Parades and politics are forever linked in American politics. Politicians use parades to meet people and get their messages out there. Meanwhile the people use parades to comment on current trends or the political landscape. In the pictures below, we can see examples of both.
As a caveat: Politics is very complex, and I am simplifying immensely in my comments below.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (Democrat, Rhode Island) is seeking re-election this year. He is not as popular in northwest Rhode Island as he could be, because he is not seen as a strong environmentalist here, despite his national reputation. (See below for more on this)
Senator Jack Reed (Democrat, Rhode Island) is not facing an election this year.
United States Representative James Langevin (Democrat, Rhode Island) is seeking re-election. Rhode Island’s other Representative, David Cicilline (Democrat) is also seeking re-election but did not have a presence at the parade.
Senator Paul Fogarty (Democrat, District 23, Burrillville, Glocester) is not seeking re-election after 20 years in office. Democrats Paul Roselli and Kevin Heitke are seeking his seat, as is Republican John Pacheco III, who currently serves as the President of the Burrillville Town Council.
Cranston Mayor Allan Fung (Republican) is running for Governor of Rhode Island.
Former Rhode Island Secretary of State Matt Brown (Democrat) is running for Governor of Rhode Island, challenging the incumbent, Gina Raimondo. Gina Raimondo did not have a presence at this parade.
Paul Roselli is running for Rhode Island State Senate, District 23, for the seat being vacated by Paul Fogarty. (see above)
The number of farms and forests in northwest Rhode Island means that the environment is one of the big concerns of the area. Here are people bringing attention to the bees, and their fundamental importance in our environment and food chain.
Representative Patricia Morgan (Republican, District 26, West Warwick) is running for Governor of Rhode Island. She did not attend the parade, as far as I could tell, but she sent this truck.
Former State Representative Joseph Trillo (Republican, District 24, Warwick) is running for Governor of Rhode Island as an Independent.
Ross McCurdy, who hails from Smithfield, is running for Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor as an Independent. No other candidates for Lieutenant Governor had a presence at the parade.
The end of a popular Rhode Island institution, Benny’s, a hardware store with 31 locations in and around the state, was emblematic of a new socio-economic reality: The end of small, family owned chains in the face of online retailers like Amazon.
Luis-Daniel Muñoz is running for Governor of Rhode Island as an Independent.
The signs on the trailer above are for Representative Cale Keable (Democrat, District 47, Burrillville, Glocester) who is seeking re-election, Mike Lamoureux and Amanda Gingell, who are seeking seats on the Burrillville Town Council, and Kevin Heitke, who is seeking the Senate District 23 seat being vacated by Paul Fogarty.
I saw Keable and Lamoureux in the parade, but I didn’t see Heitke and I’m not sure what Gingell looks like.
Explaining the politics of the pictures below:
Invenergy‘s $1 billion fracked gas and diesel oil burning power plant aimed at the pristine forests of northwest Rhode Island, specifically Burrillville, cam under fire yet again at the parade. Here is where the traditional differentiation between progressive and traditional Democrats breaks down. Here in the northwest part of Rhode Island, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is not seen as an environmental champion, he is seen as an environmental hypocrite, one who talks a good game in Washington but lacks the ability to follow through when it really matters, whether it’s a fossil fuel power plant in Burrillville or a liquefaction facility in the Port of Providence.
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo is seen as thee political leader who led Invenergy to the state, taking thousands of donations from both Invenergy and their friends in lavish Chicago-based fundraisers, and paying lip service to the concerns of local residents and the concerns of environmentalist throughout the state. In addition to the political contributions, her close relationship with the Building Trades, especially Building Trades President Michael Sabitoni, is seen as the reason she will always pretend to remain neutral on the project even as she works furiously behind the scenes to make the power plant a reality.
Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena used his political machine to push through a water sale deal with Invenergy, without which the power plant needs in order to function. He is seen as a political leader who threw a nearby town under the bus in order to make a little money. He is also seen as being very close to the Governor and the Building Trades politically, working hard behind the scenes to make sure the power plant is built.
UpriseRI is entirely supported by donations and advertising. Every little bit helps: