Jonathan Jacobs is a public servant for the State of Rhode Island. He also works as a government relations consultant, specializing in legislative affairs, communications, campaign strategy, and public presentation. Born and raised in Rhode Island, he lives in Rumford with his wife and two, young children.

4 responses to “Leave Gordon Fox in Hen House of Representatives”

  1. Samuel Bell

    This election is highly unusual for progressives.  Mark Binder would obviously make a better state representative.  That is hard to dispute.  On the other hand, losing Gordon Fox would probably result in a much worse speaker.

    But there is another consideration.  Binder’s run has moderated a lot of Fox’s hard-right stances, something that will have deep consequences for Fox.  Progressives, who hold more sway on the East Side than anywhere else in the state, have either stayed out of this race or supported Fox.  So Fox now knows that his reelection depends on keeping progressives from fielding a challenger much stronger than Mark Binder.  But for Fox to stay scared, he needs to win by a very small margin.  A 20% margin for Fox would undo much of the good Binder has done.  The best result for progressives is for Fox to win by as thin a margin as possible.

    The question for the progressive voter, then, is whether Fox is safe enough that the benefit of voting for Binder outweighs the risk of Helio Mello becoming Speaker.  Personally, I think Fox’s position is strong enough that a vote for Binder is probably the right decision.  But without polls it is hard to tell.  I could easily be wrong.

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  2. cailin rua

    You use the example of Roy Cohn to make a point?  If that doesn’t speak volumes I don’t know what does?

    I have to thank Samuel Bell for pointing out the one reason for hoping Fox will win.  This is the first time I’ve read that Helio Mello would fill the void in Fox’s absence.  The logic behind “progressive” support for Fox seems to be that he has to behave as Helio Mello would if he is to keep his position as speaker and maybe there will be some windfall benefits.  I wish someone would elaborate on how much different the next legislative session would be if Fox loses.  No blogger or news reporter has been specific about that.  Really, exactly how much difference would it make?  The importance of a Fox win has  been driven home by insiders who hint at things that no one has really elaborated on.  I suppose it’s a little late in the game for someone to come along and provide insight. 

    I think it is very unfortunate that things have come to pass this way.  The one thing no one mentions is the disparity which exists in the 4th district.  Glaring differences exist dependent on which side of Hope St. one speaks of. The impact on a whole district where there should be unity should be more of a concern among the pandits who write about these things in my humble opinion.   Maybe if Fox wins a challenger will emerge next time around who will have the support of both the progressive community and the minority community in the next election, whose support for progressive policies is more in synch with what the word “progressive” means, when not co opted by those who have more in common with Rockefeller Republicans than progressive Democrats.  After looking at the way organizations like R I – CAN  have fielded candidates along with the influence of other special interest groups like the gambling lobby, etc. who are flush with cash, I don’t think one should be hopeful.  In the 4th district, it seems like there is a divide and conquer strategy being used to exploit differences in the demographics between the Mt. Hope – Wayland/Blackstone neighborhoods with the Summit neighborhood feeling the squeeze in the middle. I see the divide and conquer strategy used to exploit differences throughout the “school reform” movement. It’s the oldest game in the book.

    Regardless, I believe it is the neo-liberal elements of the Democratic party who fear they will feel the greatest impact from a Fox loss.  How is it the Democratic party always snookers people into these situations where the bargain to be made is a devil’s bargain?  It seems very obvious how badly we need an alternative to the two traditionally established parties, especially in R I where things are hardly ever what they seem on the face of things.

    I’m going to vote for Binder and hope for the best. 

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  3. Mark Binder

    Dear Mr. Jacobs.
    Thank you for the nicest un-recommendation I’ve received.
    Let’s look at effectiveness…
    Gordon Fox has been incredibly effective in pushing an agenda that has nothing to do with the best interests of his constituents or the taxpayers (Auto Body Bill for one). He’s been effective at ramming through ill-conceived late night legislation (38 Studios and the merger of the Office of Higher Education and Board of Regents). He has blocked bills that are important to voters in his district (Gay Marriage, Payday Lending).
    When no one else in the state of Rhode Island called him on using a state employee to run his political campaign, I was effective in putting a stop to it.

    So many people in this state claim that they want the government to work better… 
    I have run a highly successful hardball Independent progressive campaign against the sitting Speaker of the House on a budget of about $10,000. 
    I ask for your vote.
    – Mark Binder


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  4. DogDiesel

    It’s incredible how many progressives here feel the ends justifies the means. I’ve just never seen anyone articulate it so well. You’re willing to gamble with a characterless politician in the oft chance that he can retain his leadership position. God help Rhode Island.

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