August 4, 2009

Elizabeth Dennigan on Running in the Second District and on Reading Bills Before Voting on Them

Carroll Andrew Morse

Earlier this evening, State Representative Elizabeth Dennigan formally announced her Democratic primary challenge to Second District incumbent Congressman James Langevin. Normally, we don't devote too much attention to Democratic v. Democratic battles here at Anchor Rising, but since I posted a question a couple of weeks ago regarding Rep. Dennigan's decision to run in the Second District though she currently resides in the First, I thought I should take the opportunity to ask her about this directly…

Anchor Rising: You've mentioned the residency issue. Does that fact that you're moving out of the district that you currently represent mean that you think that Congressman Langevin is less suited to represent the people of Rhode Island than is Congressman Kennedy?

State Representative Elizabeth Dennigan: Let me say first of all that I'm not moving, I have both residences [in East Providence and Narragansett] and I'm just changing my primary residence, and that's where I'll be staying.

AR: So you could run against either then…

ED: I'm running in the Second Congressional District. I think Congressman Kennedy has been an effective Congressman, and Congressman Langevin has been less effective as our Congressman.

AR: My second question is about a debate going on in the blogosphere right now, about whether our representatives in Congress should be expected to read bills before they vote on them, which sounds ridiculous to some people…

ED: I know!

AR: Do you have an opinion on this?

ED: Yes I do, in fact. Because it was hard to read online, I just downloaded the 1,000-plus page health care reform bill because I do take things seriously. I won't say I've read every word, but I've marked it up and I have read every section. I think it's important to know what you are voting on.

It's important to study policy and the things that might be missing. I don't think we've had a conversation about some of the intricate details in that bill that need more awareness. I'm happy to say that I do my homework.

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.

I raised this issue in a generic post over at RI Future, which prompted some debate but also some vitriol directed at me for daring to discuss the matter.

Can the administrator lock me out for having challenged his opinions?

Posted by: brassband at August 4, 2009 9:59 PM

Asking the obvious as an East Providence resident ... if she changes her "primary" residence away from East Providence, can she still represent East Providence in the interim? Is she planning on staying in Narragansett over 183 days per year? She is exposing herself by trying to play cutsey with the residency requirement.

PS I actually know the specific answer to the question, but I am curious if it ever occured to her that the peopole of East Providence might want a rep who maintains their residency here.

Posted by: Will at August 4, 2009 10:19 PM

There is no residency requirement. In this state, you do not have to live in the Congressional district to run for that Congressional seat.

Posted by: Chris at August 5, 2009 6:23 AM

I'm referring to "residency" as it relates to her current position as a State Representative in East Providence.

Posted by: Will at August 5, 2009 12:09 PM

What are the chances of her resigning from her current State Rep. seat so the residents of district can have the opportunity to be represented by someone whose "primary residence" is actually there?

Posted by: Stephanie at August 5, 2009 1:50 PM
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