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RI Progressive Democrats: Nine reasons for any Democrat to vote against Governor Raimondo



1) Choice: In 2015 a new federal law required HealthSource RI to offer one plan without abortion coverage, but under Raimondo’s decree, many plans were modified, and as a result, 9,000 customers had their coverage for abortion revoked without their knowledge or consent. In addition to this, in 2016 NARAL Pro-Choice America listed Governor Raimondo as “mixed choice,” downgrading her from “pro-choice.”

If asked about this in a debate, how would Governor Raimondo have responded?

We’ll never know, because she has refused all offers to debate.

2) Energy and the Environment: First, Raimondo came out in favor of building Invenergy’s fracked gas power plant in Burrillville. Then, after public pressure, she took a “neutral” stance and said that she will support the decision of the three-person Energy Facilities Siting Board, who will decide if the plant is built. All the while the Governor took campaign contributions from Invenergy officials and their lawyers. The Governor has apologized for “putting her thumb on the scale” in favor of the project.

In addition to this, National Grid’s proposed LNG facility in the Port of Providence is already the location of the highest level of asthma in New England. The Governor replaced key members of the Coastal resources Management Council to smooth the way for this project, and has ignored the people who live in the surrounding communities, mostly poor people of color.

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3) UHIP: When it became apparent that UHIP wasn’t going to work, the federal government told Raimondo to hold off on launching it, but she went ahead anyway. UHIP immediately became a fiasco, and it’s going to cost Rhode Island $650 million dollars to fix. Because of the Governor’s arrogance, families went hungry and health insurance was unavailable to our most vulnerable families.

4) Vulnerable Populations: Governor Raimondo will also be taking $15.7 million away from Medicaid in 2019, and with it, ensure that the federal government will withdraw $15.7 million in matching funds. The $31.4 million in cuts will result in reductions in health care coverage for Medicaid recipients, the removal of critical funding for Rhode Island’s struggling hospitals, and a decrease in the overall stability of the state’s healthcare network and industry. Many of those affected can’t afford bus passes – and now they won’t have health insurance.

5) Commerce Corp: While Governor Raimondo takes away, she also gives – to out-of-state companies. During the first two years of her term, 65 percent of the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation’s spending went to out-of-state and overseas businesses. Only 35 percent was given to businesses in Rhode Island. A majority of the Commerce Corporation’s cash flowed into the pockets of the New York City public relations firm Havas. You don’t remember Havas? You’ll will…

6) Cooler & Warmer: Havas was the firm that created Rhode Island’s new state tourism campaign with footage from Iceland and the fabulous catch phrase, “Cooler & Warmer.”

7) Gun Control: Although the governor is sometimes thought of as an advocate for gun control, it was recently reported that she accepted multiple donations from a lobbyist that represents the Rhode Island 2nd Amendment Coalition/NRA State Association. She refused to return these donations.

8) Pensions: As Treasurer, Governor Raimondo decided to restructure the state pension system. Her first step was to make new assumptions about how pension fund investments would perform and, by adopting lower assumptions, she increased the funding gap from $4.7 billion to $7 billion. Then, she used the created crisis to drastically cut benefits and to reinvest the pension funds in hedge funds, private-equity funds, and venture-capital funds. These investments have performed poorly, losing $500 million while taking up to $2.1 billions in fees. State workers who paid 10-11 percent of their wages into the pension fund had their investments taken away by Treasurer Raimondo and their retirements severely impacted. It was like putting money into a 401K for decades and then being told only a small portion of your funds were there.

9) The list goes on: Governor Raimondo’s excessive funding from Wall Street and fossil fuel companies; the nearly $6 million she’s spent on he re-election bid, her failed promise to grant licenses to undocumented workers, the hundreds of thousands of dollars in dark money that’s come from out-of-state and the overwhelmingly negative attacks comparing her progressive opponent Matt Brown to President Donald Trump.

The Governor’s refusal to debate, pay-to-play politics, and corporate handouts foreshadow another four years of politics run by the elite and not by the people.

Must we continue?

These are the hard facts and it’s our belief that Rhode Island is smarter than this. Don’t be discouraged by the blanket of negative mailers Governor Raimondo is hiding behind. It’s a cowardice move to stop Rhode Island from creating real change. There’s a reason Governor Raimondo didn’t debate. She can’t defend her record and, in her own words, it’s not, “strategic”. We humbly ask for you to vote for a candidate that does not have a record like the one above. Vote Matt Brown on Wednesday, September 12th and let’s take back our state.

We’ll see you at the polls and we hope you make the right choice.

About the Author

Although Democrats hold the vast majority of the seats in the Rhode Island General Assembly, they do not vote like Democrats. Our Democrats are political conservatives. On core Democrat-Republican issues like a woman's right to choose, common sense gun reforms, and tax cuts for the rich, our Democrats consistently stand with the national Republicans.

As the former Executive Director of the Rhode Island Republican Party put it, "We have a lot of Democrats who we know are Republican but run as a Democrat — basically, so they can win."

This is the problem our organization was created to solve. At the state house, we advocate for progressive legislation. At the ballot box, we fight to elect strong progressive Democrats. So join us as we fix the Rhode Island Democratic Party!