In a week where it was revealed that the Democratic Speaker of the House, Nicholas Mattiello, wears Trump ties, it should come as no shock that he and the other conservative cigar-chompers running the Rhode Island Democratic Party (RIDP) have decided that Rhode Island women are getting way too pushy, so let’s change the rules. The newly-revised state party bylaws are clearly aimed at muzzling the RIDP Women’s Caucus.
One reminder of who we are dealing with here: RIDP Chair Joseph McNamara dragged us into the national spotlight last year when he endorsed a Trump-supporting ringer instead of the Democratic incumbent (a progressive woman, natch). From Steve Ahlquist in Uprise RI:
The Women’s Caucus has clashed repeatedly with the leadership of the RIDP, Chair Joseph McNamara and Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello. The Women’s Caucus openly rejected supporting the Party’s endorsed candidate Michael Earnhart, a man who supported Trump for the Presidency before joining the RIDP to run against the Democratic incumbent Moira Walsh in District 3, Providence. That nomination was eventually withdrawn after widespread outrage and international news coverage.
This is presumably why the proposed bylaws have a new provision stating that caucuses “may not endorse, support, or assist unendorsed candidates for office during the pre-primary or primary period. During general and special elections, caucuses may not endorse or support or assist any candidate other than a democratic nominee.”
(For those new to Rhode Island: Given the shortage of Republican candidates, the primaries are often the election.)
The menfolk also want to control all the money; just look at how responsible they have been handling their funds.
The Women’s Caucus pointed to a report in the Providence Journal showing that the RIDP State Committee has “chewed through $219,193 since this non-election year began. On Jan. 1, the state’s dominant party had $279,632 in its coffers. By Sept. 30: only $60,732.”
“One particularly high spending quarter (April 1-June 30) included a long list of restaurant tabs including $282 at the Capital Grille, $391 at Remingtons, $150 at Riviera Inn Dining,” continues the Providence Journal report.
Have you ever had the 20-ounce bone-in Wagyu NY strip at the Capital Grille? It’s only $90 — just put it on the card!
One additional point: At the time of this writing, the Wikipedia page for the RIDP defines its ideology as follows, “Modern liberalism, Progressivism, Centrism, Social liberalism.” That needs fixing. It’s just incorrect.
How about this: Old-boy network, Machine politics, Trumpism, Social conservatism, Revolving door, I know a guy . . .
The Women’s Caucus has issued the following statement.
The Rhode Island Democratic Party Women’s Caucus shares the opinion of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg that, ‘Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.’ The newly revised state party bylaws make it clear that RIDP leadership believe women from our Caucus should only speak when spoken to, show up only when asked, and participate in democracy only when it suits the patriarchy. On behalf of the Rhode Island Democratic Party Women’s Caucus executive committee and its membership, we extend this message: we will speak as we want to, we will show up everywhere decisions are being made, and the concerns of the patriarchy will not be attended to by the Rhode Island Democratic Party Women’s Caucus.