With ties to hate groups, #ParentsUnitedRI offers slate of conservative extremists for local office

#ParentsUnitedRI is a grievance-based hate group that stands against the transgender community, opposes the teaching of racism history, and fought hard against COVID-19 precautions and medical advice throughout the pandemic.

Rhode Island News: With ties to hate groups, #ParentsUnitedRI offers slate of conservative extremists for local office

September 29, 2022, 4:54 pm

By Uprise RI Staff

#ParentsUnitedRI is a grievance-based hate group that stands against the transgender community, opposes the teaching of racism history, and fought hard against COVID-19 precautions and medical advice throughout the pandemic. The group is running a slate of candidates across Rhode Island, with ties to overt white supremacist hate groups like CORR (Citizens Organized to Restore Rights) and Super Happy Fun America (SHFA). #ParentsUnitedRI was formed with the intent of infiltrating local school boards and town councils to degrade public schools and promote charter schools under the guise of parental rights.

CORR has been described as a “Christofascist/Christian nationalist organization committed to organizing various unaffiliated groups to support extremist candidates for local seats of government.” CORR founder David Steinhof teamed up with Samson Racioppi‘s Super Happy Fun America, a Massachusetts based hate group that in previous iterations (under the name Resist Marxism) twice brought white nationalist rallies to the Rhode Island State House. (See here and here.)

CORR’s association with SHFA puts them squarely into the nexus of pro-fascism hate groups such as the Proud Boys, Patriot Front and NSC-131. (See here and here).

“We need to infiltrate the school committees,” said CORR board member Katie Ferreira-Aubin at a CORR meeting. Ferreira-Aubin is a mental health counsellor in Cranston and a controversial Dighton-Rehobeth School Committee member who compared mask mandates to the policies of Nazi Germany on her social media. “We need to infiltrate the school boards. We’ve got to take them over from within… We get back to basics. We let the parents parent. We get the mandates out of the schools, we get CRT out of schools. We infiltrate.”

East Providence School Committee candidate Carissa Moglia spoke at a CORR meeting about once being apolitical and “just raising her kids” until the issues of mask mandates came up. Moglia was one of the three dozen or so plaintiffs who sued the state over the voluntary mask mandate policy. Moglia is a member of #ParentsUnitedRI and signed this pledge:

I hereby pledge to fully support complete transparency and parental rights when it comes to the health and education of children. I pledge to oppose all efforts to teach our K-12 students any divisive race-based or gender-based theory and any inappropriate and explicit sexual content. I also pledge to publicly support RI Parents Bill of Rights legislation.

The Rhode Island Parents Bill of Rights legislation was submitted by Representative Patricia Morgan in 2022 legislative session.

Uprise RI spoke to Carissa Moglia by phone but the connection was poor and after the call dropped she did not reply to our text inquiries.

At last check 39 people who intended to run for office signed onto the #ParentsUnitedRI pledge. After cross-referencing the list with both the Rhode Island Board of Elections and Rhode Island Secretary of State websites, Uprise RI determined that 11 of those listed appear to be not running for office, leaving 28 #ParentsUnitedRI candidates on the slate.

Signers of the pledge include candidates for statewide office such as Charles Calenda and Paul Pence, and incumbent members of the General Assembly such as Justin Price, Patricia Morgan, and Elaine Morgan. Allen Waters, who is challenging David Cicilline for his seat in the United States House of Representatives, also signed the pledge.

The slate of candidates listed on the #ParentsUnitedRI website is outdated with inaccurate information throughout. For instance, Representative Patricia Morgan is listed as living in Richmond, when she is an incumbent State Representative from West Warwick. Incumbent Senator Elaine Morgan is listed as living in Cranston, but she lives in Hopkinton. The group has one apparent success. Republican David Stall, who signed the pledge, seems to be running unopposed for the position of Hopkinton Town Manager.

One notable person associated with CORR is Providence Police Officer Jeann Lugo, who was running for State Senate in Rhode Island until he was accused of punching his political opponent Jennifer Rourke at an abortion rally at the State House.

Another is Clay Johnson, who chairs the right-wing Gaspee Project in Rhode Island. The Gaspee Project has “pledged 100% of its support this year to elect the [#ParentsUnitedRI] slate of candidates in November 2022.”

Here’s the full list of the candidates officially running in the upcoming General election that Uprise RI can confirm are listed as signing onto the #ParentsUnitedRI slate:

  • Allen Waters, Republican, United States House of Representatives
  • Charles Calenda, Republican, Statewide Attorney General
  • Paul Pence Jr, Republican, Statewide Lt. Governor

State Senate:

  • Adriana Bonilla, Republican, State Senate District 06 Providence
  • Don Raupp, Republican, State Senate District 09 West Warwick
  • Lisa Marie Morse, Republican, State Senate District 31 Warwick
  • Elaine Morgan, Republican, State Senate District 34 Hopkinton (Incumbent)

State House of Representatives:

  • Dan Elliott, Independent, State Representative District 20 Warwick
  • Patricia Morgan, Republican, State Representative District 26 West Warwick (Incumbent)
  • Jessica Drew-Day, Republican, State Representative District 33 South Kingstown
  • Justin Price, Republican, State Representative District 39 Richmond (Incumbent)

Municipal office:

  • David Stall, Republican, Hopkinton Town Moderator [Unopposed]
  • Michael Geary, Republican, Hopkinton Town Council
  • Michael Colasante, Republican, Richmond Town Council
  • James Sullivan, Republican, Chariho School Committee
  • Polly Ann Hopkins, Republican, Chariho School Committee
  • Kathryn Colasante, Republican, Chariho School Committee
  • Carissa Moglia, Independent, East Providence School Committee Ward 2
  • Kevin Robishaw Jr, Republican, Exeter School Committee Townwide
  • David Fargnoli, Republican, Pawtucket School Committee Townwide
  • Helen Sheehan, Republican, Richmond Town Council Townwide
  • Michael Day, Republican, South Kingstown School Committee Townwide
  • Michelle Kirby Chapman, Independent, Warwick School Committee District 3
  • Olivia Caronna, Republican, West Warwick School Committee Ward 2
  • Lori Wycall, Republican, Westerly School Committee
  • Seth Logan, Independent, Westerly School Committee Townwide
  • Michelle Marie Sztabor, Republican, Woonsocket School Committee Townwide

Pictured at the top is Carissa Moglia speaking at a CORR event.