January 29, 2010

Jeffrey Deckman: A Clarification

Engaged Citizen

I noticed some confusion surrounding my recent remarks pertaining to the distinctions between the RISC Business Network and the Tea Party.

Unfortunately, communications in, and with, the media require a level of forced brevity at times. I appreciate the opportunity to provide some clarification on my statements.

My point is this: The Tea Party has been highly effective at mobilizing people and helping them to get in the political debate as individuals. My understanding is that they educate folks on what is going on and assists them to get their message out and for it to be heard loud and clear. For that they are to be commended for playing a role in helping people to become more involved in the political process. I think any group with any political leanings who accomplishes this task is doing something good for the people and for our state. I also believe they will be an effective force in helping to increase voter turn out, which is also a good thing Rhode Island.

However, where they differ from the RISC Business Network (not to be confused with RISC, the umbrella organization) is that their effort is primarily focused upon energizing the individual, whereas the RISC Business Network is a multi-partisan effort focused specifically upon the owners of small and medium-sized businesses. Business owners have a different set of concerns than do non–business owners. While they have much common ground with the average taxpayer, their specific interests extend into other areas. So the RISC Business Network is designed to address the needs of that specific constituency.

Another area in which I see a distinction between the two efforts is that any candidates who would like to engage us will be vetted on several levels to determine if they are pro-business and the likelihood of their being able to run competitive campaigns. If they become "investment grade" candidates, we will make that information available to the small business community.

The next step in our process is that we are also galvanizing the small business community and encouraging them to make pledges of support to candidates whom they agree are worthy. It is reasonable to think that some of the candidates they support will be on our list and some may not be. But as long as small business owners are more engaged in the process, we feel the result will be more pro-business candidates' being elected to the General Assembly.

In this capacity, we are a conduit for information to flow between candidates and "funders," which should result in well-funded campaigns for pro–small business candidates.

The final distinction I will make is that our group is narrowly focused on the General Assembly. The Tea Party movement addresses issues on a much wider scale. They are heavily involved in national issues and the Congressional races as well as statewide issues, and I am assuming they may be involved in local matters that are of concern to them.

So, while the Tea Party may also be affecting elections, it will be using a different model, will be focused on races on different levels of government, and is focused on mobilizing individuals first, whereas we are focused upon those who own small businesses in Rhode Island and the General Assembly races.

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Thanks for the clarification, Jeff. Want to point out that the last paragraph of your clarification would have worked just fine when you provided a statement for People's Projo article. You really should have known better given your years in politics.

Posted by: Lisa at January 29, 2010 10:03 AM

While I appreciate the good will expressed in Jeff's clarification, it would be useful for him to communicate with the RI Tea Party folks so that he can be fairly informed of the mission and scope of the Tea Party's action plan.

Jeff is right that the Tea Party is involved in national, state and local level issues. There is also a difference in tactics: as I understand it, the RISC Business Network is more about money, and the Tea Party has been more about volunteer manpower and spreading the message to friends and neighbors, as well as other forms of political action beyond elections.

No one expects the various organizations in the conservative movement to make a formal alliance. It's enough for me that we share the same core beliefs about the American way and are pulling in the same direction.

Posted by: BobN at January 29, 2010 10:08 AM

Thank you for the clarification, as well. I thought there was a lot more to the story, and it turned out to be a whole lot more. Just keep doing what you are doing. A rising tide lifts all boats.

As long as the lines of communication remain open, or if they can be opened further, that will leave a lot less assuming to do on everybody's part.

Posted by: Will at January 29, 2010 11:55 AM

Jeff, how are you going to handle your own personal clients that paid you in 2008 as their political consultants? In other words, the fact that a Republican candidate paid for your service in 2008, does this mean you are obligated to promote that candidate again ? Sounds like the personal consulting is a conflict

Posted by: Sandy at January 29, 2010 3:48 PM


forget about 2008. I have a real hard time
investing in anything that is led by people who despite being a part of the problem keep showing up with such frequency.

Would you buy a computer from someone who up until yesterday was still trying to sell you on the merits of typewriters?

I wouldn't. And neither would I as a small business owner invest my hard earned money with the RISC business network. Based on pure results, I'd be more willing to shell out a few
hundred bucks to the tea party.

This is the problem with RI: we have a shallow talent pool. On the left, we have people that become entrenched in a state patronage system who shouldn't be there. On the right we have people like deckman who are somehow able to repackage the same BS over and over again to a new unsuspectkng group/person.

Well, it's time to turn the page; time to throw the bums out. We need new voices and new leadership in the state. That goes for both the elected politicians and the incumbent non-politicians like certain RIGOP retreads.

Posted by: Ben at January 29, 2010 6:49 PM

"the fact that a Republican candidate paid for your service in 2008, does this mean you are obligated to promote that candidate again ?"

... um, while I may harbor appreciation and fond memories for my prior employer, when the checks stopped coming, I stopped working for them.

Posted by: Monique at January 29, 2010 6:49 PM


I want to know what you think about comments such as this written by BobN someone who you may know and may be a member of RISC and the RI teaparty.

One more despicable aspect of this unAmerican President. BobN

Why do you write that this President is unAmerican?

Posted by Phil at January 28, 2010 4:48 PM

Posted by: Phil at January 29, 2010 8:34 PM

Is this what you've been stalking me about?

Progressivism, which has its roots in the same German intellectual compost as the European totalitarian movements, is by definition unAmerican. And this President is a thoroughly indoctrinated, Marxist, Alinskyite Progressive. To ice the cake, the early leaders of American Progressivism, including T. Roosevelt and W. Wilson, were explicit in their rejection of and contempt for the Constitution. So there are two reasons.

This President in league with ACORN and the SEIU, is carrying out the Cloward-Piven strategy which advocates a deliberate collapse of the social system in order to replace it with a Marxist "people's republic". That is by definition unAmerican.

As I said before, I have already written extensively on this topic. I will do so again. So keep reading my posts if you want more education. Or do a little research and learn the history for yourself.

Jeez, maybe I should charge tuition.

Those of us who still believe in the Founders' conception of America

Posted by: BobN at January 29, 2010 10:19 PM

So, BobN, by that definition, would you say that there are Senators and Congresspersons who are unAmerican?

Posted by: Monique at January 29, 2010 11:20 PM


Thank you finally for an answer. But this is not a sentence.

"Those of us who still believe in the Founders' conception of America "

What are you trying to say?

Posted by: Phil at January 30, 2010 6:43 AM

Monique: Yes, I would say that anyone who purposely tries to infect America with the European disease of Marxist tyranny is unAmerican.

I know it sounds extreme but to me there is no compromise between good and evil. As Ayn Rand said, if you have a plate of food and a plate of poison and create a compromise, you still end up dead.

Posted by: BobN at January 30, 2010 8:50 AM

Jeff Deckman as a consultant for RISC receives how much of the money from the business network ?
And then Jeff Deckman operates as a political consultant to Republican candidates for office as he did in 2008. How does a pro business Democrat benefit from Jeff Deckman's personal agenda to get Republican candidates elected ?

Posted by: Sandy at February 5, 2010 8:55 AM
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