November 19, 2009

Gio Cicione on the RI Republican Platform

Carroll Andrew Morse

Using the medium that all enlightened political leaders of the new millennium realize is a indispensable means for reaching the people and fostering necessary debate, i.e. the comments section of AR, State Republican Chairman Gio Cicione has weighed in on the subject of the draft of the Republican platform posted on this site this past weekend…

Gio Cicione: "Atrocious reign of Gio" - Damn - I'm not even sure what to make of that...

In any case, I don't have any problem with this being posted and/or discussed on AR. This is the document that is going to the full committee, and no one should have to see it thirty minutes before they are asked to vote on it. And, as a practical matter, anybody who thinks that there are political secrets in RI is fooling themselves.

That aside, I can't say I support every point in the document. I do, however, support the process that led to the draft, and I support the hard work of the committee who met over the course of many months to debate every single word that is in it. I will be voting for it not because it is perfect, but because it is the collective best effort of a diverse and thoughtful group of my partisans.

I get that it is not in our nature to support collectives or decisions made by committee, but that is what a party does. Once you win an election, then you get to make the rules. Getting there is a democratic process and requires consensus. (And, by the way, if the RIGOP was a dictatorship, it would have read like some anarcho-capitalist white paper from the Cato Institute.)

I am also comfortable that it will be a good tool for our candidates. You should all know by now that I enjoy taking a hard line on issues, and I agree that Rhode Island voters are ready for Republicans to act like Republicans when it comes to rolling back the size of government. It will be up to the RIGOP to impose that sort of message discipline on our candidates, and without a platform to work from, that becomes extremely difficult.

A platform is tool to help win elections, not an encyclopedia of republican values. I hope you will all consider supporting it, if for no other reason than that a committee of your Republican peers thinks it will help us win some seats next year. (And, perhaps, will help make my reign a little less atrocious . . . )

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" would have read like some anarcho-capitalist white paper from the Cato Institute."

Wow! Spoken like a true radical Obamist. I'm really surprised he didn't follow that up by calling Ed Crane a "cocky wacko".

This really seals the deal. When the Republican Party chair can insult the Cato Institute, we truly no longer have a Republican Party.

Sounds like Gio has a problem with Capitalism. No wonder he's not all that enthusiastic about his own party's platform.

I'm beginning to believe it is more likely Gio Ciccione is a Democrat spy than he is a Republican.

Posted by: George at November 19, 2009 11:45 AM

When I see the head of the RIGOP referring to the Cato Institute as an "anarcho-capitalist" operation, it is fully understandable why they are in such dire straits.
We can now add Gio Ciccione to the list of traitors to Republican ideals. Thanks for making it so obvious. Why don't you just resign?
Lest anyone think that the reason the Republican party is in disarray is due to their failure to become some big tent, the reality is they don't stand for anything that real Republicans yearn for. Sort of like the guys going out to meet some chicks and finding out they're in a gay bar. It's just not what they are looking for.

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at November 19, 2009 11:47 AM

You guys are so far off-base, you're playing ice hockey.

Gio worked for the Cato Institute for several years. During the very first Violent Roundtable I did on the Matt Allen show, Gio was also on the panel. The only point we had a major disagreement on was alternative fuels. I'd like to see the government mandate making automobile engines ethanol-compatible (the cost would be about $100 per engine). Gio opposes this, arguing that if the market hasn't produced this outcome, the government shouldn't mandate it.

Like RI-RA describes itself as the Republican wing of the Republican party, in libertarian circles, anarcho-capitialist is a term that those who consider themselves the libertarian wing of libertarianism use to describe themselves, and the fact that it doesn't process with you guys that a Rhode Island GOP leader might have a serious libertarian streak says more about the past leadership than it does about the current leadership.

Posted by: Andrew at November 19, 2009 12:00 PM

Folks - you misunderstand. As noted above, I used to work at Cato, and I still support them financially. My point was that if I was going to put out a platform that I alone wrote, it would look like something written at Cato.

And yes, "anarcho-capitalist" is a compliment...

Posted by: Gio at November 19, 2009 12:09 PM

I'll accept the explanation. I'm not one to urge "caution", but when attempting to deliver straight-talk, one might consider making things clear.

I was never on a radio show discussing the waste of good corn. So I would't know the background. But that statement reads like an insult to the Cato Institute.

The background I am more familiar with is the past and present direction, composition and results of the RI Republican Party which more closely fits with my initial understanding of this statement as well as my immediate correlation to the well known "cocky wacko" statement made by a very recent hero of the RIGOP elite.

Posted by: George at November 19, 2009 12:58 PM

OK, as I re-read it, and hear what you say, I now see how you meant it. But, Gio, you have the communication problem, when people don't understand what you say, or are trying to say.

I stick with the rest of my comments.

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at November 19, 2009 1:00 PM

Heh, if you want to see communication problems, read the last four or five press releases to come from the RI GOP. Every single one of them has had at least one typo or grammatical error. Why?!? Doesn't anyone proofread those things? I even responded to "lvargas" who it seems sends them, and asked about them, but never got a response other than future press releases with still more typos and grammatical errors.

Posted by: Patrick at November 19, 2009 1:04 PM

The responses by George and Mike are similar to posts I've seen in other forums. I think it's a symptom of an epidemic:

The news is so consistently bad and getting worse both domestic and foreign, and the Obamunists and other extreme Leftists in the Administration are so far off the charts in their anti-Americanism, using their Alinsky-style strategy of throwing more $#1T at us from all directions until it feels like the upper levels of Tetris, that many of us find it hard even to recognize, much less take, a joke.

Posted by: BobN at November 19, 2009 1:24 PM


The image of continuing waves of bailouts and stimulus-packages ending up like the top-levels of a Tetris game is a brilliant analogy.

Posted by: Andrew at November 19, 2009 2:17 PM


Thank you. It's more than corrupt bailouts and porkulus. It's the multiple sneaky ways they are pushing gun control, the extreme leftist judges they are putting up for the Court of Appeals (see Indiana), the threats against media organizations, the demonization of their opponents, the extension of welfare unemployment payments to ensure that the maximum number of voters are abjectly dependent on the government, the hidden taxes in nearly every bill, the most blatantly corrupt earmarks, the conversion of the NEA (which should be shut down anyway)into a propaganda machine, the snubbing and desertion of our most loyal allies and cozying up to the world's most despicable thugs...I'll stop here but could go on all night. And I have the Tom Clupny fundraiser to get to this evening.

Posted by: BobN at November 19, 2009 4:43 PM

There is one essential flaw in the draft RIGOP Platform that should make it unacceptable regardless of its content: The Platform Committee chairman refused to follow the RIGOP ByLaws, which require use of Robert's Rules of Order. If I were still on the State Committee, I would make a point of order to have the Platform Committee's draft Platform ruled "out of order." I would also move to have the committee reconstituted of members who would agree to use Robert's Rules of Order. The current "path" of the RIGOP will make them look like hypocrites, when they can't follow the "rule of law" as in their own ByLaws but are eager to tell others to respect the "rule of law."

Posted by: David Anderson at November 19, 2009 10:55 PM

I will not be at the state committee meeting on December 8Th,. My concerns are this Mr. Robert Manning, the Chair essentially or totally did this platform, and input from other committee members was not permitted. If this is NOT true, Mr. Manning should explain how he accepted input from others and how the process was conducted.
I hope Gio would recruit another person to Chair this committee if the proposed platform is voted down. In addition a hearing of interested Republicans and possibly public input before the platform committee adopts a final product before a state committee vote.
I understand platform committee members were not treated well by Mr. Manning.
In closing, alterations to the platform should be permitted if the voting members so chose, instead or an "all or nothing" vote! Preferably the vote should be delayed until 2010 so state committee members can reflect on the platform.

Posted by: Scott Bill Hirst at November 21, 2009 11:48 AM