Politics & Elections

Senate candidate Donnie Anderson challenges opponent Goodwin over legislative grants

Anderson, who is running against Goodwin in the Senate District 1 Democratic primary, noted that “$75,000 in legislative grants are in Senator Goodwin’s name alone.” Anderson went on to call Senator Goodwin “the number one abuser of Rhode Island taxpayer dollars.”
Photo for Senate candidate Donnie Anderson challenges opponent Goodwin over legislative grants

Published on July 20, 2022
By Steve Ahlquist

“The time is now for the system of ‘I know a guy’ political patronage to end in Rhode Island,” said Donnie Anderson, outside the State House on Tuesday afternoon. Anderson, is currently challenging State Senator Maryellen Goodwin in Senate District 1 (Providence) in the Democratic Primary.

Citing an article in the Providence Journal by reporter Katherine Gregg, Anderson noted that “$75,000 in legislative grants are in Senator Goodwin’s name alone.” Anderson went on to call Senator Goodwin “the number one abuser of Rhode Island taxpayer dollars.”

Legislative grants are discretionary funds that legislators in favor with leadership can bestow upon hyper local charitable groups, social clubs and neighborhood efforts. It’s a way that leadership can reward loyal members of the House and Senate and a way for individual Senators and Representatives to look good in their communities by bringing money directly to potential voters.

Anderson, who is a Reverend, insisted that “the recipients of these grants are often worthy organizations helping some of Rhode Island’s most vulnerable residents. Many of these organizations are worthy of state funding.”

Rather than stop the flow of money, Anderson is calling for a more open and transparent process. If elected, she promises to introduce legislation to end the current system of legislative grants immediately and institute a commission operated by community members and state legislators to grants based on pre-established guidelines.

Anderson challenged Goodwin to join her in taking what she called a “My vote is not for sale pledge.”

To the worthy organizations that regularly receive such grants, Anderson pledged to “work with you to quickly create a new system of grants that will be open, transparent, and fair.

“I will further pledge to work with you to help as I can in your fundraising efforts to help you impact the lives of even more Rhode Islanders.”


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