Gina Raimondo has the best ideas about how to better Rhode Island – and her middle class-friendly campaign message is far more appealing than Allan Fung’s policy proposals of cutting taxes and shrinking government. Couple that with Raimondo’s track record of being able to move political mountains and it seems like an easy choice.
But it wasn’t.
Maybe I’m holding a grudge because of her ability to shepherd through landmark pension reforms, which I still feel were too one-sided, but I’d like to think it’s more than that. I’m not sure I want to contribute to The Narrative of ‘A Democrat Can Screw Unions And Thrive’. There may be many short and long term wins to be had there (lower unfunded pension liabilities, for just one), but ultimately I’m far from convinced that’s the best row to hoe if we really want to fend off increasing economic inequality, which I firmly believe to be the root cause of much of our social and economic ailments.
Then there’s Wall Street.
It’s not a place in lower Manhattan, it’s a sector of our economy. Maybe the biggest, depending on how you define it, certainly it’s the strongest, and the only thing it makes is profits. This can be harmless in times of growth but, ultimately, can only be predatory unleashed on a society that consumes more than it produces. As such, Wall Street is the glue that solidifies increasing income inequality as the New American Way.
I’m not sure Gina Raimondo shares my thoughts on these issues. But I’m pretty certain Allan Fung doesn’t either. And in the short term, Raimondo will be far better for Rhode Island.
Payday loans don’t stand a chance with Gina Raimondo as governor. I bet she can whip the legislature into raising the minimum wage. I’m confident she can attract vibrant new businesses to downtown Providence and that she’ll be a fantastic ambassador for our tourist economy. She will not only defend our pioneering healthcare exchange, but I’d be surprised if she doesn’t find a way to make it even better. She will prioritize preparing for climate chance and sea level rise, and someday soon Rhode Island will regret if we are not.
Both Raimondo and Fung will support charter schools more than me. But I can see Raimondo turning the focus to a Constitutional right to an adequate and equal education for all. If one thing is obvious about education politics in Rhode Island it’s that we need someone to lead a high level conversation about where it’s going. I hope whoever is the next governor will pick up Bob Healey’s idea to fund education statewide as a way to offer both property tax relief and education equity. Raimondo is the only one who could pull this off.
I wanted to vote for Bob Healey, but it’s just too close with too much at stake. I think he’s the only one telling the truth on the campaign trail, even if he’s sometimes mumbling it. He may well be more popular if he had shorter hair, but instead he chooses to mock our political process. He’s the only one who earned my respect. But I think Rhode Island needs my vote, so it’s going to Gina Raimondo.