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GoLocal Examines Voting Records of RI Gubernatorial Candidates

Friday, February 28, 2014

 

Canvassing records reveal one thing each of Rhode Island's 2014 gubernatorial candidate has in common: imperfect voting records.

Last week, GoLocal broke down Democratic candidate Clay Pell’s spotty voting record, and went on to determine that the grandson of Sen. Claiborne Pell failed to vote in 10 of the 18 elections he was eligible to participate in.

Today, GoLocal examines the voting records of the four remaining candidates -- Gina Raimondo, Ken Block, Angel Taveras, and Allan Fung.

 

 

 

RI State Treasurer Gina Raimondo

State Treasurer and Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Gina Marie Raimondo, a native of Smithfield, became eligible to vote in 1989. According to the Providence Board of Canvassers, Raimondo voted in the primary, presidential, mayoral and gubernatorial elections for the years 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012.

“I do not have her voter registration card in Smithfield anymore,” Said Smithfield Town Clerk Carol A. Aquilante.

That’s not to say Raimondo never voted before 2002. It’s possible she did and the files have been destroyed or sent to storage. However, Raimondo Campaign Manager Eric Hyers said “She registered to vote as soon as she moved back to Rhode Island.”

Hyers did not respond to additional questions or repeated requests for additional information.

 

Ken Block

Republican candidate Ken Block cast his first vote in the 2000 election. A native of Milford, CT, Block became eligible to vote in 1983. He cited an extensive travel schedule during his early career as a software engineer as one of the hurdles to a steady voting record.

“I moved to Rhode Island in 1991 and bought my first home shortly after. Between 1991 and 1999, I was traveling as a software engineer working for GTECH. As a young adult starting my career, my work as an engineer required travel and extended stays in many places including Austin, Texas, Irving, Texas, Salem, Oregon, Edmonton, Canada, Saskatoon, Canada, Calgary, Canada, Winnipeg, Canada, and even Stockholm, Sweden,” he said.

According to the Milford Registrars Office, there is no record of Block ever voting in Connecticut. It's possible the records were purged by the system. Connecticut does not keep voter records indefinitely, especially if the resident has moved to another state. Block, however, admitted Thursday that he never voted until he moved to Rhode Island.

“In 2000, I married my wife Jen and settled in Rhode Island, no longer travelling for business. I voted in 2000 and every election since. As a father of two, I will encourage my kids to start voting earlier than I did. And my daughter Ana is already way ahead of me. She won an election for student government, and now reminds me that she is the only member of the family to be elected to office. I hope to change that soon.”

According to the Providence Board of Canvassers, Block voted in the following elections – including primary, presidential and gubernatorial: 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011 (Special Election in Barrington, where he lives), and 2012.

 

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras

Democrat candidate and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras became eligible to vote in 1988. According to the Providence Board of Canvassers, Taveras voted in the primary, presidential, mayoral and gubernatorial elections for the years 1996, 1997 (Providence Special Election), 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012.

Taveras Campaign Manager Danny Kedem did not return multiple requests for comment regarding the candidate’s voting record for the years leading up to 1996.

 

 

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, Block’s opponent in the upcoming Republican Primary, became eligible to vote in 1988. According to the Providence Board of Canvassers, Fung has voted in every primary, presidential, mayoral and gubernatorial race since 1996, including a 2003 Cranston Special Election. Fung voted in 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003 (Cranston Special Election), 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012.

The Fung campaign did not return numerous calls for comment regarding the Mayor's voting record prior to 1996.

More concern with recent history

“I think voters mostly are concerned with whether someone has voted in recent years. If a candidate is seeking office now, people want to see that they have been engaged in the issues and participating in elections,” said political expert Darrell M. West of the Brookings Institution. “What someone did a decade or more ago would be much less of a problem from a voter standpoint.”

 

Related Slideshow: PAC Spending in the 2014 Rhode Island Governor’s Race

With Election Day now just months away, GoLocal took a look at PAC spending in the Rhode Island gubernatorial campaigns.

Who is giving to who -- and how much?  And what's worth more, the money or the grassroots support?

Below is look at recorded PAC giving by the candidates in their campaign finance reports for the 2013 calendar year, by quarter.  Candidate Todd Giroux has an affadavit for an annual filing exemption.

Prev Next

Gina Raimondo - Q1 2013

PAC money received: $7,000

AON Corporation:  $2,500*
Attorneys Partridge, Snow, and Hahn: $1000
Brokers for Better Health Care: $250
Engage RI PAC: $1000
Hinckley Allen and Snyder: $1000
Hinckley Allen and Snyder Rhode Island PAC: $1000
RI Medical PAC: $250
 
Cash balance ending March 31, 2013: $1,723,203.71
 
Excessive donation made in error, said would "be reflected" in 2nd quarter report
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Gina Raimondo - Q2 2013

PAC money received: $4,400 

Amica RI PAC: $250
Cox PAC: $1000
Federal Express RI State PAC: $250
IBEW Local 99: $500
Iron Workers Local 37: $250
Metlife Insurance PAC D:  $200
Plumbers and Pipefitters Local: $500
RI Bricklayers PAC: $500
RI Carpenters PAC: $200
RI Laborers PAC: $500
Sheet Metal Workers: $250
 
Cash balance ending June 30, 2013: $2,063,548.54
Prev Next

Gina Raimondo - Q3 2013

PAC money received $1,750 

Citzens Bank PACOM: $500
Delta Dental of RI PAC: $500
DRIVE PAC: $500
International Union of Painters: $250
 
Cash balance ending September 30, 2013: $2,305,657.89
 
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Gina Raimondo - Q4 2013

PAC money received: $6,950

Attorneys Partridge, Snow, and Hahn: $750 
Building Industry PAC: $500
Capitol Communications Group LLC, PAC: $500
Emily's List RI: $1000
IBEW Local 99: $250
Plumbers and Pipefitters: $500
RI Laborers' PAC: $1000
RI Medical PAC: $750
RI Public Employees Education PAC: $1000
United Food and Commercial Workers: $500
Utility Contractors' Association: $200
 
Cash balance ending December 31, 2013: $2,508,647.86
Prev Next

Angel Taveras - Q1 2013

PAC money received: $3,600

Capitol Communications Group, $500
Iron Workers Local 37, $100
IOUE (Intl. Union of Operating Engineers) Local 57: $1000
Moses and Afonso PAC: $1000
Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 51 PAC: $500
RI Carpenters PAC: $250
RI NERCC (NE Regional Council of Carpenters PAC) PAC: $250
 
Cash balance ending March 31, 2013: $560,779.72
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Angel Taveras - Q2 2013

PAC money received: $6,550

Attorneys Partridge Snow and Hahn: $250
Attorneys Partridge Snow and Hahn: $750
Building Industry PAC: $500
Chartercare Employee PAC: $250
COX PAC: $250
COX PAC: $750
Hinckley, Allen, Snyder PAC: $1000
Hinckley, Allen, Snyder Rhode Island PAC: $1000
IBEW Local 99: $100
Local 791 UCFW PAC: $500
Providence Firefighters Local 799: $200
RI Troopers Association: $1000
 
Cash balance ending June 30, 2013: $692,590.12
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Angel Taveras - Q3 2013

PAC money received: $1,300

Connecticut Healthcare District 1199: $500
Providence Firefighters Local 799: $800

Cash balance as of September 30, 2013: $759,150.22
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Angel Taveras - Q4 2013

PAC money received:  $6,100

American Association of University Professionals: $1000
Darrow Everett PAC: $500
Enterprise Holdings PAC of RI: $500
Enterprise Holdings PAC of RI: $500
Middletown Firefighters COPE: $100
RI Laborers Public Employees PAC: $1000
RI Medical PAC: $1000
RI State Association of Firefighters: $1000
United Food and Commercial Workers: $500
 
Cash balance as of December 31, 2013: $1,025,981.62
Prev Next

Allan Fung -- Q1 2013

PAC money received: $1,550*

Amica PAC: $250
Cox PAC: $200
IBEW Local 99: $250
International Brotherhood of Police: $350
RI Troopers Association: $500
 
Cash balance as of March 31, 2013: $160,520.12
 
* A later filing amended the PAC amount to $1,650 and cash balance to $159,520.12.
Prev Next

Allan Fung - Q2 2013

PAC money received: $1,600 

Amica PAC: $250
International Brotherhood of Police: $650
MetLife PAC D:  $200
Opticians PAC: $500
 
Cash balance as of June 30, 2013: $256,498.77
Prev Next

Allan Fung -- Q3 2013

PAC money received: $1,100

CIRI PAC: $100
Darrow Everett: $500
RI Troopers Association: $500
 
Cash balance as of September 30, 2013: $336,553.93
Prev Next

Allan Fung -- Q4 2013

PAC money received: $3,800

Amica / RI PAC: $500
Capitol Communications Group $500
Hinckley, Allen, Snyder: $500
MetLife PAC D: $800
Opticians PAC: $500
RI Medical PAC: $1000
 
Cash balance as of December 31, 2013:  $384,925.44
Prev Next

Ken Block

Quarter 1:  No PAC $; cash balance   $20,000.07
Quarter 2:  No PAC $; cash balance   $73,987.53
Quarter 3:  No PAC $; cash balance $547,685.26
Quarter 4:  No PAC $; cash balance $634,126.60
Prev Next

Clay Pell

Quarter 4 (first report filed): No PAC $, cash balance $1,105,152.43 

 
 

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Comments:

Block never voted until he was 35? So he criticizes all of us for being a national hall of shame, but clearly he did nothing about it for a lot longer than I've been alive. Do as I say and not as I do. What a joke.

Comment #1 by Brandon Hawk on 2014 02 28

Is that right ? Ken Block never voted until the age of 35 ? I'm not a Block supporter but that doesn't make sense...hopefully it's just that the CT records were purged ? I don't get it...

Comment #2 by Right InRI on 2014 02 28

The right to vote is indeed a valued right, but the free exercise of it is an individual choice and responsibility, not an obligation.

An obligatory vote, if done merely out of fear that failure to vote will be used against one in the future, seems both wasteful and counterproductive.

Some folks go on about voter fraud and subverting the will of the people. But it seems that shaming people who do not vote -- as long as it is a free choice of the individual - is also subverting the will of the people.

We owe it to not only ourselves, but fellow citizens to cast a vote with truthful intent (hopefully informed, but at least based on the principle of expressing what the individual believes is best based on the values and beliefs the person is free to think).

It seems putting forth an arbitrary vote because "you just should" goes against independence. If you want others to decide how we as a larger group will govern, then that should be okay as long as your legal exercise is not denied or coerced.

And by the way, people tend to change their mind over time (as is their right) so to hold someone accountable for actions in the past strikes me again as punishment for beliefs held in the past.

Now if someone can't be bothered to vote for themselves, then maybe I would take that into consideration for my own vote. Otherwise, shouldn't we care more about how these folks are going to govern and lead?

Comment #3 by Prof Steve on 2014 02 28

A large part of being a leader is having walked the walk. I find it VERY amusing that Block is trying to shame the electorate when his record is so weak. What people have done in the past is a very big indicator or their character and where this drive to be Governor is coming from.

Block continues to be nothing but a superstar in his own mind. And in those whom he has promised jobs to. I see some very big suckers all around.

Comment #4 by George McDonald on 2014 03 01

LET'S Not put the same old CRAP in office...Come on RI!..try to vote logically...USE YOUR HEAD..You're digging your own grave when you vote for liberal democrats,these are the people responsible for the state being the cesspool that it is,this is why we're stuck in dead last place and can't move forward.

Comment #5 by LENNY BRUCE on 2014 03 02




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