August 23, 2010

Robert Healey, On the Diffusion of his Lieutenant Governor's Platform

Carroll Andrew Morse

At Saturday's Tenth Amendment rally at the Rhode Island Statehouse, I had the chance to interview Robert Healey on a number of different subjects. The crassly-political subject was his candidacy for Lieutenant Governor. I asked Mr. Healey about what he thought of the fact that both Republican candidate Heidi Rogers and Democratic candidate Jeremy Kapstein seem to have adopted modified versions of his we-can-eliminate-the-office platform...

"It's very interesting. I think that Heidi Rogers, the Republican candidate, understands the concept of limited government and is embracing that idea. And I think that Jeremy Kapstein, in the radio debate the other day, indicated that if the Governor and the legislature don't give him the jobs portfolio, or an economic development portfolio for him to carry out, he sees the office as worthless too..." Audio: 1 min 3 sec

"[Mr. Kapstein] is always saying 'Well, Mr. Healey can't abolish the office by himself, it will take a Constitutional amendment'; he'll say 'Constitutional Convention', which is wrong, it will take a Constitutional amendment. I have never, ever indicated that I can do this individually...I can make sure that without a staff and without pay it is in essence abolished..."Audio: 44 sec

"But he's pretty clear that the Lieutenant Governor has no function and is just really a waste of time, energy and effort, if he doesn't have [the job portfolio]. And if you think of the logic, ok, don't give me the job portfolio, then I'll have nothing to do. Well, that means that he doesn't have the job portfolio now, ergo, there is nothing to do...It's a million dollars a year. It's a waste of money..."Audio: 55 sec
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Bob Healey and Chris Young are arguably among the most colorful, different, and interesting political personalities in Rhode Island.
I do not suggest by that they are the same or identical but they are out of the ordinary among political personalities.Bob Healey also produces some interesting campaign items. Chris Young you always wonder what he'll do.
The Straight facts are this: A number of states include Maine and New Hampshire have no Lieutenant Governor. Another Arizona does not have the office. Jan Brewer, (R), succeeded from Secretary of State when Janet Napolitiano, (D), the Governor resigned. However in another perspective New Jersey just created the office and now has a Lt. Governor.
The real issue would be should a legislative leader such as Senate President or Speaker of The House be first in line to succed a Gubernatorial vacancy or someone like the Secretary of State?
Kara Russo, Chris Young's girlfriend is running in a Republican primary for Lt. Governor against Heidi Rogers. Kara is also running against State Rep. John Loughlin for U.S. House, First District.
I am not really familiar with Heidi Rogers. I am interested in how she became a candidate. Was she recruited to block Bob Tingle who did not qualify for the ballot is something I am interested in hearing about?
As some of you know I gave Bob's nominating speech at the GOP state convention on my birthday no less.

Posted by: Scott Bill Hirst at August 23, 2010 11:10 AM

BTW The General Assembly would have to put a Constitutional Amendment on the ballot to eliminate the office of Lieutenant Governor. Even with support and done quickly, it would take a few years to eliminate it. Also a Constitutional Convention to elimnate it would take longer.

Posted by: Scott Bill Hirst at August 23, 2010 11:40 AM

But without someone like Bob Healey championing the issue, it'll never happen.

If Healey is elected, we'll get at least four years with the same effect as the office being abolished. He won't take a dime from the state. His only task will be to drum up support to eliminate the office by any means necessary.

Sounds pretty good to me!

Posted by: Patrick at August 23, 2010 2:17 PM
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