I’m mentioned in today’s Providence Journal Political Scene as the right-wing branch of a broad consensus that Governor Gina Raimondo is inappropriately using public funds to promote herself as a politician:
“So … Raimondo used taxpayer funds for what smells an awful lot like a campaign ad. Like what Chris Christie did,” tweeted Sam Bell, state coordinator for the Rhode Island Progressive Democrats of America. (“Agree 100% with Sam. Both the video and its prominent placement on the public Web site are inappropriate,” said Ocean State Current blogger Justin Katz.)
Raimondo Communications Director Joy Fox declares this a new media thing, but it’s not. New media is just the pretense to completely eviscerate the etiquette that politicians should at least look for some pretense to promote themselves — as with former Providence Mayor Angel Taveras putting his face on a Rt. 95 bulletin board to welcome a new musical to the city or the Taveras–David Cicilline practice of putting their names on Graffiti Task Force vans that drive around the city.
Such affronts are rarely mentioned, naturally, when politicians like, umm, David Cicilline work to limit the amount of money that their opponents can bring to bear in political races (generally known as “campaign finance reform”). When you’ve got the advantage that other people, including taxpayers, pay to have your face and name plastered everywhere in which your voters can be found, it’s surely desirable to impede your opposition’s ability to collect enough money to compete.