Raimondo fires up Dems for elections

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Warwick Democrats were congratulated for holding the line on city tax increases and told they can’t wait until 2020 if they’re going to make changes in Washington by Governor Gina Raimondo Wednesday night.

Raimondo was the guest speaker at the Warwick City Democratic meeting at the Knights of Columbus Hall, attended by more than 60 people. Raimondo has worked closely with Mayor Scott Avedisian, a Republican, on a number of issues, regularly sharing the podium on announcements concerning the airport and efforts to combat the opioid crisis.

While she didn’t name him, she was clearly referencing Avedisian when she said the Democratic City Council – there is not a single Republican – was able to pass a zero tax increase budget for the first time in 18 years.

Raimondo spoke about Rhode Island’s economy and how, during her tenure of governor, unemployment has dropped and that more Rhode Islanders are employed now than have been since 2008.

“Rhode Island’s on a roll,” she said. “We’ve cut deficits, cut taxes, and invested in our future.”

“I want to congratulate the Democratic council here in Warwick. People say Republicans are about fiscal austerity,” she said.

Raimondo said Republicans “blew a hole through the federal deficit,” adding, “but by my count this is the first count in 18 years you haven’t raised taxes, thanks to the Democratic council here in Warwick.”

On the topic of Washington, after answering questions that centered on efforts to address the state’s deteriorating school buildings and the botched streamlining of general assistance that has become known as the United Health Infrastructure Project (UHIP) debacle, Raimondo asked the committee’s indulgence for a minute of their time. Her pitch had the ring of a campaign call to action, leaving little doubt she is looking to lead the party and her focus reaches beyond the Ocean State.

“It’s fantastic that you’re here and there’s such a big turnout. That gives me hope for our future,” she started.

“We need more Dems in office, starting with the White House all the way down,” she said to applause.

“What we’re living through now is a nightmare, and the only way to end it isn’t by hoping that one day they wake up in Washington and fix things. It’s going to happen right here in the Warwick City Committee, dozens of people showing up on a Wednesday. We’re going to take back this office and put Democrats in office and restore Democratic values, rebuild the middle class from the ground up,” she said.

The governor called state efforts to rebuild schools her “top priority.” She pointed out that Massachusetts has conducted seven statewide bond issues to rebuild schools in the past 10 years, whereas Rhode Island hasn’t had a single bond issue in 20 years.

The governor endorses a $250 million school building referendum on the November ballot that she calculates will amount to $1 billion with regular state spending and municipal capital spending over the next five years.

Why not make more of an investment if schools are in such deplorable shape and state debt expenses are declining, she was asked.

“We picked that number because that’s the number that will get every school to a status of warm, safe and dry. We can do better, but you’ve got to start somewhere. We thought let’s get every district to a place of warm, safe and dry,” she said.

“That is the number that I felt was fiscally responsible in the context of all of our other needs. We can do more in the future. This is what I felt comfortable with in regards to the taxpayer and getting our schools to where we want,” she said.

Raimondo also added a touch of hometown inside politics to her talk. She said her campaign for general treasurer was launched across the street at Picasso’s Pizza on Warwick when she met with K. Joseph Shekarchi, who is now House Majority Leader. Shekarcki became her campaign manager.

In the audience, Shekarchi was still playing the role. He was among the first to signal she had other commitments on her schedule and it was time for her to leave.

Comments

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Justanidiot

we needs a democrat mayer in warlicks likes we need a nother hole in his heads

Tuesday, April 24
RISchadenfreude

She just LOVES the sound of her own voice...advocating for solutions to problems while she multiplies the problems; she's like a magician: don't watch the face or listen to what she says- you have to watch what the hands are doing.

Wednesday, April 25
richardcorrente

For the record:

I campaigned to "Cut Taxes - Cut Spending" for over 700 days in a row. (22 months straight)

I spent more than $40,000 of my own money on that campaign.

I rallied the 80,000 Warwick taxpayers that are paying the tab.

Those taxpayers were the force that stopped Avedisian from getting 29 new taxes passed in 2017.

Those taxpayers spoke loud and clear to their City Council to "Cut Taxes - Cut Spending".

Those taxpayers demanded that their Council people vote to "Cut Taxes - Cut Spending".

The City Council responded to those taxpayers and voted against tax increases for the first time in 18 years!

But make no doubt about it. It was my campaign. It started with me.

I deserve the credit for the 700 day, $40,000 campaign.

The 80,000 taxpayers that are paying the tab deserve the credit for its' success!

That is why I always consider myself a servant of the taxpayer.

Happy Spring everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Wednesday, April 25
CrickeeRaven

The only "record" the make-believe "mayor" means is the broken one he resembles when he persists in posting already-disproven statements on this website.

His claims are proven to be, at best, exaggerations and at worst, complete falsehoods, by this article: https://warwickpost.com/digit-spinner-richard-corrente-fudges-numbers/

- 700 days campaigning

Not quite: "Corrente does not define what “campaigned” means, so it’s difficult to confirm whether he, indeed, engaged in political campaigning for 700 days. As for that figure of 700, Corrente filed his initial notice of organization with the Board of Elections on Dec. 11, 2014; election day in 2016 was on Nov. 8, a span of one year, 10 months, and 28 days, or a total of 698 days."

- 80,000 taxpayers

False: "Going by his statements that focus on the city’s finances, Corrente is talking specifically about Warwick residents who pay “the tab” via car and property taxes, and there simply aren’t 80,000 of them."

- [S]topped Avedisian from getting 29 new taxes passed

False: "Corrente is misreporting how the budget was passed in Warwick. For this year’s budget, the council proposed 29 amendments that reduced proposed city spending by about $750,000 and held back $3 million in school funding while the teachers contract was negotiated... So, Avedisian did not “try to pass” those 29 amendments; none of the amendments were aimed at increasing taxes; and not all of the council votes on the amendments were unanimous."

- The City Council responded to those taxpayers and voted against tax increases for the first time in 18 years

False: "The adopted FY2018 budget includes an expected $3.6 million increase in tax revenue, in fact. So, the tax rate stayed the same this year — that’s not the same as a cut. By comparison, the FY2017 budget did include a tax rate decrease though it generated higher revenue as the result of a recent property revaluation. As far as the cut in spending that Corrente claims, the FY2018 budget shows that expenditures are set to go up by some $6.5 million over FY2017."

- It was my campaign. It started with me

False: "In other words, Corrente is taking credit for the city council passing a tax cut when the tax rate is staying the same, whereas he criticized Avedisian for raising taxes last year, when the tax rate went down, and also claiming tax and spending cuts when both are actually increasing."

- [S]ervant of the taxpayer

False: "According to Corrente’s own formulation, he will “represent” the people who donate to his campaign. So, since he provided 90.25 percent of the funding for his 2016 run while contributions comprised 9.25 percent, Corrente apparently represents himself and a few local Democratic politicians."

Honest, taxpaying voters in Warwick know better than to trust anything the make-believe "mayor" says, and they will overwhelmingly reject his candidacy again this November.

Wednesday, April 25
Kammy

If you rallied "80,000 Warwick taxpayers" why didn't they vote for you in 2016. People rally around their leader. They don't see you as their leader. Your statement is false.

80,000 Warwick Taxpayers. The 2016 US Census Bureau puts Warwick's population at 81,579. TOTAL COUNT. The real count of taxpayers is just over 66,000 who are eligible to vote. 18% of the population listed is under the age of 18. THEY CAN'T VOTE RICHARD. Again, your statement is false.

You simply do not have the presence, power or prestige to rally the taxpayers. I mean, you can always tell yourself that and clearly you do...often...but it doesn't make it true. Why must you always double down on a lie? Once, just once, would you please use verifiable actual fact to back up your statements? You need a campaign manager because you can't manage it on your own. At least they will do research and help you so that you don't keep making a fool of yourself.

Thursday, April 26
CrickeeRaven

What I'm wondering, Kammy, is how the make-believe "mayor" will resolve the many contradictions in the statements that he has made on this site.

For example, he claims credit for tax and spending cuts in the FY18 budget -- that don't exist. Tax revenue went up, and spending went up -- not down.

So, will he a.) attack the city council for not listening to him, proving his claims of influence to be lies, or b.) continue to claim that the cuts actually happened despite factual evidence to the contrary, proving his claims to be lies?

Similarly, he claims that Mayor Avedisian submitted 29 amendments that would have raised taxes -- yet it was the council that submitted the amendments, they didn't raise spending, and they weren't all passed unanimously.

So, will he a.) continue to attack Avedisian for raising taxes and spending when it was the council that passed the budget, proving his claims to be lies, or b.) attack the council for not listening to him about cutting taxes and spending, proving his claims to be lies?

What we are witnessing, thankfully, are the final grasps of a failed candidate to cling onto any shred of visibility that he thinks he can gain by continuing his futile campaign against a mayor who is not running again. The September primary can not happen soon enough.

Thursday, April 26