2020 News & Press

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Building the Movement - America's Youth Celebrate 100 Years of Women's Suffrage

We wanted to provide a reminder of the recent announcement from the Office of the First Lady Melania Trump regarding Building the Movement: America’s Youth Celebrate 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage, an exhibit honoring the centennial anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment which gave American women the right to vote. We hope that you will share information about this initiative in your communities. The exhibit will launch this August (2020) and will showcase artwork by young Americans depicting this historic milestone. To create this exhibit, the First Lady is asking students in grades 3-12 from across the United States and its territories for submissions depicting individuals, objects, and events representing the women’s suffrage movement. One submitted artwork will be chosen from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, America Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The artwork will appear alongside images of women’s suffrage parades, marches, and gatherings that took place at or around the White House. The deadline for submission is July 6. All applicants will receive a thank you note signed by the First Lady, thanking them for their participation in this special exhibit honoring the women's suffrage movement.

 

Click Here to Participate


Rhode Island Republican Party Withdraws Endorsement for Allen Waters

Today the Executive Committee of the Rhode Island Republican Party met and voted to pull the party’s endorsement of candidate Allen Waters for United States Senate. The meeting was called to review Mr. Waters’ endorsement, after reports surfaced that Mr. Waters had been involved in a domestic disturbance in March 2019. This decision overturns the vote by the State Central Committee on June 8, 2020.

Rhode Island GOP Chairwoman Sue Cienki commented: “Due to the restrictions on in-person gatherings instituted by the Governor, we were forced to have our June convention on Zoom. This eliminated a lot of the conversation amongst our committee members that would normally take place in person. Specifically, the fact that the nominating committee had not recommended endorsement.


Former RI Representative Anthony Giarrusso Announces Reelection Bid to Restore Community Priorities at State House

Today, former State Representative Anthony Giarrusso announces his bid for re-election to the Rhode Island House of Representatives --District 30, serving East Greenwich and West Greenwich, a seat he held from 2012-2018. Representative Giarrusso is a Republican, seeking to regain the seat currently occupied by Democrat Justine Caldwell.

“Rhode Island has suffered at the hands of a single, largely unopposed party on Smith Hill that has held an 85% majority in the General Assembly since the mid-1950’s. For the past two years, the so-called “reformer” representative for our District joined the special interests in supporting legislation that hurt our community’s economic growth and fiscal stability. For instance, despite calls from the Town Council and pleas from concerned constituents, she voted against their wishes in support of the Evergreen Bill in 2019 – a bill that ‘handcuffs’ town administrators, and favors the unions, inevitably leading to property-tax increases. I am compelled to rejoin the growing opposition voice to change the status quo government that benefits the connected and as a result, strains the resources of our municipalities. I am honored to step up once again to provide authentic representation in government concerns and responsive solutions to constituent issues.”


Juneteenth – A Look Back and a Vision Forward

Today, June 19, 2020 marks the 155th anniversary of Union army general Gordon Granger’s announcement of federal orders in Galveston, TX proclaiming that all slaves in Texas were free. Though Republican President Abraham Lincoln issued an executive order freeing all slaves in his Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, Texas, due to it’s remote location and small presence of Union troops was slow and inconsistent with the observance and enforcement of the new law.

Now known as “Juneteenth”, this day is a celebration started 155 years ago that the scourge of slavery had finally been lifted in America. The struggle for civil rights and a full realization of our founding ideals as a nation was only just beginning, work that continues to this day.


THE RESULTS OF THE RI MAIL BALLOT ELECTION: WASTE AND INCOMPETENCE

For this inconsequential election, Rhode Island’s election officials decided to spend $458,000 sending out mail ballot applications to 779,463 voters, including those listed as inactive. In response, about 150,000 mail ballot applications were received by the Board of Elections (BOE). However, other completed applications were lost. Although mail ballot applications had come in weeks earlier, many voters did not start receiving their ballots until about a week before the election. As a result, some voters got their mail ballots with little time to send them back. So far, the BOE has received about 92,000 mail ballots. The results of this election may not be known for weeks. The Rhode Island Republican Party has the following comments:

“While we won’t know the results of this flawed election any time soon, we already know this election has resulted in waste and incompetence.

In April, we stated that a predominantly mail ballot election was unnecessary because by June public health restrictions would likely be relaxed. Instead, the Secretary of State went ahead and wasted taxpayer money by sending mail ballot applications to every voter, even inactive voters, although most voters were not interested in this primary election. Because of the push to vote in this election by mail, more people than usual voted by mail. This, in turn, is likely causing the BOE to spend large amounts of money on temporary staff to process this influx of mail ballots. Never in Rhode Island history was so much money wasted on such an unimportant election.


EMBARRASSING ETHICS COMMISSION

Today, the Ethics Commission rejected the recommendation of its own staff and decided that the revolving door prohibition does not apply to Senator Erin Lynch Prata in her campaign to be a Rhode Island Supreme Court judge. 
RI GOP Chairwoman Sue Cienki commented: “The majority of the Ethics Commission should be embarrassed. It rejected a well-reasoned opinion of its own staff. A Supreme Court judgeship is not an elected constitutional office; it is an appointed position. By opening the revolving door for legislators to go directly to the Supreme Court, a majority on the Ethics Commission voted to go back to the corrupt judicial selection politics that existed a generation ago when two consecutive Chief Justices, who were former legislators, resigned in disgrace.” 

FRIAS: THE REVOLVING DOOR SHOULD NOT BE OPENED FOR LYNCH PRATA

In comments filed today with the Ethics Commission, R.I. Republican National Committeeman Steven Frias explains that neither R.I. Gen. Laws § 36-14-5(o) or Ethics Commission Regulation 1.52 (36-14-5007) permit legislators to seek or be appointed to the Supreme Court until one year after he or she has left office. The exception to the revolving door prohibition in R.I. Gen. Laws § 36-14-5(o)(4) regarding “a state elected official … seeking or being elected for any other constitutional office” does not apply to an appointment to be a Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court because these justices are not elected by the public and since 1994 they are no longer elected by the Grand Committee of the General Assembly. He also explains if Lynch Prata’s interpretation is adopted, it will represent, at least, a partial return to the embarrassing judicial selection politics of an earlier era and may lead to further undermining of the revolving door ban for other judicial appointments in the future.

Here is an excerpt:


Help Secure Our Elections – Join Our EDO Team!

In these uncertain times, one thing remains clear – the security and integrity of our elections are paramount to our way of life. Volunteering for President Trump and the Rhode Island Republican Party during the mail ballot process, on election day, or during ballot counting is a great way to ensure a fair and honest election.

Our Election Day Operation (EDO) is designed to ensure that everyone that is legally entitled to vote has the opportunity to vote, ONCE! As an EDO volunteer, you will be trained on the elections laws of Rhode Island. You do not have to be a lawyer, you just have to know the rules and we will provide an organized network of assistance to all of our volunteers. Once you are trained, we will coordinate getting you credentialed to work the upcoming election.


THE DO NOTHING, MAKE EXCUSES ETHICS COMMISSION

The R.I. Republican Party issues the following statement as to the dismal of the complaint filed against Governor Gina Raimondo:

“We are disappointed by the decision of the Ethics Commission. Governor Gina Raimondo and lobbyist Donald Sweitzer worked together as Chairperson and Treasurer to affect and achieve the financial objectives of the Democratic Governors Association (DGA). Sweitzer was called the Treasurer of the DGA in various IRS forms and was referred to as a manager at the DGA. The Ethics Commission ignored this and apparently bought Raimondo’s argument that Sweitzer was not the Treasurer at the DGA because someone else, acting on Sweitzer’s behalf, handled the DGA’s bank accounts. In 2019, the DGA raised over $43.5 million. Does the Ethics Commission really believe that Sweitzer did not play an important leadership role in affecting and achieving the DGA’s financial goals in 2019? The Ethics Commission’s decision just makes it easier for politicians and their lobbyist friends to circumvent the Ethics Code.


Have You Received Your Mail Ballot Application Yet? We Need Your Help!

Did you receive your Presidential Preference Primary in the mail yet? Did you receive more than the actual number of people living in your household?

If you did, we are asking for your help.

While it may not seem to be a big deal to use mail ballots during a pandemic, the implications of this can be devastating.

First, these applications are ONLY for the Presidential Preference Primary (which typically sees low turnout, but in a year where it is essentially an uncontested primary in both parties, the participation will be low.) Basically, Biden will be the Democratic nominee, and President Trump will be the GOP nominee.

This is conditioning voters to accept this type of voting as "normal." It is not normal. It is also setting a precedent if there is no push back, this will become the "new normal." When the fall elections come around, the opportunity for election abuse and voter fraud is huge, and can literally change the outcome of elections all the way from town council, General Assembly, General officers, even Congress.