Ouch. The Moderate Party takes it on the chin:
PROVIDENCE –– The state Board of Elections has quietly offered to settle a campaign-finance dispute with the newly established Moderate Party of Rhode Island for what may be the largest fine in the board’s history.
State officials have asked the three-month-old party to forfeit a $10,000 donation and its chairman to pay another $10,000 from his own pocket, according to the terms of a deal outlined behind closed doors last week. Board officials threatened, as an alternative, to have the attorney general’s office launch civil or criminal investigations into a host of party officials for violating Rhode Island’s finance laws.
Somebody needs to tell Ken Block that arguing that you can ignore the existing structures because they’re rigged (which they often are) isn’t exactly a moderate position. It’s sometimes a legitimate position — but when you make it your own, it means you’ve entered the realm of the dreaded radical. “We’re the Moderates. Let’em burn!”
Block blasted the deal and looming legal action as being “100-percent politically motivated.”
“Instead of sending a warning, and saying, ‘Send it back,’ what we get is nuclear war against the Moderate Party,” said Block, founder of the party that brought a lawsuit against the state to win ballot access earlier in the year. The Board of Elections was ultimately ordered to pay a share of the party’s $34,000 legal bill after losing.
This argument might make a lick of sense if Block hadn’t willfully ignored the Board of Elections’ request that the Moderates seek an advisory opinion before proceeding with their scheme. It’d make even more sense if it weren’t the case that the Moderate Party will almost certainly make it even easier for Democrats to get elected, especially in the upcoming race for Governor wherein they’re likely to hurt Chafee’s vote totals.
Here are a couple of somewhat germane platform planks:
Toughen ethics laws and employment agreements to make our elected, appointed and employed state officials far more accountable for their actions.
- Remove from office any elected official who is found guilty of a major ethics violation.
- Disallow politicians the option of paying a settlement to the Ethics Commission without admitting guilt. We consider this the equivalent of buying one’s way out of accountability and the practice should not be tolerated any longer.