July 19, 2011

The Latest Wave of RI Republicans

Justin Katz

Somehow I don't find this surprising:

He is running as a Republican, but most of former State Police Colonel Brendan Doherty's biggest supporters are major Democratic donors, according to a GoLocalProv review of his first campaign finance report, filed last week. ...

* Nearly two thirds of the donors did not donate to a single Republican statewide candidate in the 2010 election cycle.
* Of the remaining third that did, all but a handful poured much more money into Democratic campaigns than Republican ones, donating to one or two token GOP candidates.
* About a third of the donors backed Democrat Frank Caprio in his bid for governor.

Add in this:

Barry Hinckley, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, has a new — and for now, unpaid — press secretary: Nicholas Cicchitelli, of Jamestown.

Cicchitelli, interestingly, comes with some Democratic credentials: he was an executive assistant to former state General Treasurer Frank T. Caprio and volunteered on Caprio's failed bid for governor last year. Before that, he volunteered on then-North Providence Mayor A. Ralph Mollis' successful 2006 bid for secretary of state. Farther back, Cicchitelli says, he interned in the D.C. office of U.S. Sen. Jack Reed.

RI's Republicans will have to take careful looks at their candidates during primary season.

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Why? For instance, Caprio was one of the best Republicans we have in the RI Democratic Party.

Posted by: Russ at July 19, 2011 12:47 PM

I see this a little differently. I've run into a great many registered Democrats around the state who tell me that they actually lean conservative and will sometimes vote for the Republican. They're registered as Democrats because there are often primaries on the D side and nothing on the R side. So they register as a D and then get to vote in the primary. Then in the general election, they can still vote for whoever they want.

I don't think it's a major tide, but I think there is some turning of the tide where people smell weakness and are willing to step over to the side that actually feels more like home but they were previously afraid to label themselves that way. Does that make them cowards? Maybe, but that's the way it is.

Posted by: Patrick at July 19, 2011 1:05 PM

You have to take the term Republican with a huge grain of salt when you step anywhere in southern New England ( and larger and larger parts of Northern New England too, but that's another story).

Are these candidates RINO's? we'll see.

As for conservative leaning registered DEMs... I know a few myself, but I think most of them don't realize that they actually have conservative views. They've grown up in this state where EVERYONE is a DEM and if you label yourself with an R you're considered an ultra conservative BFF of Rush.

Time will tell how this pans out, it will be interesting.

As far as Cicciline, you could probably run Elmer Fudd against him and win this coming election.

Posted by: stuckhereinri at July 19, 2011 2:05 PM

No Russ, despite some conservative leanings Caprio was all Democrat when as a member of the GA he helped that punk Joe D. divert pension contributions to plug the budget and as the GT, did nothing to resolve the unfunded liabilities in the pension system.

Posted by: Max Diesel at July 19, 2011 6:07 PM

Doherty approaches everything from a brain-dead law enforcement/top-down perspective. His solution is that government should simply help everyone and fix all of RI's problems. Oh, but when he's in charge, it will magically work correctly because he will prevent fraud, even though none of the underlying governmental causes of the fraud have been addressed. Another unthinking "hang 'em high" Erik Wallin clone - awesome candidates, RIGOP.

Posted by: Dan at July 19, 2011 9:21 PM

What is a "RINO" or "DINO" anyway? What makes someone one? Do you have to agree 100%, to the letter with everything on the Republican or Democratic platform in order to NOT be a RINO or DINO? Is there anyone who agrees 100% with the party's platform? How much can you disagree with before you're a RINO or DINO? None? 10%, 20%? Why do people just love throwing that term out there? I'm guessing someone earns that term when they're "less of a Republican/Democrat than me".

Yet another reason to hate the two-party system and the need to either abolish political parties entirely, or expand to many parties.

Posted by: Patrick at July 20, 2011 8:27 AM

"What is a "RINO" or "DINO" anyway? What makes someone one?"

We just know it when we see it, Patrick ...

Posted by: Monique at July 20, 2011 11:02 PM

I wouldn't worry about Barry Hinckley. If he's a RINO, it's because he's first a conservative. I've known him for years and can vouch for him. He's pretty accessible so go meet him and ask him hard questions.

Posted by: Andy at July 21, 2011 7:13 AM

Monique finds politics very simple. Just determine which color jersey a person wears and if they are on her team she can then jump around shaking her pom poms. No deep thinking required.

Posted by: Phil at July 23, 2011 12:32 PM

Golocalprov clearly did not dive deep enough into the figures. The amount of Caprio supporters that gave to Doherty was more like 2/3 than 1/3. In addition, 75% of the donors are clearly democrats with many of them donating to Cicilline over the years. The people behind the scenes helping Doherty reads like a who's who of Caprio supporters! To a Republican this one really doesn't pass the smell test. It appears the dems are working both sides of the ticket to hedge their bets.

Posted by: John at July 26, 2011 6:49 AM
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