Patricia Morgan’s Endorsement of Governor Raimondo


Believe me that I’d rather write about just about anything other than Republican Minority Leader Patricia Morgan’s endorsement of independent gubernatorial candidate Joe Trillo, but it feels obligatory to do so.  Here’s the text from Trillo’s Facebook announcment:

House Republican Leader Patricia Morgan endorsed me for governor today…

And, three outstanding individuals are agreeing to work with the my administration to bring RI back on track.
Arlene Violet, John Robitaille and Ken Block.

I have always believed that we need an Inspector General who can help to maximize the efficiency of state government, to which Arlene Violet, former Attorney General, a woman with outstanding credentials, has also agreed to serve in my administration…

Also John Robitaille and Ken Block have agreed to assist my administration when I am elected governor.

Where to start?  How about the quick and easy points?

  • As I’ve already explained, having the governor appoint an inspector general and (especially) announce the person before the election is a terrible, terrible idea.  An inspector general must be independent, and there is no way this approach produces independence.  And to appoint Arlene Violet, who parroted that nonsense talking point about Obama’s administration being largely “scandal free” is beyond belief.
  • I’ve asked Ken Block, and he says he would absolutely work with a Fung administration, too.  In fact, he tells me that Allan Fung has already asked him to lend his expertise to good government.
  • I’ve reached out to Robitaille with the same question, and I will be shocked if he does not reply with pretty much the same answer, at least with regard to the “would you if asked” component.

Now the harder points:  I just don’t get how conservatives or non-Democrats could take the stand that it’s better for Gina Raimondo to win another term than for an imperfect Republican to displace her.  There’s a level of personal animosity that — while I can understand and even agree with some of the grievances — just boggles my mind.  This is politics.  It’s not about (or shouldn’t be about) whether it’s fair that one person or another is a party’s standard bearer.  If the person who is in that place would be better than the other party’s alternative, that’s just how parties work.

Ultimately, this is about the good of the state, and honestly, I haven’t seen any reasonable argument that Fung wouldn’t be better for the state than Raimondo, and if the Fung-haters disagree, they should make that case.

But this is the problem with having such a weak and minuscule opposition party.  When the numbers get this low, the party has precious few economic incentives for people to stick with the team through disagreement, and maybe more importantly, the people who remain are more likely to be eccentric and bull-headed.  (I say this as somebody who must confess to those traits, myself.)

Even if only because of the base of supporters to whom he must offer at least the appearance of concern, Fung would be preferable to Raimondo.  Even somebody trying to play word-games on abortion is better than one who is all in when it comes to supporting Planned Parenthood.  Somebody talking broad tax rate reductions rather than crony capitalism is preferable.  Somebody who would (probably) stop a sexist annual essay contest that excludes half of Rhode Island children by design is preferable.

At the end of the day, anybody who thinks Fung would be better than Raimondo on net in any degree must conclude that Trillo and Morgan are doing a terrible thing that may undo the better part of the good for which many of us would credit them.

  • BasicCaruso

    “Somebody who would (probably) stop a sexist annual essay contest that excludes half of Rhode Island children by design is preferable.”

    Let me get this straight, is the RICFP against Women’s History Month or just opposed to events celebrating that month? Good to see you have your priorities straight over there.

    Gasp! To the barricades, comrades!
    Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced today the “Governor for a Day” essay contest as a way to encourage young girls to become leaders in their communities. This Women’s History Month initiative is open to girls in 5th through 8th grade throughout the state.

  • Joe Smith

    Basic – I agree with the trivial aspect of focusing on that issue; but if I were Fung, I’d leverage it to say the Gov focuses on an essay contest for females in a state where boys have a significant and persistent literacy gap statewide (cuts across all schools – charters, traditional, urban, suburban, etc.). Put the onus on a real problem in the state in terms of education.

    “people who remain are more likely to be eccentric and bull-headed” – I’d argue it not just that, but those people come from an archaic “communist central party system” of town committees where people with axes to grind can get on those organization and thus have far too much say at the state level with no skin in the game. For such a minority party, the GOP in this state should be lean and focused on winning local and GA seats – town members should have to show some commitment either in terms of fund raising/contributions or similar “in kind” efforts if they want to have a say statewide.

    Cut the red tape at the state level. Get out of the “endorsement” game during the primary portion – GOP in the state should let the process play and then hold their “convention” instead of the reverse. Sure, Morgan and Trillo are petty and have a burn down the house to save it attitude because of ego or whatever self-interests they have to put themselves ahead of the people they claim to want to help. But the state GOP should have seen this coming from June if she lost the primary.

  • Becky Adams

    Trillo is a corrupt self serving b*****d. I’ve long given up on the RI GOP as an entity. There are some principled republicans in RI who have sought office but they are never supported by the party poohbahs

  • Mike678

    The Republican party in RI should just close iis doors. Join the Dem party and do the best they can to talk them off the ledge.

    • Merle The Monster

      Take the Democrats that run the GA in Rhode Island and put them in Arizona and they would be Trump Republicans