March 19, 2009

Ken Block: "Moderate" Is Not Another Word for "Republican"

Engaged Citizen

Travis Rowley, Chairman of the Rhode Island Young Republicans, in a recent posting discussing the Ocean State 38 on the Ocean State Republican blog, purposely and inaccurately attempts to link the Moderate Party of Rhode Island to efforts to rehabilitate the RI GOP.

In his post, Travis attempts to show that the RI GOP has lots of grassroots support due to the existence of "right-of-center" advocacy groups.

I also believe in the individuals taking up our cause—the people within and supportive of the RIGOP. The RIGOP is buttressed by a local conservative uprising. Evidence of this is the recent explosion of right-of-center advocacy groups. Each in their own way, these organizations and their members serve as crucial components to Rhode Island's Republican reform effort. Included in this list are:

The Rhode Island Statewide Coalition — RISC
The Rhode Island Republican Assembly — RIRA
The Ocean State Policy Research Institute — OSPRI
Anchor Rising —
The Moderate Party
Operation Clean Government
Transform Rhode Island
Rhode Island Young Republicans
Rhode Island College Republicans
The Republican Jewish Coalition
Rhode Islanders for Immigration Law Enforcement — RIILE

Speaking for the Moderate Party of RI, I can attest that Mr. Rowley made no attempt to contact us and ask if in fact our group was in some way endorsing or participating in some manner in the reform of the RI GOP. For the record, we are not.

While it is a safe assumption that any group with the word Republican as part of its name will be an active supporter of the state GOP, it is a monumental and irresponsible stretch to make that same leap with at least some of the other organizations listed above.

Hijacking the support of non-affiliated organizations is hardly the way to burnish, re-brand or rebuild the image of the RI GOP.

Ken Block is the chairman of the Moderate Party of RI.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

This is yet another example of the republicans being fantasy land people. Aside from the laughable inclusion of the Moderate party, he includes all these groups that are non-profits which can't even advocate for republicans. The young republicans have about 200 bucks in the bank, and the college republicans even less. RISC PAC has $0 dollars. literally. and RIRA PAC has about 300. This Jewish coalition group doesn't even exist as far as the BOE is concerned. Some "coalition." All these groups together, along with the Party and the accounts of all its office holders don't have enough money all together to match just one of the doznes of left-wing PACs. This is utter bs, and Ken Block is right to call him out on this! The Moderates will become a party soon enough, and the Republicans will be gone.

Posted by: jimmy at March 19, 2009 12:36 PM

Considering the support of some RI "Republicans", like the mayor of Warwick for the Moderate Party, I can understand Travis' confusion. As far as I am concerned Mr Block is welcome to all the RINOs he can harvest from RIGOP

Posted by: Phil H at March 19, 2009 2:40 PM

I do want to make one clarification, if only technical: While Travis was the author of the original piece, he did not post it on The Ocean State Republican, we merely republished it.

I actually agree with Ken that the Moderate Party should not have been placed on a list such as that. I think the point he was trying to make is that there are a lot of grassroots "center-right" organizations, not that they are a part of some big Republican effort. Again, the ultimate point could have been made more clearly.

Posted by: Will at March 19, 2009 3:40 PM

Yea, this is the same thing that Gio tried to pull when Ed O'Neill beat Montalbano as an Independent. The RIGOP cited that as a victory for themselves.

O'Neill wouldn't even caucus with the senate republicans once elected. "thanks but no thanks."

The Republicans in this state are priceless.

Posted by: matt at March 19, 2009 4:01 PM

As I mentioned briefly, I agree that Ken's group should really not be on a list which could in any way be construed as part of "Rhode Island's Republican reform effort." It was apparently meant as a list of center-right reform-minded organizations, and should not have been intentionally or unintentionally labeled as anything else. It also should not have been e-mailed out with a Republican Party e-mail header. I've been told that there was no malevolent intent behind that. It was just sloppy.

As one of the directors of RIRA and its PAC, I can assure you that we have little to nothing in common with Ken's group, other than we are not Democratic groups. Frankly, we also resent the comparison, as we actually exist.

Just to clarify a point that Jimmy made, not all of the groups mentioned in the list of "center-right" organizations are political action committees, and therefore, you would not necessarily find anything at the board of elections about them. Some of the groups, at least those which are organized or incorporated, fall under provisions of the tax code which would not require any kind of filing with the RI BOE, primarily, because they do not publicly support or oppose candidates. I challenge you to find anything at the BOE about WorkingRI. You won't, because they claim that they are not a PAC.

As for some of the balances in certain PAC accounts, that's because most of them spent everything they had on hand, or close to it, in the November 2008 election. There will be plenty of fundraisers ahead between now and 2010. The idea is to have all of these organizations in place for the next election cycle, so each of them, in their own way, can contribute towards positive reform in RI.

PS The Ocean State Republican blog has no affiliation whatsoever with the RI Republican Party. It is a publication of the RIRA, and unless explicitly stated, we do not endorse any views or opinions stated on it.

Posted by: Will at March 19, 2009 5:00 PM

"It also should not have been e-mailed out with a Republican Party e-mail header. I've been told that there was no malevolent intent behind that. It was just sloppy."

RI republicans sloppy? you don't say! If I were Ken Block or one of these other groups, i'd be considering suing this travis guy for misrepresentation. How did the chariman authorize this??? it probably wasnt even run past him.

btw, if the Democrats sent out a similar email, explicitly talking about fundraising for the party, and mentioned all sorts of groups not affiliated with the Party (such as union PACs and non-profits) Gio would be the first person writing a letter about "corruption." just a thought.

this party is amateur hour big time.

Posted by: jimmy at March 19, 2009 5:24 PM

A party with 10% of the registration of its opposition, 10% of the elected representatives of its opposition (less if we count all the local seats), and less than 10% of the finances of its opposition.

At least everything is in proportion. Now I know why Mayor Avedesian gives his ten dollars a month: to keep with the theme.

Posted by: richard roma at March 20, 2009 10:38 AM
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