Reflecting on Rhode Island’s Robbers

After the governor’s press conference on the Washington Bridge recently, as we struggle to figure out how to pay for a new bridge, Democratic leaders made a statement essentially saying, “We need money for this bridge — you must vote for Democrats, because we can’t send a Republican to D.C.”

That doesn’t even pass the sniff test.

RI Democrats have controlled this state for over 80 years. Over that period the following has happened: The industrial heritage of RI has died. Once a great manufacturing mecca, we are now a service-based economy. Our population is aging rapidly because our children are leaving to find good paying jobs and houses they can afford — neither of which can be found in Rhode Island.

Municipal and State Pensions.

The Democrats wrote your contracts.

The Democrats failed to properly fund your pensions.

The Democrats created the “solution” in the 2011 Pension Reform Act (U.S. Commerce Secretary Raimondo).

The Democrats haven’t given you a cost of living adjustment (COLA) or any consideration since then.

The Democrats voted against a Republican amendment to give you a COLA when all that federal money came to the state.

The Democrats don’t have a solution to this and aren’t looking for one.

When you’re wondering how you’ll pay your bills, or working 5–7 years beyond your retirement date, think about who you vote for.

Roads and Bridges — Consistently & Currently Rated the Worst in Our Nation.

The Democrats control the Department of Transportation (DOT).

The Democrats control who the contracts go to.

When RI couldn’t pay for roads and bridges, the Democrats created the RhodeWorks truck toll program.

Just as House Republicans predicted, the courts ruled the truck tolls unconstitutional, as they violated the “Federal Dormant Commerce Clause.” Those words are in quotes because you can find them in two places — my former Republican colleague Blake Filippi’s floor speech against the tolls and in the judge’s decision when he struck them down as unconstitutional.

The Democrats are responsible for your hell on the roads.

When you’re sitting in traffic on the Washington Bridge, or changing a flat because of a pothole, think about who you vote for.


The Democrats control Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) and have written the rules and contracts.

The Democrats have overseen the steady demise of quality in public education.

The Democrats continually throw money at education with no improvement.

The Democrats answer to the teachers unions — not parents or pupils.

The Democrats don’t want to try something different. They hate the most effective sources of public education, charter schools, and are trying to close them down.

The Democrats are responsible for the high schools with 0% proficiency in math and test scores in the bottom of the nation.

When you’re applying for a limited seat in a charter school, or working that third job to pay for private school, or angry because your high school graduate can’t do basic math, think about who you vote for. 


The Democrats created the Affordable Care Act.

The Democrats created the RI healthcare exchange.

The Democrats wrote the regulations and insurance requirements that the Office of Healthcare Insurance Commissioner stated were the reason our healthcare system is collapsing.

The Democrats are responsible for medical staff fleeing our state because reimbursement rates in Massachusetts and Connecticut are so much higher, and they only need to drive 30 more minutes to work in those states.

The Democrats are responsible for you spending 600% more time in the ER waiting room.

The Democrats created this failed system.

When you’re unable to get into a primary care doctor, or a specialist, or are sitting in the ER waiting room for 12 hours with chest pains, think about who you vote for.


The Democrats created the second-highest tax burden per citizen in the U.S. here in RI. Only Hawaii has a higher tax burden, and while RI beaches are awesome, they aren’t “Hawaii Awesome.”

The Democrats’ only solution is to throw money at every problem, thus increasing taxes.

The Democrats create unfunded mandates for our towns which cost our towns money that they can only get if they raise our taxes.

The Democrats are directly responsible for your homeowner’s taxes increasing every single year.

When you are writing that tax check to your town even after you’ve paid off your mortgage, think about who you vote for.

Economy/Business Climate.

RI has one of the worst business climates in the country. Every reputable business organization that ranks the business friendliness of every state places RI at or near the bottom.

The Democrats have over-regulated business.

The Democrats have punished success through taxation.

The Democrats view industrialists/business owners as “the evil rich” and if you haven’t been paying attention, the Democrats have been repeatedly stating that “the rich need to pay their fair share.”

The Democrats continue to hammer businesses with burdens through regulations that take time away from actually running your business.

When you’re up at 1:30 a.m. working to remit your quarterly sales tax to the state, or wondering how many people you’ll have to lay off, or considering closing your business altogether, think about who you vote for.

Energy Costs.

The Democrats have been pushing the unrealistic and unachievable green energy fantasy.

The Democrats passed the Act on Climate in 2021 that requires you to get rid of your gas stove, oil furnace, and wood stove and power your house, heat your water, and drive your car with electricity.

The Democrats benefit from the contractors installing wind/solar.

The Democrats caused your electricity rates to increase by 46% (and climbing) and your commercial electricity rates to go up 28%.

The Democrats don’t care you can’t afford to comply with the climate act and have actually put legal penalties in place if you don’t comply.

When you have to buy an electric car that you can’t afford or rely on, or getting rid of your woodstove to replace it with electric heat, think about who you vote for.


Considering all these things, what solution do the Democrats of Rhode Island offer you when their bridge failed because of their negligence?

“Keep voting Democrat; Republicans can’t help.”

Over a week in 1973, two criminals holed up with four hostages in a Swedish bank vault. Cut off from outside reality and locked in shared privation, the captives grew more sympathetic to the criminals than to the people trying to rescue them. Does this textbook Stockholm Syndrome seem familiar to Rhode Islanders?


Republican House Minority Leader Michael Chippendale represents District 40 (Coventry, Foster, and Glocester) in the General Assembly.

Featured image by Justin Katz using Dall-E 3. 

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