Draft Joseph Peckham for Governor
In spite of the skepticism expressed by Justin earlier this week about the wisdom of drafting candidates for political office, I think progressive Rhode Island Democrats should consider a movement to draft AFSCME Council 94 Acting Executive Director Joseph Peckham as their candidate for Rhode Island’s 2010 gubernatorial election.
As evidenced by Katherine Gregg’s and Steve Peoples’ story in yesterday’s Projo, Mr. Peckham has become one of Rhode Island’s most forthright spokesmen for the progressive view of how to solve state’s continuing fiscal crisis…
“There are millions of dollars in outside attorneys, while the state employs almost 300 full-time attorneys. We think that’s wasteful. There are tens of millions of dollars in contracts. We think that’s wasteful. I think that the governor … should look more to have government run the government, and not private contractors.In other words, there’s no fiscal problem facing Rhode Island government that raising taxes and reducing the number of non-union workers can’t solve. Is there any significant part of the progressive fiscal agenda (other than maybe re-amortizing the pension system) that Mr. Peckham has missed? If not, progressives should be proud to back a candidate who will be willing to take their views unambiguously to the people, and an honest debate can begin!
“I also think there are other ways of raising revenue in the form of certain types of taxes, taxes on the wealthy, capital gains taxes, and perhaps some other taxes that haven’t been talked about, luxury taxes.”
However, in the absence of a movement to draft Mr. Peckham (just in case progressives don’t think that a simple, direct statement of their views is a political winner), it would be interesting to know what the current favorite gubernatorial candidate of labor thinks of raising taxes and dumping non-union workers as being primary methods that should be used to close the state’s budget deficit.