2019 NEWS & PRESS
In an opinion column, entitled “On business climate, Rhode Island still ranks at the bottom” published this week in the Cranston Herald, Warwick Beacon, and Johnston Sunrise, R.I. Republican National Committeeman Steven Frias discusses a recently created economic development program and how CNBC ranked Rhode Island as having the worst business climate in the nation.
Here is an excerpt:Read more
Today, the Ethics Commission dismissed the complaint made by the RI GOP regarding State Senator Valerie Lawson's conflict of interest related to her position as Vice President of the National Education Association Rhode Island.
“We are disappointed by the decision of the Ethics Commission. Senator Lawson is a paid officer of the NEARI. She sponsored, advocated and voted for legislation that was supported by a lobbyist of the NEARI at a hearing of the Senate Labor Committee." says RI GOP Chair Sue Cienki.Read more
Today, Rhode Island Public Radio reported that a majority of Providence Democratic politicians’ children attend either private or charter schools. Governor Gina Raimondo declared that: “Every parent should make the decision that they think is best for their kid and not apologize for it”. While she and other Democratic politicians are able to send their children to charter or private schools, thousands of parents are forced to send their children to a Providence public school system which has received national attention as one of the worst in the country.Read more
In recent interviews, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello referred to the Rhode Island Lottery, which is controlled by Governor Gina Raimondo, as having an “incestuous” relationship with IGT. He also stated he was putting “heat” on Gerald Aubin, the executive director of the Lottery. However, Mattiello also indicated he was holding hearings on and was open to supporting legislation which would allow Raimondo’s Lottery to enter into a new no-bid twenty-year contract with IGT.Read more
In an opinion column, entitled “The Impending Decline of Rhode Island Casinos” published this week in the Cranston Herald, Warwick Beacon and Johnston Sunrise, R.I. Republican National Committeeman Steven Frias argues that the Rhode Island’s casinos are in decline and therefore it would be unwise avoid locking taxpayers into a no-bid contract which would give IGT 85 percent of video slot machines at Rhode Island casinos.
Here is an excerpt:Read more
The Rhode Island GOP is pleased that the Ethics Commission will investigate Governor Gina Raimondo for the special treatment her administration has shown IGT while Raimondo and Donald Sweitzer, a lobbyist for IGT, have been associates in the Democratic Governors Association. In the past, the Ethics Commission has investigated and fined public officials like Governor Edward DiPrete and House Speaker Gordon Fox when they used their public office to favor their business associates. We hope the Ethics Commission will treat Raimondo the same as way they treated DiPrete and Fox.
Meanwhile we call upon the General Assembly to refrain from voting on any legislation which favors IGT while the Ethics Commission is investigating Raimondo’s behavior in this matter. The people of Rhode Island deserve to know all the facts about the Raimondo-Sweitzer-IGT connection before any legislator is asked to vote on a 20 year, $1 billon no-bid contract for IGT.
Governor Gina Raimondo has entered into a no-bid 20 year billion-dollar agreement with IGT without going out to competitive bid. In addition, the R.I. Lottery, which is under Governor Raimondo’s control, agreed that IGT, the current provider of in-person sports betting, be allowed to handle all online sports betting without going through a new competitive bid process. Governor Raimondo and IGT lobbyist Donald Sweitzer are both officers of the Democratic Governors Association and therefore are business associates under the Rhode Island Ethics Code. Sweitzer has lobbied in favor of a new long-term agreement between IGT and the State of Rhode Island. Also, Sweitzer is probably a shareholder of IGT. Governor Gina Raimondo appears to have violated R.I.G.L §§ 36-14-5(d), and 36-14-5(h). Accordingly, Special Counsel for the R.I. Republican Party, Brandon S Bell, has filed a complaint with the R.I. Ethics Commission against Governor Gina Raimondo.
An excerpt from the Memorandum in Support of the Complaint:Read more
RI REPUBLICAN PARTY CHALLENGES THE VOTER REGISTRATION OF RAIMONDO APPOINTEE TO THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION
The Rhode Island Republican Party has filed a challenge today at the Barrington Board of Canvassers against the voter registration and eligibility of Governor Gina Raimondo’s appointee to lead the RI Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Appointee Laura Olton is a Massachusetts resident who registered to vote at her cousin’s house in Barrington last month shortly after it was flagged by the Providence Journal that she was not a qualified elector in the State of Rhode Island.Read more
In an opinion column, entitled “Finding a Backbone to Support a Line-Item Veto” published this week in the Cranston Herald and Warwick Beacon, R.I. Republican National Committeeman Steven Frias cites the example Cranston chiropractor Victor Pedro in support of adopting a line-item veto.
Here are some excerpts:Read more
Rhode Island’s new budget will demand about $9.97 billion dollars from the taxpayers this year. This equates to over $9,000 per person. By comparison, the Massachusetts state budget asks about $6,000 per person, and New Hampshire about $5,000 per person. On WPRO recently, Speaker Nicholas Mattiello denied that the state budget was “too big” and said “I don’t know where to cut it”.Read more