April 15, 2012
Gemma's Back in the Race
Local businessman Anthony Gemma formally announced his bid for Congress today in CD1. He'll be running as a Democrat and facing off with David Cicilline in a primary this fall, I think. You'd never know who his opponent is though by his speech on Sunday. According to reports filed by Ted Nesi and Ian Donnis, Gemma never named his primary opponent and saved his barbs for Republican Brendan Doherty.
(He) left public service as soon as he became eligible for his state pension. … Brendan Doherty lives in a public sector bubble.So does the Democrat Gemma oppose public sector pensions? Does he not think that the public employees deserve a pension? Plus, didn't Doherty leave public service as soon as his supervisor, Governor Chafee, expressed the opinion that illegal immigration can actually be a good thing for a community? It seemed the new Governor's stance on Secure Communities might have had more to do with Doherty deciding to leave his position than anything about having a fully vested pension.
How long has Gemma considered running for this seat? I'm assuming it was more than just Sunday. So then why can't he offer any substance to his proposals?
[Gemma] is "most equipped - and therefore most likely - to create thousands of well-paying jobs in Rhode Island and, by extension, in the United States." He promised more details in the weeks to come but said his proposals would include a plan to make college more affordable.More details in the weeks to come? He's had two years to come up with these details and this is what we get?
Gemma also talked big about creating jobs and transforming how members of Congress do their jobs. The details, he said, will be forthcomingI'm glad this speech was planned so well ahead. Additionally, Sam Howard noted
Thus Mr. Gemma introduced that his candidacy would run under the theme of the “New Idea”. However, he did not once say what that New Idea would be, leaving the door open to speculation.Why not wait until you have at least some details to offer in the speech?
Maybe another example of Gemma's lack of preparation was the fact that he refused to take any questions from the media in attendance. Ted Nesi noted
[Gemma] quickly got into his SUV and departed. A supporter criticized members of the media for following Gemma to ask questions, saying they'd "chased him away" from his kickoff event.
So here we have a Congressional candidate that can be "chased away" by a few local media members? I've met Nesi and Donnis and while they may be very scary characters (not really), I would think that if Gemma can't take the heat of a couple questions from them, he may not quite be ready for the spotlight and the heat of the public scrutiny given to a Congressman.
We'll have the next five months to see if he handles the media any better, and to see what those details are on creating jobs, making college more affordable and what is the new idea?