Someone sent an email to state Senator Maryellen Goodwin saying Rhode Island business owners “are fucking fed up and are extremely close to violent opposition.”
The email, sent yesterday afternoon, concerned earned sick time legislation, which is being voted on by a Senate committee today. The author did not seek to change Goodwin’s stance on the bill, writing, “I’m not going to waste my time trying to convince you how devastating this bill would be to small business because I know you don’t give a shit. I will say that if this law passes, I will not abide by it. I will start a grass roots effort to boycott this bullshit law. Pretty soon you will be getting more and more FUCK YOU emails from small business owners, similar to the FUCK YOU’s I get from your scumbag union friends who have threatened to burn down my business for speaking against them. Well listen up… The more you meddle with the hand that feeds you, the more you risk getting bit.”
The Providence Journal first reported on what it called the “threatening and vulgarity-laced email.” A reporter interviewed “the Narragansett business owner whose name appears in the sender-field in the email” but did not use his name or identify his business. “I am unaware of that email,” he said, according to the Providence Journal story. “I don’t know if someone hacked my email or not, but I have not idea about that….I’m too busy. This is my summer season.”
The email says it is from Kevin Durfee. A Kevin Durfee owns George’s of Galillee in Narragansett.
In 2015, Durfee wrote an op/ed in the Providence Journal advocating against increasing the sub-minimum wage for tipped employees. A 2004 Block Island Times story accused him of not paying overtime and paying foreign workers $2 less than Americans.
Kathy Gregg, who wrote the ProJo story, tweeted, “Business owner named in sender field says he was ‘hacked,’ never sent the threatening email. So who did?”
The state police investigated the email but did not make an arrest, according to the ProJo.
Durfee or the state police have yet to return phone calls seeking comment. This post will be updated if they do.