Friendship and Politics: Avedisian @ Chafee
All this week, WPRO’s Dan Yorke has heavily questioned the party loyalty of Mayor Scott Avedisian (R-Warwick) for attending A Certain Gubernatorial Announcement, going so far as to call for the RIGOP to throw him out of the party. This culminated yesterday in an extensive and frank interview with the Mayor [podcast not yet available].
As the interview progressed and it became clear that hizzoner was not going to back down, Dan got to the nub of the matter, saying somewhat incredulously to the Mayor (paraphrasing), so you put friendship ahead of a political structure.
Actually, no, he didn’t. He attended an event that was important to a friend. As he apparently will not be supporting the candidacy in any substantive way, the fact that the event was a campaign announcement was secondary. But let’s say the Mayor had put friendship ahead of a political structure. The General Treasurer put a political structure ahead of his friend the Governor in a big way. Does Dan think this was just peachy? Of course he doesn’t and I agree.
Would the Mayor’s attendance at this event have been awkward had there been a declared Republican gubernatorial candidate? Sure it would. Possibly beyond awkward to problematic. As it happens, it’s early; there presently is no Republican candidate. So, no issue.
And another thing. Why was Dan attacking Mayor Avedesian for opening his campaign HQ to the RIGOP for the recent Executive Committee meeting? I was working assiduously yesterday afternoon (let my supervisor take note) when Dan was grilling the Mayor so maybe I missed something. But wouldn’t that constitute a material show of support of the RIGOP that Dan had, ten seconds earlier, accused the Mayor of deliberately failing to demonstrate? It strikes me that the Mayor should be commended, not criticized, for the HQ hospitality that he regularly extends to Republican candidates and the RIGOP.
No, Mayor Avedisian did not demonstrate party disloyalty by attending the announcement of a friend. No, he should not be asked to leave the Republican party for doing so. It is silly and inconsistent of Dan to suggest this. Let’s have a little more focus on the actions, past and present, of the gang that has trashed our state and a little less on irrelevant or miniscule side issues involving the loyal opposition.