Operation Clean Government (OCG, at www.ocgri.org) has run non-partisan “candidate schools” since 2002 and they are doing again this year on Saturday, June 4 at Rhode Island College, hosted by the Political Science Department there.
It is my view that RI democracy suffers from a lack of contested races, yet I can state from my own experience of having run for office, that it s very doable. There are no filing fees, the Board of Elections is always helpful with paperwork, you need relatively few signatures of registered voters to get on the ballot – for example only 50 to qualify for State Representative, and they can be from any party, even your opponent can sign! And for such offices one needs relatively little money if you have the time to get about the district. And I can say it is actually interesting to do exactly that.
Yet not enough people run.
This year, as of this writing the program includes: Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea and Ethics Commission attorney Jason Grammit share what needs to be done about financial reporting and ethical issues: there are sessions on campaign organization, use and misuse of web-sites, social media, fundraising, messaging, signage, campaign materials, and the media. Labor/Industrial Relations star Scott Molloy will be a lunch speaker. Presenters and panelists include Scott Avedisian, Suzy Alba, James Sheehan, Patricia Morgan, Jim Hummel, Dave Layman, John Loughlin, Dan McGowan, Kate Nagle, Brett Smiley, Rick Wilson.
The event starts with a continental breakfast at 8:45 a.m. and runs to about 5 p.m. The registration fee of $110 includes course materials, breakfast and lunch, refreshments at breaks, and plenty of chance to network. Please check it out, or register, at www.ocgri.org or encourage others to do so as approrpriate. Our communities and state will benefit from competitive elections.
Get Involved! | | | Operation Clean Government (OCG) is a group dedicated to promoting honest, responsible, and responsive state government in Rhode Island.