A recent editorial in the Providence Journal comes to the defense of the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse, after his shoddy treatment during a hearing in the RI Senate:
There are limits on how much time a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization can devote to lobbying, but Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Joshua Miller turned those limits into a virtual ban last month when he interrupted and challenged testimony from one group.
Senator Miller, a progressive Democrat, told Mike Stenhouse of the conservative Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity that the committee was “dismissing” his comments because the center should not be expressing opinions on legislation.
This happens periodically. Mike and I received similar treatment by disgraced Rhode Island representative Raymond Gallison, who moved a bill in which we had an interest to the end and then cut our presentation and all questions short. Really, it shouldn’t surprise anybody that thuggishness runs throughout the culture of our legislature. Giving the thugs leverage only increases their power, which is one of the unhappy effects of tax exemption laws.
It also doesn’t help that everybody knows committee hearings are a total farce in Rhode Island, simply giving a veneer of real legislative representation to an insider game.