Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo may claim that her administration has been “the most transparent Rhode Island has ever seen,” but her words have yet to match her actions. In fact, Raimondo’s constant resistance to any attempt to promote openness has made her the least transparent governor in America. For months, Raimondo has constantly misled Rhode Island’s press corps about her out-of-state fundraising trips, refusing to follow through on releasing details about her events, including the identities of her hosts. Just yesterday, Raimondo quietly left the state for “political events” in California, and with her new position as DGA Vice Chair – which will frequently take her out of state to fundraise for Democrat candidates – she shows no intention of being transparent about her activities.
Raimondo’s fundraising trips aren’t the only case of her disturbing lack of openness with the people of Rhode Island. Here are just a few examples:
THONRTON LAW FIRM MONEY:
Raimondo has refused to return donations she received from attorneys at Thornton Law Firm, which has been under investigation for possible illegal campaign contributions to numerous Democrat candidates. Despite repeated calls to donate or refund the money, Raimondo has signaled that she has no intention of doing so, offering no explanation for accepting political contributions from individuals whose law firm has been under federal investigation for possible illegal campaign activities.
PHONY JOB NUMBERS:
Raimondo’s lack of transparency has even been on full display when it comes to accurately reporting Rhode Island’s economic performance. Raimondo’s staff was caught pushing phony, inflated job numbers earlier this year to bolster her lackluster record on the economy. Given the fact that the Rhode Island economy under Raimondo has been described as “weak and limping along” with “anemic” job growth, it’s no surprise that the Raimondo administration would want to distort the truth on this issue.
For months, Raimondo has refused to take responsibility for her lack of leadership on Rhode Island’s child welfare scandal since the Providence Journal first reported on disturbing cases of alleged neglect and worse by workers in Rhode Island’s Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF). In an interview, Raimondo made excuses to justify why she waited nearly two years into her term to hire a Director for the DCYF who met state-mandated qualifications. Raimondo’s shortcomings have even drawn the ire of members of her own party, like Democrat Rhode Island House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Patricia Serpa, who has repeatedly criticized Raimondo for leaving a “leadership vacuum” on the DCYF scandal.
Raimondo’s out-of-state fundraising efforts in particular have drawn intense scrutiny in recent months. The Providence Journal has shredded Raimondo for repeatedly refusing to disclose details about some of her out-of-state fundraising activities, including the identities of those hosting her fundraisers. Raimondo’s activities even drew criticism from her potential primary rival, former Democrat Governor Lincoln Chafee, who accused her of funding her campaign with “dirty money.”
Raimondo’s alarming lack of honesty and repeated resistance to any attempts to hold her administration accountable proves that she is the least transparent governor in America. Rhode Island deserves better come 2018.