Lt. Governor Interview: Kerry King
Anchor Rising: What, in your opinion, is the purpose of the Lt. Governor? How well do you believe the current Lt. Governor has fulfilled this role?
Kerry King: The Lieutenant Governor’s Office is what you make out of it. Constitutionally, the lieutenant governor has advisory role responsibilities related to health care, small business development, and emergency management. Nothing in the state’s constitution limits the lieutenant governor to just those three roles, however.
I believe a lieutenant governor should and must get involved in all major issues and policies that touch the lives of Rhode Islanders in important ways.
Take public corruption, for example. It runs rampant in our state. People are tired of it. What do our representatives in the General Assembly do? They pass new financial disclosure laws that apply to everyone but themselves. That’s unacceptable, it’s time to get tough on corruption, and that’s why I as a candidate for lieutenant governor have proposed Rhode Island adopt the toughest anti-corruption laws in the nation, including punishing violators with mandatory prison sentences, forfeiture of pensions, and seizure of personal assets to repay ill-gotten gains. My comprehensive 20-point plan closes the door on corruption, scandal for personal gain.
Given my experience as a business leader, as lieutenant governor, I also intend to get much more involved in creating the best possible climate for business and job growth. To accomplish that, the lieutenant governor also most get involved in quality education and giving graduates the skills sought by business these days. Our children deserve good jobs, and they shouldn’t be forced to cross state lines to find them.
What I’m saying is that a truly effective lieutenant governor must be willing to take on all the important issues facing our state. (To learn more about my candidacy visit www.Vote4King.com.)
As for Lieutenant Governor Fogarty, he’s a well-intentioned fellow who has tried his best. Whether his best is good enough others can decide. As a Republican, I’m more conservative when it comes to state spending, for example, and wish Mr. Fogarty were, too. Yet, on the other hand, Mr. Fogarty along with the governor and others did a good job in fixing glaring emergency management shortcomings ignored by Centracchio when he headed the Office of Emergency Management. We now have a good hurricane preparedness plan and emergency management control center.
AR: What separates you from your primary opponent?
KK: Our qualifications to do the job. Rhode Island needs a competent leader with business and financial experience to fix the many problems facing us. Reggie just doesn’t fit the bill.
He offers Rhode Island his military skills. I offer economic development and job creation skills. When you ask voters which skills are most needed by Rhode Island right now, Reggie comes up short.
By his own admission, his strongest suit is name recognition. Name recognition has nothing to do whatsoever with your ability to get the job done, however. Voters can figure that out.
I’m not being mean. Time and time again, I’ve said Reggie is a decent and likeable person. But the fact of the matter is Reggie is just not qualified to be lieutenant governor.
He favors a better economy and better jobs. Yet, he has no economic development skills at all; I do. He also favors good affordable health care. Here again, he has no business experience in such matters. Finally, he touts his experience in emergency management. But under his leadership, Rhode Island’s Emergency Management Agency was not well run at all.
Rhode Island has immense problems. Public corruption must come to an end in our state, for example. But my opponent offers no solutions on this important issue, whereas I do in my 20-point plan to pass the nation’s toughest anti-public corruption laws.
The single greatest issue facing Rhode Island, of course, is over taxation. Our income and property taxes are among the nation’s highest. And the tax climate for business is very bad, hindering our ability to grow jobs that pay good wages. Here again, Rhode Islanders must ask themselves which candidate has the better background and skills to solve our tax problems. Reggie’s military experience is not the sort of experience that solves tax problems.
Reggie and I are very different candidates, with very different skills and abilities.
AR: If elected, what would be the first item on your agenda?
KK: Two things actually:
- Because people’s livelihoods might be at stake, I’d conduct an immediate audit to uncover any business thinking of relocating or expanding out-of-state. Then I’d marshal every resource at the state’s disposal to keep those jobs in Rhode Island.
- Second, I’d push for immediate passage of my anti-public corruption plan (visit www.StopRIcorruption.com). We need to restore integrity to state government right now. You can’t conduct the people’s business in the culture of corruption that exists now.
AR: What is one thing primary voters should know about Kerry King before making their selection?
KK: I’m not your average politician. In fact, I’m not a politician at all. I have no other agenda or ambition other than serving my state and fellow citizens.
I love Rhode Island. I was born, raised, and educated here. I’ve maintained a home here for most of my adult life. My son and two precious granddaughters are Rhode Islanders, too. Now retired, I’m at that wonderful stage in life where I can devote all my time, energy, and experience to making Rhode Island a better place for my family and all Rhode Islanders.
I’m tired of what’s going on in our state politically. We need and deserve a better government, a better economy, and a better future.
AR: How well do you believe your anti-corruption plan will connect with voters?
KK: Voters will love it. Politicians won’t.
Basically, I’m proposing that Rhode Island adopt the toughest anti-corruption laws in the nation. Obviously, our current laws are too weak.
Want to end corruption? Then make the penalties so severe that only a fool would violate the public’s trust for personal gain.
Honest politicians have nothing to fear from these laws. Only the dishonest do. So why not pass these laws? Enough is enough; Rhode Islanders are sick of corruption. The General Assembly has had years to fix this problem. Either you’re tough on corruption, or you’re not. No more excuses.
It is time legislators passed my anti-corruption plan and end forever the temptation to use public office as a means to fill one’s own pockets.
(Cross-posted with (Converse It!.)