Man with Pointless Government Job Shows Fear of Opposition


So widely known is the fact that Rhode Island’s lieutenant governor gig is just a six-figure waiting room for politicians that the late Bob Healey gained a significant local following on the promise of eliminating the office from within.  Now the politician who currently occupies that State House bean-bag chair — and who used to actually do something in his job as Cumberland mayor — is showing how afraid he is of losing it.

In a bizarre and embarrassing display, Lieutenant Governor Daniel McKee sent out a press release condemning the Gaspee Project for going after his opposition.  Worse, he spouted dark, untrue allegations about the organization’s funding, which at best indicates his willingness to attack his fellow Rhode Islanders in full knowledge that he has no idea whether what he says is true.

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What a disappointment.  McKee must be very afraid of Rhode Island’s progressives if he’s that willing to discard his integrity and join them in their delusional, divisive rhetoric.  Last month, McKee said he’d campaign by “comparing what I stand for against whoever runs [against] me.”  Well, that must not be going very well if he’s finding that the only way he can grab attention is to run against his opposition’s bogeyman.

I’m not directly involved in Gaspee’s activities, but I’m pretty sure that any support they have shown for McKee is motivated primarily out of opposition to far-left candidate Aaron Regunberg.  It would have been nice to believe that a successful campaign would at least have let a worthwhile politician stay (somewhat) relevant in a useless office.  Now, the unexciting question for voters who don’t want to pay Regunberg $117,637 to continue his career as a professional activist is whether an empty suit can make an impression in a bean bag.

  • Monique Chartier

    Great analysis.

    In addition to Justin’s spot-on points about Lt Gov McKee’s response, what was fascinating about it is that he did not refute anything that the Gaspee mailer said about Rep Regunberg. Between that and the Lt Gov’s hilarious … er, flat-out wrong assertion that Gaspee is funded by the Koch brothers, it appears that truth is now a secondary consideration for the Lt Gov.

    As Justin says, all of this is a bad look for the Lt Gov. He needs to carefully consider whether it is actually worth setting aside truth and HIS OWN INTEGRITY to go down a political rabbit hole that, setting aside for a moment its delusional and destructive nature, may or may not even advance his political career.

  • Rhett Hardwick

    My favorite example of a “Pointless Government Job”. 20 odd years ago I found myself trying to pass time in the Norfolk County registry of Deeds (Massachusetts). I fell upon the “Comparing Room”. Two older women were sitting across from each other at a table. One held an original of a deed, or similar. The other held a photostatic copy of the same. The one with the Photostat was reading it to the other woman, who was holding the original. They were “comparing” it. No doubt they were serving out time until retirement. Having spent some time “comparing documents”, I long ago found that you place one over the other and hold it up to the light.

  • Rhett Hardwick

    Justin is a constituent, he doesn’t have “accountability”. It is the elected people who have it. Have you ever been held “accountable” for your political opinions?

    • guest

      Justin is an elected official. Just because you support his views doesn’t mean you can apply different standard of accountability.

    • BasicCaruso

      True, that. If Justin and the RICFP want to secretly shill for out of state billionaires and large corporate interests, that’s their business. They are shamelessly unaccountable.

      • Mike678

        It’s a free country, is it not oh master of the logical fallacy? After all, it can’t be that SECRET if you and all the other fascist-leaning “I’m afraid of concepts that I have no rational argument to refute” trolls know of it…

  • BasicCaruso

    lol, Gaspee Project was founded by Mike Stenhouse, himself with numerous ties to Koch funded organizations.

    But other than the astroturf founding of the organization there’s no connection! Who can even remember that far back? #kaching

  • BasicCaruso

    Let’s try it this way… how much money or nonmonetary support has Gaspee Project received from the Koch funded RICFP? What other coordination exists between the organizations?
    Stenhouse is also the director of another small government advocacy group, the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity. While he often claims the Gaspee Project and the Center are legally separate, at the initial meeting of the Gaspee Business Network’s initial meeting, he explained how the two entities work together.

    • Justin Katz

      Again… not that it really matters, but the Center is not “Koch funded.”

      • BasicCaruso

        LOL, depends what the definition of “is” is, eh? The ties between RICFP and the Kochs are numerous and not really subject to debate.

        That you feel compelled to deny that speaks volumes about the corrupting influence of out-of-state financiers.
        The largest known funder behind SPN [State Policy Network] and its member think tanks are two closely related funds — DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund… A review of funding from the Donors groups to SPN and its member think tanks reveals that the two Donors groups funneled nearly $50 million to SPN and 55 member think tanks in just the four years between 2008 and 2011. That is a substantial amount of cash flooding into the states to affect state policies and laws…

        In addition to Donors funding, SPN has received significant funding directly from the Koch brothers, either through personal contributions, corporate contributions from Koch Industries, or contributions from one of three Koch family foundations. For example, SPN has received funding from one of the Koch brothers’ Koch Family Foundations, the Claude R. Lambe Foundation, in 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2006.

        • Justin Katz

          I’m not denying anything. You throw words like “shill” around, but the implication is that people are advocating for somebody else’s interests. Working with other organizations that share our ideas is advocating for ideas (or interests, if you prefer) that are shared and founded in multiple motivations.

          • BasicCaruso

            In this case, the word is used because of the lack of disclosure. You feel that secrecy is justified, but it doesn’t change the nature of the activity.

            “A shill, also called a plant or a stooge, is a person who publicly helps or gives credibility to a person or organization without disclosing that they have a close relationship with the person or organization.”