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Steve Laffey Jumps in for Gaspee Project – and Rhode Island

From a just-issued press release by Gaspee Project Chairman Clay Johnson:

Steve Laffey, the former Mayor of Cranston, has volunteered his time and voice to bolster an ad blitz for The Gaspee Project in the final week of the 2020 campaign season.

Laffey’s has recorded a radio spot and multiple robo-call ads that will run this week in support of 8 General Assembly candidates and the Republican party. In the spots, Laffey stresses how the Democrat party is no longer the party of JFK and has been taken-over by radical-left mobs, while the Republican party is still the party of Lincoln and stands for common-sense, pro-jobs policies.

Also this week, a second round of mailers, social media ads, and print ads by Gaspee are expected to run, which in combination with previous Gaspee election materials, will reach almost one-hundred thousand households, social media accounts, print ad readers, and radio listeners.

Thanks very much to Steve Laffey for doing this. He understands, as many of us do, that Rhode Island would be very poorly served by the election of far left, “progressive” candidates who will push to put on steroids the misguided, leftie policies that have already damaged the state: raising of taxes (often disguised as fees, tolls and budget scooping) even higher; ratcheting up of already burdensome regulations (that often pose as a redundant effort at diversity) on business; more encroachment on private property rights; and the cramming down of effectively non-existent, exorbitantly expensive, politically correct energy sources.

(Seriously, “progressive policies” has to be one of the biggest oxymorons in the history of political branding.)

If you are alarmed at the prospect of the expansion of these non-progressive policies in Rhode Island, please consider pushing back by donating to the Gaspee Project to bolster the reach of these radio ads and mailers.

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Use Your Voice – Huge Deficits Cannot be Plugged with Even Higher Taxes

Before the coronavirus crisis… the Ocean State was already hemorrhaging people, because of its existing cruel business climate. Now, Rhode Islanders cannot afford tax hikes to plug huge projected budget deficits.

Lawmakers are being pressured by public sector unions and the radical far left movement to put the burden on you… and to raise your taxes. That’s why the Center has launched a new counter campaign to the government-union led effort to raise taxes in RI. Take action now.

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Raimondo Rips out Goalposts Altogether as Governors Carefully Disregard Most Important Datapoint

As you probably know, the original justification for the COVID-19 lockdown was to prevent the overwhelming of hospitals. This never happened; not in Rhode Island nor in any state other than hotspot New York (where it got close); not even at the height of the pandemic. Click here to view Justin Katz’ latest, very informative tracking graph of COVID-19 trends in Rhode Island. You’ll note that hospitalizations in Rhode Island, in fact, peaked THREE WHOLE MONTHS AGO.

Keep this critical piece of information in mind as we move now to Rhode Island’s COVID-19 press conference yesterday.

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Union Political Spending: A Web of Corruption

Not every teacher, first-responder, clerk, or other public servant considers themselves to be Democrats or part of the “progressive-left” movement in Rhode Island. Yet every employee who is member of a government union in our state is paying dues that directly support this extreme political agenda… along with the corrupt quid quo pro that comes with union political spending. A new report, from our Center, exposes that Rhode Island’s hyper-partisanship and radical agenda is funded by government union political spending: Click Here Now To Read It.

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Death Arrives – Lockdowns Now Demonstrably Indefensible

The survival rate for COVID-19 is now in the range of 99.35% – 99.74%, per CDC data. But even this high rate is almost certainly on the conservative side as it does not include all unidentified cases, an important data point which scientists continue diligently to try to quantify.

Moreover, COVID cases are rising but COVID deaths are falling.

Conversely, grimly, deaths from the lockdown have moved from projection to reality and are rising.

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Roland Benjamin: $23,000/Student is Already More than Sufficient Funding

I have been close to these budgets. Very close.

A “lack of funding” cannot be the culprit for every decision from local officials that change services or reconsider programming. When a 1% or 2% fiscal nudge in anything is blamed, I seriously question the competence and/or the integrity of those using the argument.

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Ideals that Make America and Rhode Island Strong

Have a happy and proud Independence Day weekend. Now is the time to celebrate America’s great and noble ideals. Sadly in the Ocean State, the political class has taken too much from hard-working Rhode Island families and businesses. The chosen few have benefited from the broken system, while the rest of us have suffered.

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Summer Budget Battle: Status Quo Approach Will Not Work

Enough is enough. For too long, the political class has taken more than what they needed from hard-working Rhode Island families and businesses. The chosen few have benefited from the broken insider system, while the rest of us have suffered. Now, Rhode Island lawmakers will return this summer, and decide the fate of our state for a century to come.

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New Report Lays Out a Budget Strategy for Rhode Island Prosperity

With about one-billion dollars in anticipated revenue shortfalls, and with recent statements from leading Rhode Island lawmakers indicating a general feeling of helplessness, the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity published a new report this week with proven budget strategies that can help put the state on a long-term trajectory towards prosperity.

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Clay Johnson: Officials Forgetting Foundational Importance of Hum of Running Economy

I applaud the decision makers, at all levels of government, that quickly responded to the medical crisis. But health issues only represent one component of the challenges in front of us. We all hunkered down for weeks to ‘flatten the curve.’ Our common goal was to ensure that, as a community, we had enough hospital beds for those most vulnerable. Well, we’ve flattened the curve. (And we know now that the survival rate of COVID-19 in the United States is almost 95%.) Why then are governments having a hard time moving to the next stage during this time of testing? I can only believe that most people were more familiar with the fears and responses to the medical side of the crisis.

Let’s explore the impact on small businesses. Almost half of all employees in the United States work for a small business. In fact, 96% of Rhode Island businesses are small businesses. They are the engine of our economy. Business owners can feel in their bones, the impact of this shutdown on Rhode Island. We owe it to the rest of the citizens of Rhode Island to communicate this feeling.

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Politics This Week with John DePetro: The Emergence Begins…?

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for May 4, included talk about:

  • The governor and reopening
  • Hospitalization counts
  • The General Assembly peeks its head out
  • Mattiello and the AG
  • Achorn drops from the Providence Journal editorial branch
  • A big budget hole

I’ll be on again Monday, May 11, at 12:00 p.m. on WNRI 1380 AM and I-95.1 FM.

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Larry Fitzmorris: Portsmouth Looks to Raise Taxes Over 4% With Unemployment Over 15%

The budget for next year is one of the worst produced in the last twenty years. This budget is characterized by the Council’s complete lack of interest in reducing costs to prepare for the economic downturn and its continuing emphasis on the growth of Town government. In fact, the only changes over a routine year are using the Fund Balance to provide revenue for routine spending and to cover any shortfalls in State funding. Currently the budget is at the Provisional stage and there are further votes, but significant changes after this point are rare.

The budget that begins next July 1 has a residential property tax increase of 4.43% at a time when the unemployment rates for Portsmouth taxpayers are probably at least 16%.

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Politics This Week with John DePetro: Decision Time!

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for April 13, included talk about:

  • The governor’s handling of the virus crisis
  • The silence from everybody else
  • The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s suggestions
  • The decisions facing the governor and the people of RI

I’ll be on again Monday, April 20, at 12:00 p.m. on WNRI 1380 AM and I-95.1 FM.

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COVID-19: A Plan To Restore Financial Security to RI

In these trying times, with well over fifty thousand Rhode Islanders recently laid-off, common-sense public state-based policy can help mitigate the destructive economic impact of the Rhode Island COVID-19 crisis … and can help restore a sense of normalcy and financial security.

We need your help to tell lawmakers you want them to take action.

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McNamara’s Bid to Make Others Pay for His Heroism

The legislative proposal by Warwick/Cranston Democrat state representative Joseph McNamara has made the news rounds, but it deserves a stronger point to be made.  The press release says he’s “drafting new legislation that would help businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis by guaranteeing that business interruption insurance would cover their losses regardless of policy language.”

It’s kind of a dishonest move.  Insurance companies charge their clients rates based on the risk involved in their policies.  These charges go toward a fund to cover the estimated payouts based on the risk for each thing that’s insured.  There is competition in insurance just as there is in every other private-sector market, so companies can’t charge fees that are so high they’re disconnected from this relationship to payouts.

If the General Assembly and governor pass a law that requires insurance companies to pay for events that were deliberately left out of the calculation of risk, the insurance companies will have to find that money somewhere.  One way or another, that means distributing the cost among other clients.  The complications of reinsurance (insurance for unexpected insurance payouts), do not change this fundamental fact; they just mean the spread is broader.

If government officials want to insure Rhode Island businesses against a loss during a crisis, they should do it the more-honest way of using government funds.  The legislature and governor should make the statement that this is a worthwhile priority and will therefore either displace lesser priorities or require tax increases.

Of course, cost comes at a political price, which politicians prefer to avoid.  Thus, these sorts of mandates that make other people pay for government policies (aka hidden taxes) ensure that the McNamaras of the state can pat themselves on the back for giving away money while hiding the fact that it has to come from somebody.