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As I See It


Special Election: Vote Mike Smith  (August 2017)

By: Cory Pacheco
      On August 22nd, 2017, Newport and Jamestown voters have the opportunity to replace Senator Teresa Paiva-Weed after the abdication of her seat earlier this year. On the left, out of 11,550 potential voters, only 1,287 Newport and Jamestown residents went to the polls to select Dawn Euer as the Democratic candidate. On the Republican side, small-business owner Mike Smith of Newport declared his candidacy a few months ago.
       Mike Smith is the father of four children, ranging from the kindergarten to collegiate age, the proud husband of Sarah Smith, and a local small business owner. His tireless work to create a prosperous environment for his family throughout his life has driven him to run for the recently vacated state senate seat because of his fear for our state’s small business climate, the future of his children, and his dedication to a greater future for all Newport and Jamestown residents.
       At the current rate, 7 out of 10 students graduating from one of our collegiate institutions will leave the state in order to find better employment opportunities. For Mike, this issue really hits home because, at this rate, 3 out of 4 of his children will depart the state to find greener pastures, and for good reason because Rhode Island is currently ranked 50th for business growth in the United States of America. The crippling policies of our governor, as well as the incumbent assembly, have devastated the small-business industry while forming a “Keep Out” sign for students across the nation looking to build careers in Rhode Island.  For this reason, this isn’t Mike’s first run for public office; Mike previously ran against Teresa Paiva-Weed in 2014, earning the trust and support of 45% of Newport and Jamestown voters.
       But Mike didn’t quit there, and his persistence and genuine passion to create a better environment for Newport and Jamestown residents have earned the support of many volunteers ranging from college kids to senior citizens across the state of Rhode Island. Many of these people have been seen knocking doors and handing out flyers for the past few months in Newport, getting to know his constituents and hearing their opinions on the various issues throughout the area. In Newport, student averages in all three areas of the SAT, PARCC, and NECAP lag far behind statewide averages, as well as costing the town $4,000 more per pupil than the statewide average. In Jamestown, the SAT scores fair similarly, which is yet another reason Mike believes it’s time for a change in leadership for the citizens of the area.
       In Mike Smith, Newport and Jamestown residents know that by voting for Mike, they are represented by one of their own; someone who has a genuine care for the improvement of the area, as well as a small businessman that has been affected like each of his constituents by the strangling progressive policies implemented by the current assembly and administration. For these reasons, as well as a strong character that places family values above all, Mike’s campaign has attracted small donations and tons of volunteers; however, the intentions of his opponent are unclear.
       In Dawn Euer, residents see a successful Providence lawyer, most famous for her role in advancing social issues. What local Newport and Jamestown people don’t know is that Dawn’s campaign has been fueled by multiple out-state-donations, including a substantial contribution from Planned Parenthood. The problem with this is that these large donations have a huge impact in spreading literature across the area, yet they have absolutely no idea the daily issues the local residents cope with. Dawn is propped up by people who don’t know and likely don’t care about the issues their constituents face, while Mike Smith is in the trenches, listening to and dealing with the same issues everyone in Newport and Jamestown faces.
       By voting for Mike Smith, people have seen what they will get if elected to the State Senate; a father dedicated to providing a better future for his children, as well as those across the area. With Dawn Euer, voters must decide whether their vote will be used to better their future, or if it will be a vote to continue the damaging policies of the progressive Raimondo administration, filled with false hope and promises for all Rhode Island residents.

March 6, 2016

Every time Rhode Island gets a windfall we seem to squander it. It started first in 2002 and again in 2007 with revenue from the Tobacco Settlement. In November 1998 attorneys general from across the country won a $200 Billion settlement form the tobacco industry to settle the health care costs of smoking.

Then Wall Street knocked on state doors with an offer for cash upfront for those governments willing to trade investors the right to some or all of their tobacco payments. State after state struck deals that critics derided as “payday loans” but which state proponents deemed only as prudent. Private investors, not the taxpayers, would take the hit if people smoked less and the tobacco money fell short.

In 2002 and 2007 Rhode Island politicians used these offers to help balance the state budget. “Tobacco Bonds” were issued by the state to private investors. Investors were promised large payouts on the bonds. These were high risk bonds that were hard to sell.
According to a GoLocalProv.com article “Rhode Island is now facing $2.8 billion in debt on capital appreciation tobacco bonds due in 2052” – (Tuesday, August 12, 2014) Where was this used again? Why with #38Studios!

Now the second windfall General Assembly politicians squandered was The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 better known as The Stimulus Plan. Rhode Island received almost $1.1 Billion to use on our crumbling roads and bridges for Shovel Ready Projects.

These are the very same bridges that the #RhodeWorks and #Toll plan was just voted on in 2016, seven years later. What happened to the money? According to GoLocalProv.com “just under 9 percent ($95,493,854) of the $1.096 billion that Rhode Island received was given to” the RI DOT. – (Monday, June 29, 2015)

Remember how Governor Raimondo claimed originally we needed $1.2 Billion to fix RI’s Roads and Bridges? What did the General Assembly do with the rest? They spent $340M on Education, $206.8M on Transportation; $118.6M on Infrastructure; $104.3M on Health; $84M on Science; $79.5 on Energy; $49.4 on Housing; $47.6 on Unemployment; $28.9 on Public Safety; $18M on Family; $19.3 on Other.

This is why RI struggles with revenue and poor infrastructure, we divert it to plug holes in our state budget rather than what we should be doing, fixing our state.

Are you getting it yet?



As I See It:

The real purpose of #RhodeWorks is the eventual tolling of cars in Rhode Island. But wait a minute you say. The General Assembly stated emphatically that cars will never be tolled. It’s written right in the legislation!

And I have some bottom land in the Great Swamp for sale.

As I See It this is how it will unfold.

The RI DOT will ask for bids, the lowest bidder will win and 14 Portable Toll Gantries will be erected around the state highways and along the interstate within 16 to 24 months. The first tractor trailer truck that passes through a gantry and receives a bill will submit that bill to their attorney. The attorney will turn around and bring suit against the RI DOT and the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations for violating the Commerce Clause which prevents states from regulating the economy.

“At least four possible interpretations of the Commerce Clause have been proposed. First, it has been suggested that the Clause gives Congress the exclusive power to regulate commerce. Under this interpretation, states are divested of all power to regulate interstate commerce. Second, it has been suggested that the Clause gives Congress and the states concurrent power to regulate commerce. Under this view, state regulation of commerce is invalid only when it is preempted by federal law. Third, it has been suggested that the Clause assumes that Congress and the states each have their own mutually exclusive zones of regulatory power. Under this interpretation, it becomes the job of the courts to determine whether one sovereign has invaded the exclusive regulatory zone of the other. Finally, it has been suggested that the Clause by its own force divests states of the power to regulate commerce in certain ways, but the states and Congress retain concurrent power to regulate commerce in many other ways. This fourth interpretation, a complicated hybrid of two others, turns out to be the approach taken by the Court in its decisions interpreting the Commerce Clause. “ (http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/statecommerce.htm)

Based upon the above data, the judicial ruling could very well go against the state and the RI DOT. If that happens, then the tolls of large trucks will be considered illegal. What to do, what to do.

Solution, since the gantries are already in place, and since the state has invested millions in their construction, and since Democrats can never be trusted to do the right thing for their constituents or themselves, they will be forced, Forced I Tell You! – to toll trucks, motor homes, cars, trucks, bikes, tricycles, and baby carriages.

They will convene and simply delete the language from the existing law preventing the tolling of cars and viola! – Another tax for the average RI driver to absorb. Of course they will start off small but in time the tolls will increase, because that is what tolls do. Tolls are Taxes and Democrats love their Taxes.

And that is how I See It.

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