June 5, 2006

New Political Group Emerges

Marc Comtois

Today's "Political Scene" in the ProJo announced the formation of a new organization: the Citizen's Foundation of Rhode Island. According to the ProJo story:

The group's Web site...outlines a four-item platform that purports to uphold the interests of the business community: limits on tax and spending increases, as in a bill supported by the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council in this year's legislative session; voter initiative; reforming public education, and "open, honest and accountable decision-making at all levels of government."
I've poked around the group's website and find much that is appealing, especially their declaration that they're in it for the long haul.
CFRI has undertaken a multi-year, multi-election approach to creating significant change in Rhode Island’s legislature over the next few election cycles. It provides an opportunity for Rhode Island’s businesspeople and citizens to join together in a common effort to support legislative candidates of merit.
In addition to setting up their own PAC, the CFRI is using some familiar resources:
* RIPEC has agreed to provide research, policy analysis and policy development and analytical support services to CFRI and its candidates.

* CFRI utilizes the Education Partnership for consultation in educational issues and policy.

* CFRI utilizes RI Policy Analysis for statistical research.

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Dear Marc,

With all due respect, except for the former EDC Chair who will always have my respect, there's nothing new here.

This is the WorkingRI/ED Partnership/ Shorelines Coalition / OCG group with a different name. Another GOP organization too embarrassed to call itself a GOP working group.

If you'd like to put fear in us, got somebody that at least makes us think. We've been beating these clowns for a while.

Posted by: Bobby Oliveira at June 5, 2006 8:04 PM

I really, really hate to agree with Bobby. But, until we have a viable, credible, competently led opposition party in RI, no number of fringe organizations run by a bunch of mostly 60/70-somethings is going to present a serious challenge to the Democrat stranglehold on our lives an our money.

We wouldn't have had to waste all that fruitless energy on Voter initiative if the GOP could win seats in the legislature - at least enough to sustain a veto!

Posted by: Stretch Cunningham at June 5, 2006 10:50 PM

Hence the crux of our "chicken and egg" dilemma in RI.

We need a serious opposition party in RI, and the RIGOP unfortunately is a joke - it is more of an appeasement party than an opposition party - and doesn't show much philosophical desire ever to become an opposition party.

Hence the need for third-party groups coalescing - somewhat following the collaborative model of the AFL-CIO and the other left-wing groups (Poverty Institute, Jobs with Justice etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.).

With some third party groups representing the interests of the actual "working families" of RI (i.e., not on the government tit, either as government employees or welfare recipients), there might be some backing available for candidates that are also inclined to represent actual "working families" to help offset the political-support hegemony of the welfare lobby and of the unions (and by this I mean public sector unions, though the AFL-CIO pays lip service to private sector unions, they are irrelevant now - the union movement is effectively a public sector movement now).

Posted by: Tom W at June 6, 2006 12:32 PM