I don’t agree with Ken Block on very much. But I am here to thank him–for running for governor as a Republican. What has always bothered me about Block is that he used his “Moderate Party” label to portray his Republican views as somehow moderate.
But then he became the leader of the conservative group RI Taxpayers, which takes more unabashedly right-wing positions like denying rights to immigrants denied documents. And now he has come out as a Republican.
The biggest problem Rhode Island liberals have always had is that Republicans scramble ordinary politics by running for the General Assembly as Democrats. As Ann Clanton famously put it when she was Executive Director if the Rhode Island Republican Party, “We have a lot of Democrats who we know are Republican but run as a Democrat–basically so they can win.”
Block could have walked this well-tread path, a path that so many talented Rhode Island conservatives have taken. It is the path that gave us a House Speaker and Senate President who have each taken thousands of dollars from the NRA, passed a voter ID law, and slashed taxes for the rich more aggressively than nearly any other state.
But Block has chosen a different route. He has chosen to be honest with the voters about his political beliefs. I really respect him for it. I wish more conservatives would follow his lead.