August 8, 2018
Dear Rhode Island Voter:
The signatures are in and the names are on the ballot. And there are only five weeks to the primary.
(Sept 12. Don’t forget, it’s on a Wednesday this year.) I am blessed with a team of volunteers
that has come together with real talent and commitment. No need to name names here, but their
organizational skill and political experience is giving me tremendous confidence as we go forward.
I wouldn’t trade them or their Rhode Island experience for all the out-of town paid hands in the camps of both my opponents.
They say you make your own luck. Well, my team is out there making our luck and I feel better every day.
I was on a talk show last week and I heard the host say something that I never expected to hear. He said, on this show, we don’t care how much money is in your war chest, and we don’t care what the polls are saying. We just want to know what kind of governor you’d make. Words to live by. Refreshing. And maybe a new model for how the media plays their part in the way our democracy works.
That’s one of the things this campaign is about. Our governor has put together a campaign fund that breaks all records. Most of it from out-of-state interests. People ask, what did she have to promise to raise that kind of money? Has this state been sold out? Meanwhile, our campaign budget is closer to the price of a new truck. So how can we compete? In a country where people feel their government responds more to the needs of big-money interests than it does to the needs of everyday citizens, that question might be the underlying issue of the campaign.
And maybe the voters have figured it out, and are ready turn in a different outcome. Our governor has spent two million dollars since the first of the year without moving the needle on her acceptance in the polls. This bad result is taking its toll and she is showing signs of stress. Now she is refusing to debate and her reason is that she says our other, third opponent is a liar.
At the beginning of my candidacy, I identified the proposed Burrillville power plant as a major issue. With a price tag of a billion dollars, it would be a huge, unnecessary burden on rate-payers.
In addition, it would effectively block the development of wind towers and solar farms. And it would contribute to global warming. One of my reasons for running was that I wanted to be able to say, “If you elect me governor, there will be no fracked-gas power plant in Burrillville.” So in the last ten months, in spite of her early support, she has steered clear of the issue. And there has been no progress on the power plant. I would like to think I played a small part in that.
Things can happen fast in politics. My guess is that there will be a couple of surprises in the next few weeks. My plan is to play by the tried and true rules. Stick with the fundamentals, stay in the game, and make the most of the opportunities when they come along. I am blessed with knowing that the voters are always right. So my job is to be the best candidate I can be. And to understand the issues based on a long personal experience of having worked with them. So my goal is not just to win, but to be the person who is best prepared to be governor. A very challenging task, but one I look forward to.