In today’s Providence Journal, House Minority Leader Brian Newberry made some excellent points in regards to voter fraud. He argues that the General Assembly should turn its focus to mail ballots. I couldn’t agree more.
During the 2014 election, instances of potential voter fraud came to light in the days leading up to the election. There are many changes that could improve the system, but one stands out the most: Ballots should only be transported by the United States Postal Service.
Ballots should be mailed to eligible voters, and when completed, those ballots should be mailed back in a postage-paid envelope, signed across the seal. No one should be collecting ballots or offering help completing the ballots.
This would be one common sense solution to a potential problem. Now let’s see how many of our elected officials have common sense.
The Providence Journal has a completely unscientific poll of the Providence Mayoral race.. Still, with nearly 5,000 votes cast, I thought it would be interesting to share the results.
The poll asked: “If the Providence election were held today, who would get your vote for mayor?” Of the 4,704 votes cast, 63% chose Buddy Cianci, 31% chose Jorge Elorza, and 6% chose Dan Harrop. Again, this poll isn’t scientific at all, but it does show how popular Buddy Cianci is, even post-prison.
Providence mayoral candidate Dan Harrop seems to be unsure about whether or not he is going to stay in the race against Buddy Cianci and Jorge Elorza. Various individuals seem to be pressuring him to leave in an effort to have a one-on-one contest between Cianci and Elorza. If he does leave, he should also consider leaving the Republican Party.
Harrop was supposed to run for mayor in 2010, but pulled out of the race at the last minute, leaving no Republican on the ballot. Instead, he ran for State Representative, and was soundly defeated. He then decided to donate to the campaign of Democrat Angel Taveras. That’s bad, but what could be coming is much worse.
In a recent article, Harrop alluded to his potential plans:
But Harrop acknowledged he has been approached by several concerned parties asking him to end his single-issue crusade in order to make it more difficult for Cianci to win back his old job. He said he plans to speak with a group of residents about his status in the race at a private meeting Monday night, but indicated he won’t make a final decision until October. He said he isn’t ruling out endorsing another candidate.
In an interview with WPRI’s Ted Nesi,
Moderate Republican Ken Block states he is not in “the frame of mind” to talk about endorsements, and he needs time to “heal”:
“The primary election is less than a week old at this point,” Block told WPRI.com. “I’m not in a frame of mind where I can talk about any form of endorsements on any possible levels. I’m still healing from the race, as I assume everybody can understand. It was a vicious and ugly race, and I’m not in a frame of mind where I can do anything from an endorsement standpoint at this point.”
Fung and Block both said during a WPRI 12/Journal debate on Sept. 2 that they would endorse the eventual winner of the Republican primary. Fung is now facing Democratic nominee Gina Raimondo, Moderate Party candidate Healey and independents Kate Fletcher and Leon Kayarian in the Nov. 4 general election.
On Wednesday, the Board of Elections will hold a hearing at the request of the Rhode Island Republican Party. At issue is whether the Moderate Party’s decision to replace gubernatorial candidate James Spooner with former Cool Moose Party founder Robert Healey is legal.
RIGOP Chairman Mark Smiley pointed out that Healey didn’t declare himself a member of the Moderates until September 11th, and the decision to replace Spooner may violate the letter and spirit of the law. I would agree that the situation is questionable, and I would also agree that the RIGOP has done worse.
Since Vincent “Buddy” Cianci announced his candidacy for mayor, I’ve heard a lot of criticism about his decision. I don’t agree with those who feel he shouldn’t be running. After all, he served his time, and he is quite possibly the most well-vetted candidate running for public office in the United States. If voters decide to support him, they know exactly what they will be getting.
What I find entertaining is how progressives, and those who pretend to be progressives, are among the biggest critics of Cianci because of his felony conviction. Aren’t these the same people who are constantly trying to make expungment laws more lenient? Aren’t these the same people who lobbied for laws “banning the box” on employment applications, so employers couldn’t ask about an applicant’s criminal history until the interview? The progressives argue that those who have done their time should be given an opportunity to prove themselves. What happened to this line of reasoning? Does it only apply when one of their own is not competing against the convict for a job?
Providence recently benefited from a $13 million federal TIGER grant to be used toward a street car system for the city. I first remember the idea being mentioned by former mayor David Cicilline. The idea seems to be gaining steam, now that some of the initial funding toward the $117.8 million has been identified. Hopefully, Providence will not be able to secure the rest.
In theory, a streetcar system sounds great, but when you look at the details, it’s a potential financial debacle. First, the system would be just 2.5 miles long, which means it would cost $47.12 million per mile. Second, annual operating expenses are estimated to be $3.13 million. Since the cost of the project has risen more than $3 million since the last estimate, I wouldn’t be surprised to find that the operating expenses have also risen…and will continue to rise annually. Third, will it really add anything substantive to public transportation? After all, couldn’t RIPTA just buy a special bus that looks like a trolley, then have it travel a continuous loop? Oh, that’s right! They did that, and the program ended!
Robert Healey has confirmed that he is considering a run for governor as a Moderate, since the current candidate, James Spooner, may not be able to run due to health reasons. According to state law, a candidate can be replaced due to a disability, which would open the door for a run by Healey.
This is potentially very big news which was overshadowed by yesterday’s election coverage. In past elections, Healey received nearly 10% of the vote as a gubernatorial candidate, and he received 39% when he ran for Lt. Governor in 2010. He would certainly be a long-shot to win, but it is easy to imagine him getting at least 5% to 10% of the vote.
State Representative Maria Cimini has been defeated by fellow Democrat Daniel McKiernan in Providence’s District 7. This is a race I’ve been watching closely. Some of you may recall that Rep. Cimini sponsored legislation on behalf of failed Providence mayoral Brett Smiley, which would have imposed a tax on ammunition and firearms. The money would have been distributed to community groups which teach peace and nonviolence. Fortunately, the bill never made it to the floor for a vote.
Representative Cimini is an enemy of the Second Amendment. Thankfully, she will be replaced by someone with a better understanding of the Constitution.
Cranston mayor Allan Fung has defeated businessman Ken Block in the Republican gubernatorial primary. Fung will face Gina Raimondo and three other candidates in the General Election on November 4th. As for Block, I’m looking forward to seeing how he handles losing the race.
Ken Block received a lot of criticism when he switched over to the Republican party. I’ve often called him opportunistic, and believe he took the path of least resistance. Now that the election is over, I look forward to seeing whether he supports Allan Fung and the other Republican candidates running across the state. Who knows, maybe he’ll give the Moderate Party another shot.
9:18pm – With 80% of precincts reporting, the closest race is for Secretary of State between Democrats Guillaume De Ramel (48%) and Nellie Gorbea (52%). As for the rest of the statewide races, there isn’t much suspense.
8:19pm – Frank Caprio concedes the General Treasurer’s race to Seth Magaziner. I’m not surprised Magaziner won, but I am surprised Caprio conceded so early. I imagine the margin of victory is quite large.
7:50pm – For those of you looking for RI primary results, you can visit the Secretary of State’s web site. The Polls close at 8pm, and results should start trickling in soon after. We should know wo most of the winners are this evening, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a few races are too close to call.
I just received an e-mail from Ken Block’s campaign. It had the headline “From the Desk of John Robitaille,” followed by this appeal to Rhode Island Republicans:
Election day is here! I voted for Ken this morning and I hope you will join me in supporting him by voting today! Please take your lunch break and go vote for him now.
Ken is the only outsider in this race that can defeat the Democrats in November – period! That’s why I support Ken and that’s why House Minority Leader Brian Newberry and so many other Rhode Islanders are supporting Ken. Republicans and Independents must come together around Ken and make sure everyone we know gets to the polls today!
The political elite wants to see Allan Fung in the general, but we cannot let that happen!
This race for Governor is about finding a leader who will not be compromised. Ken is an outsider — he isn’t beholden to anyone. Rhode Island needs a Governor who will make decisions that serve the best interests of all Rhode Islanders, and not just the connected few.
Years ago, when I voted in my first Republican primary, something disturbing happened. I was unafilliated, but instead of the poll worker asking me which primary I wanted to vote in, she just handed me a Democrat ballot. I told her I wanted a Republican ballot, and she tried to convince me to keep the Democrat ballot because there were more contested races. In the years since, I’ve had a poll worker hand me the wrong ballot, even though I’m a registered Republican, and observed them hand Democratic ballots to independents who wanted a Republican ballot.
This morning, my wife and I went to the polls early to vote. She is unafilliated and decided to vote in the Republican primary. I told her about some of the funny business at the polls, and told her to be on the lookout. Not surprisingly, she was automatically handed a Democrat ballot. She had to correct them and ask for a Republican ballot.
Providence mayoral candidate Jorge Elorza is “very much in support of a municipal income tax.” In a video, Elorza sings the praises of a municipal income tax, and says he favors it because it is “more progressive.”
Since the video, Elorza has attempted to walk back support for a municipal income tax. Of course, the very fact that he thinks it is such a great idea should concern any Providence resident.
Lincoln Chafee has endorsed Clay Pell for Governor. Why Clay Pell? Chafee says, “Clay Pell embodies the traditional Rhode Island Democratic progressive ideals and that is what this state needs for the next four years.”
Yes, progressive ideals are just what Rhode Island needs. More tax breaks, regulations, and a further reduction in liberty are just the things to stimulate the economy and encourage entrepreneurship.
During the 2014 campaign season, we’ve heard politicians tout the great potential of the 19 acres of land that are available for development, now that I-195 has been relocated. Besides empty land, we also have a commission and staff, working to get the land developed, thereby improving the financial condition of both Providence and Rhode Island. That’s right, 19 acres of land is being heralded as the savior of our metropolitan area. As you might be able to tell from my tone, saying I’m skeptical is an understatement.
The land, which is situated near downtown, is just a stone’s throw from many underdeveloped and underutilized properties. If these other properties have been dormant for so long, what makes one think this land will be such a hot commodity? The land is also located in the
Knowledge District Jewelry District, which some have attempted to portray as a manufacturing and business juggernaut. I just don’t see it.
Please don’t take my skepticism as a criticism of the area, or the high hopes of those who care about the city. Being located near downtown, the hospital complex, new nursing school, and I-95 and I-195 is great. It’s just not what all the proponents of the I-195 land make it out to be.
Posted in Current Events, Economic Development
Tagged Economic Development, I-195, I-195 Commission, Infrastructure, Planning, Proposals, Providence, Redevelopment, Relocation, Rhode Island
The National Rifle Association has given Cranston Mayor Allan Fung an “A” rating, and has endorsed him in tomorrow’s gubernatorial primary. His opponent, Ken Block, received a rating of “C-” from the group. Fung was the only statewide candidate to receive an endorsement, though Kara Young, a candidate for Lt. Governor, received an “AQ” rating.
I’m actually a bit surprised by Block’s NRA rating. I figured the Republican in Name Only would have received a “D” or worse.
Here’s some Rhode Island political trivia for you: Name the two awkward, Ivy League-educated politicians who ran for governor, drive a Prius, got by on their family name, used personal wealth to finance their campaigns, and switched from being a Republican to Democrat. If you guessed Lincoln Chafee, you’re half right. The other one is none other than Clay Pell. That’s right, Clay Pell, Mr. Progressive himself, was a registered Republican for 10 years in Arizona. I wonder if Barry Goldwater is one of his heroes?
Pell claims he switched affiliations because he felt the Republican Party didn’t reflect his views. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that his family has strong ties to Democrats, and he planned on running in a state with a high percentage of Democrats. Nah, I’m sure those things had nothing to do with his change of heart.
The 11th Commandment states the following:
Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.
We often hear this phrase spoken amongst Republicans, especially during primary season. I can see the value and purpose in the phrase, but more often than not, it can be just as destructive as two Republicans fighting with each other. I find this especially true for a blue state, such as Rhode Island.
Many feel that Rhode Islanders will not vote for conservative candidates. As a result, we have candidates who are either more liberal than typical Republicans, or pretend to be more liberal than they are in actuality. These types of candidates aren’t presenting themselves as conservatives or members of an opposition party, they’re running as “Democrat-light.” When this is allowed to happen, the voters aren’t being asked to select a good candidate, they’re being asked to choose between bad, and almost as bad. That’s what happens when you define yourself while using a liberal as a reference point. In such cases, the moderate, big-government Republican deserves the criticism.
For those of you interested in the September 9th Republican primary, I’ve decided to write about my choices. Some might call these endorsements, and if that’s how you seem them, so be it.
Governor: Allan Fung
I wish we had an actual conservative running for governor, but we don’t. Instead, we have a moderate Republican with questionable conservative credentials, who is running against a man who joined the party because it was politically expedient to do so, and in my opinion, will say anything to get elected. Fung is far from the perfect candidate, but he has done a solid job as mayor of Cranston, and he is by far more likely to support conservative positions than Ken Block.
Lt. Governor: Kara Young
That’s right, I’m voting for Kara Young over Catherine Taylor. If you’re shocked, you shouldn’t be.
Both Catherine Taylor and Kara Russo have plans for all they want to accomplish if elected Lt. Governor. This is preposterous. The Lt. Governor is nothing more than a stepping stone for those who aspire to public office. There isn’t much in the way of power or responsibilities, except waiting around should the Governor die or become incapacitated. I can’t, in good conscious, support someone who actually pretends they are going to accomplish something in the position. That’s why I plan on voting for Libertarian Tony Jones in November.
Posted in Elections, RI Republican Party
Tagged Allan Fung, Catherine Taylor, Congress, Cormick Lynch, David Cicilline, Governor, Kara Russo, Ken Bliock, Lincoln Chafee, Lt. Governor, Stan Tran
During a recent debate between Ken Block and Alan Fung, both were asked to name a Republican they admired. Fung answered, but Block said he couldn’t think of anyone. This shouldn’t be surprising.
As I’ve written in the past, Ken Block is running as a Republican because it is the path of least resistance. There is only one other candidate in the GOP primary, and he has far less campaign cash than the top three Democrats, who have all raised seven-figurs. Running against Fung was the easy path.
The residents of Chad Brown, in Providence, recently held a peace rally in order to bring attention to a shooting in which five people were shot. Thankfully, all five victims have survived, and from previous reports, Providence Police seem to have leads.
As anyone who follows the news knows, violence is rather common in Providence. This is particularly true of certain pockets in the city. The latest incident in Chad Brown has left many grasping for answers, and looking for a solution. This is understandable, but from what I’ve read the true drivers of the problem aren’t being addressed.
Many community groups and local leaders have called for more neighborhood programs, more grant money, and more involvement from local officials. I agree that “more” is needed, but more of the things just mentioned won’t solve the problem. What is needed is more respect for a traditional two-parent family, more respect for others, and more of a work ethic to pull oneself out of high-crime areas. The answer doesn’t lie in a politician’s hollow promises, it exists in the mind of the individual, and is put into action by making the proper choices.
Clay Pell has submitted his campaign finance reports for the first quarter, and it includes some rather eye-popping numbers. Pell has loaned his campaign another $1,050,000, and has more than $2,000,000 in his account. The report, which is more than 170 pages, lists his contributors, which seem to be mainly from out of state.
Despite all the money in his account, only a small percentage was actually donated. Pell raised a bit under $$170,000, and as stated earlier, the majority appears to be from out-of-state contributors. That’s not surprising, considering how little time Pell has spent in Rhode Island.
I would like to thank Providence Mayor Angel Taveras for providing me with some much needed laughter today. The mayor, who is running for governor, has unveiled a plan to rebuild and maintain the state’s schools, roads, and bridges.
Maintaining the state’s infrastructure is one of the most pressing problems facing Rhode Island. With that said, isn’t Angel Taveras the last person you would want to take advice from on this topic? After nearly 3 1/2 years, the city’s schools are falling apart, and potholes seem to be everywhere. For a while, I actually thought Clay Pell’s Prius might have been lost in one of Providence’s larger craters.
I’ll start taking Angel Taveras seriously on infrastructure once he gets Providence’s act together.
On Saturday morning, the Rhode Island State Police pulled over a car for speeding and charged a 24 year-old New London man with carrying a pistol without a license. The man had a Bersa 9 Ultra Compact. My guess is that it would carry 8 rounds or fewer, and would not have been banned by recent gun laws proposed by Rhode Island liberals.
Do you see a pattern here? The police are confiscating guns, but the guns they are confiscating are not the ones law makers have identified as a problem. Another inconvenient fact is that the guns are often possessed, but no used. Therefore, if you can’t jump through all the hoops the government puts before you, you either can’t carry a gun, or you are charged with a felony.
Here’s a great idea: Give citizens the benefit of the doubt. Let’s be a complete “shall issue” state, and give citizens the opportunity to defend themselves.