Yesterday, Patrick mentioned the statement of Sen. Harold Metts (D, Providence) that he supports the master lever (i.e., straight-party voting on Rhode Island’s ballots) because his constituents know what party is best for them. As that hearing happened, I saw a number of tweets of astonishment that he would say such a thing.
But this is just the annual tradition. Here’s a paragraph from my liveblog of the corresponding hearing back in 2012:
Senator Metts commented that his father always knew what party was for poor people and what party were for rich. (His grandparents were Republicans.) People may not know the specifics and all the complicated political things that candidates fight about, but people know which party “is going to put food on the table.”
Add it to the long list of evidence that nothing will change until Rhode Islanders start changing the people making the speeches.