RI Reformers Split on Governor
RISC is buying what Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Frank Caprio is selling and have endorsed him for Governor over Republican John Robitaille. Their reasoning:
RISC wants to acknowledge that Republican John Robitaille, who is a friend and member of RISC has run a very competent and credible campaign- -and yes, as of this writing- -is running very strong in the polls. It is very difficult for this organization to have to side with one candidate more than another when several viewpoints that reflect the RISC position are embraced by both. In the final analysis however, Caprio brings two crucial distinctions that we believe give him the ultimate advantage. He has already performed well in office, recognized for innovations and smart management skills as Treasurer which bode well for how he would function as Governor. Finally, RISC recognizes the reality of governing in this state may dictate that a centrist Democrat with fiscal conservative credentials may have the best chance of enacting the very difficult reforms needed which will only be achieved by a Governor who can build consensus.
Bringing the state back to a thriving, growing, forward-looking position we all want, will take a bold, very ambitious, and yes, imperfect leader who we believe not only has the right plan for the taxpayer- -but can actually turn it into reality. We believe that leader is Democrat Frank Caprio.
The RI Tea Party believes that RISC has betrayed its own message to RI. Their endorsement smacks of the same old compromised insider politics.
“I am stunned by RISC’s lack of conviction”, states Colleen Conley, President of the RI Tea Party. “Frank Caprio has voted to raise taxes as a state legislator numerous times. He boasts a plethora of Union endorsements. That just strengthens the unions ability to write their own rules of the game, to hire their own bosses. Caprio’s voting record clearly shows he has supported several tax increases and even supported efforts to organize day care workers in our state. Just more burden on the taxpayers.”
Reform groups in RI are sticking together in support of John Robitaille – the only candidate who has the conviction and understanding to represent all of the hard-working taxpayers in RI. He understands that government does not create jobs. He understands that taxing our way out of debt is a failed policy. He understands that without a financially healthy private-sector there will be no revenue to pay for public-sector services.
Until now, to my knowledge, the growing rift between RISC and the RITP (and other groups) was an outgrowth of organizational and personal disputes at the top of each organization. I suppose it was only a matter of time before these disagreements were manifested in the public policy arena. The fact is, both groups agree on most policy positions and have mostly endorsed the same candidates. Yet, I suspect this single, high-profile disagreement will serve to define the relationships on the right-side of RI’s reform community for years to come. Personally, I think the RISC leadership has made a big mistake: they put themselves on an island amongst the other reform groups and may have stranded themselves for good.