As a quick follow-up to my post on Ted Nesi’s look at the meager details available on the forthcoming Brookings Institution plan to turn Rhode Island toward the radically new direction of socialism,* I checked out the campaign donations of the folks providing funding for the study, whom Nesi lists in this paragraph:
The $1.3 million is coming from a small group of backers: the Rhode Island Foundation; another local nonprofit that has yet to be publicly identified; The Fascitelli Foundation, a nonprofit endowed by the wealthy real-estate executive Michael D. Fascitelli, a Rhode Island native; Mark Gallogly, a Rhode Island native and hedge fund executive, and his wife, Lise Strickler; Stephen Mugford, an executive with Capitol One Financial Corp. in Boston, and his wife, Kristin; and Thomas R. Wall, another private equity executive, and his wife.
Including Rhode Island Foundation President Neil Steinberg’s $1,000 gift to her last year, the five listed families have given Governor Gina Raimondo $8,249 in political donations, $6,000 of it in 2014. Fascitelli leads the way, with three $1,000 contributions, with Thomas Wall and Stephen and Kristin Mugford in for $2,000. Mark Gallogly’s $249 in 2010 is the only non-$1,000 amount. Although they all seem to have Rhode Island ties (mostly in Westerly), Steinberg is the only one with a Rhode Island address on his donation.
Raimondo’s policies and, we can assume, the plan that Brookings will lay out, are what we get when very wealthy people decide they need to step in and do society better than society does. That their political philosophy is the core of the problem, in Rhode Island, whether it’s done poorly or with all of the study and structure that can be bought with the money of the 1%, doesn’t matter. Their policies serve their interests and their egos, and at the end of the day, they won’t do the suffering if they fail; in fact, they’ll probably profit.
* Yes, there’s a touch of sarcasm, here.