Progressive Dems Open Headquarters
(7.6) Exciting things are in the works here in Rhode Island. Job One? Fix the General Assembly. This fall, complacent, entrenched incumbents are facing primary challenges from motivated and qualified candidates . . . real Democrats! Much of the credit goes to Sam Bell and his crew over at Progressive Democrats of America. (These are the people who brought Bernie to town. And he won the state.)
Bell wrote a piece in the Providence Journal last April — “Why Bernie Inspires Me” — in which he illuminated the path to liberating the general assembly from the machine democrats currently running the show.
When I look at Sanders, I also see him as a man who has already pulled off one of the most incredible success stories in politics — defeating the corrupt, conservative machine that once ran the Democratic Party in Burlington, Vt. It’s an incredible story, and it inspires those of us fighting to break the corrupt, conservative machine that runs the Rhode Island Democratic Party today.
At the beginning of the 1980s, Burlington was a tough place to be progressive. Vermont was a slightly Republican state, and the liberal city of Burlington was the core base of Democratic strength. But Burlington lay in the grip of a powerful political machine. At the top sat all-powerful Mayor Gordon Paquette, whom The New York Times rather bluntly described as “a conservative and a Democrat.”
In the session just ended our so-called Democrats trashed an entire criminal justice package which would have brought sanity to our probation system while saving huge bucks — and was supported by everybody. Our benighted house speaker Nicholas Mattiello tossed it all in the bin saying it was “soft on crime.” What decade is this?
And, unlike the majority of their constituents, our Democrats can’t understand, or won’t support, the social justice issues and economics surrounding marijuana legalization. All that business and tax revenue will soon be heading up to Massachusetts.
And in a spectacularly cynical maneuver they reduced beach fees hoping to distract the electorate from focusing on the, probably unconstitutional, legislative grants through which we are all subsidizing their reelection campaigns. Those remain in place.
We have Democrats with A-ratings from the NRA (Bell in the ProJo again). As to a woman’s right to choose, from the ProJo “A 2016 NARAL Pro-Choice America report gave Rhode Island an F when it comes to reproductive rights, pegging the legislature as anti-choice and giving Governor Raimondo mixed reviews.”
We can change this. Bernie showed the way in Burlington and Bell is bringing it to the Rhode Island. Go sign up and be part of the solution. And if the future of our democracy is not enough to motivate you, food and beverages will be provided.
Open house, 6pm, Wednesday, July 6, 118 Gano Street right across from the Dunkin Donuts, (directions)