In his Sunday column in the Providence Journal, John Kostrzewa gave voice to this local bit of common wisdom cum mythology about Gina Raimondo that probably isn’t going to die any time soon:
They are right-of-center Democrats with conservative leanings in their philosophy of government who understand that business, and private investment, drive the economy.
The other half of the “they” is RI House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello (D, Cranston). While the jury’s still out on his political philosophy, only a mainstream journalist could think that sentence can be written about Raimondo as if it needs no evidentiary support. She let us know it wasn’t true when she accepted an award for pension reform from the Manhattan Institute and told an anecdote about a fellow church-goer thanking her for bolstering Rhode Island’s faith in… government. And she let it be known when she launched her campaign proclaiming the need for “a bold progressive agenda designed to jump start Rhode Island’s economy.” And she’s letting it be known in some of her early actions as governor, for instance:
Raimondo wants government leaders to decide how the land should best be used. She calls it a “game-changer opportunity,” in agreement with past city and state leaders who have said the land is one of the state’s best assets for improving its stalled economy. She has said she doesn’t want to rely on the current approach to let the free market decide what gets built on 19 developable acres. …
She said she’d consider giving away the land, which the commission is now charged with selling.
Only a progressive could believe that organizations (like Stanford University, which she’s apparently already contacted) that are able, but not willing, to purchase land would make the most productive use of it.
Believe whatever you want about progressivism, but by definition it isn’t a “philosophy of government” that indicates “conservative leanings.” It’s indicative of Rhode Island’s deep, deep problems that a prominent business writer would either ignore all evidence (and Raimondo’s own statements about herself) in order to maintain his own premature judgment of her nature or, worse, actually believe that anybody who concludes that government can’t always pile more money into its problems without changing direction must be “right-of-center.”