As news quickly spread this morning of David Cicilline’s pending retirement from the United States Congress, most attention is focused on who might replace him to represent our state in Washington, DC. However, I’m more interested in a different angle.
Cicilline’s retirement should not come as that big of a surprise, now that his Democrat party has lost majority control of the US House of Representatives … and with it, any near term hope that Cicilline could rise to higher prominence in the federal government under what he would surely consider a ‘hostile’ GOP leadership.
So, the ever-ambitious Cicilline chose to move to a more ‘friendly’ environment, in deep blue Rhode Island, to an organization – the Rhode Island Foundation – that has become increasingly left-leaning under its departing CEO, Neil Steinberg, and where he could be the BIG boss.
The nonprofit RI Foundation is supposed to be nonpartisan and prohibited from engaging in party politics and elections. Under the stewardship of the hyper-partisan Cicilline, it will be interesting to watch how close the RI Foundation comes to that IRS-imposed red line.
Regardless, and with about $1.4 billion in endowments, it is clear that the RI Foundation’s Board of Directors is committed to spending and even larger portion of their near $100 million in annual grants to BIG-government and BIG-left advocacy causes.
Obviously, many direct-aid and other grants to local initiatives, like the Roger Williams Park Zoo, are worthy causes and have aided thousands of Rhode Islanders. But, over the past 10 years, the RI Foundation has taken a hard-left turn and has been increasingly funding a liberal agenda.
It is a 100% certainty that a progressive-Democrat will replace Cicilline in the US Congress.
It also appears to a 100% certainty that our Ocean State’s woke and progressive-left advocacy movement, through millions in grants awarded by the RI Foundation, are in line to receive an even larger financial boost in the coming years.
This will certainly make our job at the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity an even more difficult one. But, always against all odds … we will fight on to protect our individual and constitutional liberties.