announce his intentions to enter the 2014 gubernatorial race.
If Fung does announce, he would be the only announced Republican candidate. Ken Block has been mentioned as a possible Republican candidate, but he’s not someone who would receive my vote. Although, I was glad to read that John Robitaille might be reconsidering his decision not to run.
Many Rhode Island Republicans would hate the idea of a primary, but I would welcome it. Robitaille was a strong candidate in 2014 who seemed to gain support as Election Day grew closer, which I would attribute to his strong debate performances. The winner of a Fung/Robitaille primary would be a stronger candidate, and likely go into the general election with a higher profile. At any rate, I have a feeling the next year will be an interesting one.
If you’re looking for an interesting read, check out David Cicilline’s editorial about reducing the National Debt. That’s right. David Cicilline, who left Providence in shambles, is talking about showing economic restraint.
The best part is how he talks about bipartisan cooperation in reaching this lofty goal, yet quickly takes a shot at the Tea Party. Those are the only members of Congress who actually take the debt and deficit seriously. The fact that he’s so quick to demonize the only group that would actually support the necessary changes shows his dishonesty and lack of credibility.
Clay Pell, the grandson of former Senator Claiborne Pell, is reportedly considering a run for Rhode Island governor in 2014. Those who follow politics are intrigued by the possibility of a three-way primary for the Democrats. A big name jumping into the race is certainly news, but Clay Pell’s possible run for governor leaves me with a question: Has he ever lived in Rhode Island for any length of time?
Clay Pell has an impressive biography, but besides being a member of the Rhode Island Bar, there’s no mention of him living or working in the state. Has he lived in Rhode Island for an extended period of time, or is this a situation similar to Patrick Kennedy’s move from Massachusetts, or Hillary Clinton’s decision to run for a Senate seat in New York?
Exeter residents should be proud. A group of residents worked diligently to get enough signatures to hold a recall election for four (out of five) members of the town council. The recall attempt began with a council decision to have Rhode Island’s Attorney General handle concealed carry permits, rather than the Town Clerk. If I were an Exeter resident, I would definitely support the recall, but not for the reason you might think.
Citizens who don’t have a criminal record and can display proficiency using a handgun should be allowed to have a concealed carry permit. There shouldn’t be room for the judgement calls of officials, only hard facts. Allowing the state to take over this function makes it more onerous for law-abiding citizens to obtain a permit, and likely, more difficult. Yet, as I said before, this is not the main reason why I support those behind the recall effort.
What impresses me most is the desire to keep decisions local. Far too often, local and state governments are too willing, often eager, to cede power to someone else. Cities and towns rely on the state, states rely on the federal government, and local control disappears. Sometimes, the decision to pass on power to another level of government is directly related to financial considerations. Cities and towns want local aid, while state fight for federal dollars, complete with strings attached. At other times, there is a belief that the state or federal government can do things better.
WJAR reports that Congressman Jim Langevin unwittingly profited from an annuity scam being run by estate planner Joseph Caramadre. Langevin claims he loaned money to a relative, who then invested in one of Caramadre’s ventures. The relative then repaid Langevin the principal, along with a cut of the profit, which totaled $8,600.
I’m troubled that Langevin invested money without knowing how it was being used. I’m even more troubled that he doesn’t think it’s necessary to return campaign donations made in 2009 because the money was given after Caramadre’s activities had ceased. I could have understood Langevin’s argument if the money had been donated before the illegal activities had begun, but who is to say that the donations weren’t a direct result of Caramadre’s scam?
Jim Langevin’s handling of this situation underlines an important point. If Langevin can’t properly track his own personal finances, then how can he keep track of the nation’s expenditures?
I just finished reading a stomach-churning article about Providence mayoral candidate Dan Harrop on Golocalprov. The headline was “Harrop Blasts RI GOP Over Failure to Attract Hispanics.” Let’s take a look at a few of Harrop’s quotes from the article:
“The Democrats have been successful because they have supported immigration reform. And why not? Who is going to deport 12 million plus people immigrants? The Democrats have also continually stood with the Hispanic community while the RI GOP has continued to insist on little to no contact until the borders are sealed and the immigration issues are settled,” said Harrop.
“As a candidate several times in Providence, I have specifically supported the Dream Act, immigration reform leading to a pathway to citizenship, and in-state tuition fees for high school graduates who may not have appropriate residency documentation,” Harrop said.
I’ve been following the push to unionize daycare providers for the past few years. I think it’s a terrible idea. The individuals who provide home daycare services aren’t employees, they’re business people. Despite this, I take issue with an article in today’s Providence Journal which adds little to the discussion, and whose sole purpose is to stir up anger.
In the article, Katherine Gregg points out that the 561 home daycare received nearly $13 million from the state for services rendered. Gregg also pointed out that 135 (24%) of the providers made more than the starting salary of a teacher in the Foster-Glocester school system ($35,179), and that 3 dozen (6%) received more than $50,000 in subsidies. To say that Gregg is comparing apples to oranges is an understatement.
Public school teachers spend about 6 hours each day in the classroom, not the 9 or 10 hours an at-home provider would spend. Many of the home daycare providers also work 52 weeks per year, not 39 weeks per year. Finally, the home daycare is a business (a big reason why it shouldn’t be unionized), so the money they receive isn’t free and clear. Food, supplies, and equipment must be purchased in order to keep the business afloat.
October 27th, 2012 was the best day of my life. On that day, I married the woman with whom I look forward to spending the rest of my life. Besides becoming a husband, I also became a step-father to a 12 year-old daughter, and a 3 year-old cat, whom my wife refers to as my son. I enjoy family life and the activities that go along with it. I’m like Ward Cleaver with earrings and a goatee.
Recently, I took part in my first open house as a parent. I’ve been to several when I was a student, then later as a teacher, but I was now about to experience a familiar event from a new perspective.
When I arrived, we were given my step-daughter’s schedule, then told to go to her home room, which isn’t called home room anymore. While there, it took the teacher mere minutes to tell us how she had just two years left, then she could retire. She also complained about how she is hitting it tough now, and about her future pension. For the record, my step-daughter also told she complains to the class about money.
Here’s a group of laws I would like to see passed by the General Assembly in order to provide law-abiding citizens with the tools necessary to protect themselves and their families. It’s possible changes like these will make criminals think twice before approaching their next victim.
I know that most, if not all of these bills would face an uphill battle in the General Assembly, and would likely die in committee by being “held for further study.” With that said, a package of bills whose purpose is to expand our individual liberties is needed. Besides the expanded rights, we need to let liberal gun-grabbers know that we are not satisfied with merely maintaining our current rights. We want those rights expanded.
What follows are some of Rhode Island’s weapons laws, along with some necessary changes that need to be made.
Angel Taveras, who is expected to run for Governor, had one of his fundraisers visited by a group of protesters. The group was upset over Taveras’ decision not to open the Davey Lopes pool, which needed repairs and was lightly attended. I don’t often agree with the Mayor, but I do on this topic, albeit for different reasons.
One of the protesters held a sign that read, “City kids need to learn how to swim.” I agree that swimming is a nice skill to acquire, but why is it that the city should be responsible for teaching such a skill at the taxpayer’s expense? Don’t parents have any responsibility in teaching their children?
2nd Amendment Celebration
On Sunday, October 6th, the Rhode Island Republican Party will be sponsoring a Second Amendment Celebration at the South County Rod & Gun Club. Not only does it look like it will be a fun time, but since admission is free, you can buy more raffle tickets!
For more information, check out the Second Amendment Celebration event page on Facebook.
Ornament made during the Carcieri Administration, picturing the 2010 Holiday Tree.
Memo to my fellow Republicans: Be consistent.
If the Carcieri Administration used the term “Holiday Tree” instead of “Christmas Tree,” then where was the outrage? A bad decision is bad, regardless of political affiliation.
This makes me think about politicians who (correctly) oppose raising the federal debt limit, yet rubber-stamped such increases during the Bush Administration. The increases are a bad idea now, and were a bad idea then. The presence or absence of an “R” after one’s name shouldn’t make a difference.
Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee
Here we go again! For the second year in a row, we have controversy over what to call the tree on display in the Rhode Island State House. Last year, Governor Lincoln Chafee called it a “Holiday Tree,” rather than a Christmas Tree, which led to a great deal of criticism. According to Chafee, he’s merely following recent tradition:
“Well last year I said to the staff what did the previous governor do, whatever the previous governor did let’s do that and that’s what I did last year. Somehow that erupted into controversy and so the same is true this year. The tradition has been in recent years to call it a holiday tree and I am keeping with that tradition.”
I wasn’t aware that former Governor Don Carcieri referred to the tree as a “Holiday Tree.” If that is true, then I disagree with both of them on their decision to drop the word Christmas. We’re at a time of the year when there are many holidays celebrated by people of different backgrounds. The tree isn’t associated with all of these holidays, only one: Christmas. Continue reading
RI Republican chairman Mark Zaccaria
Mark Zaccaria, chairman of the Rhode Island Republican Party, will step down from his position in March. I’ve had the opportunity to meet Mark on several occasions, and supported him when he decided to run for chairman. Hopefully, he will continue to stay involved with Rhode Island politics.
I’m hoping the next chairman will employ statewide marketing campaigns to promote the party and place more of an emphasis on recruitment in urban areas. If not, the position will continue to become more difficult.
GoLocalProv’s Dan McGowan wrote about the Rhode Island Republican Party’s poor performance in the 2012 Election. The party has several problems, but two came to mind.
First, we have a branding problem. In 2010, the RIGOP launched the “Clean Slate” campaign. It was a dismal failure. I still can’t figure out why the RIGOP was offering support to candidates who refused to run as Republicans. You can’t build a party if you’re helping those who are ashamed to affiliate themselves with you.
You would think the party would have learned from it’s mistakes, but what do we have in 2012? The “Strike Force”! This marketing gimmick didn’t have the same scope or level of support as the “Clean Slate,” but was just as foolish.
Posted in Elections, Republican Party
Tagged 2010 Election, 2012 Election, Catherine Taylor, Clean Slate, GOP, Governor, John Robitaille, Lincoln Chafee, Ralph Mollis, Republican, Rhode Island, Secretary of State, Urban, Voters
It’s been a while since I last posted on RIRepublican.com. The old blog seemed stale and out-dated, so I figured I would start a new one. This time around, the blog will have an even stronger focus on local politics, and hopefully, we can find contributors to post regularly.
It’s been more than four years since the launch of the blog. I’m hoping the newest version will become a place to find out the latest news and discuss issues. It should be fun!