To the editor:
In 2010, I had the honor and privilege of traveling across Rhode Island’s First Congressional District campaigning for the United States Congress. During the campaign, I met a broad cross section of Rhode Islanders who all share the desire for a better life, a more balanced and prosperous state and a stronger free America. Every person I encountered shared their belief that the individual they would choose to send to Washington must honestly and faithfully represent them, their interests and their families with integrity.
The ultimate winner of the election, David N. Cicilline, garnered more votes than I did, largely because at forums, in his advertising and on the stump, he was less than truthful about his record as mayor. Time and again, he told voters that he left the City or Providence in “excellent financial condition.”
I knew otherwise. My campaign had conducted a review that indicated that Providence was saddled with what the incoming mayor labeled as a “category five hurricane.” During the campaign I frequently, loudly and with careful stipulation to the facts spoke the truth about the actual financial condition in which David Cicilline was leaving the city. I confronted him in person during debates and forums and at a press conference.
David Cicilline had the temerity and gall [arrogance] to refer to my rendering of the truth as “reckless political attacks” – in effect branding me as a liar who would say anything to get elected. Less visible but equally reprehensible were his statements before senior citizens that I would take away their Social Security and Medicare – all patently untrue.
My reputation as a man of strong character and unimpeachable personal integrity has always been and continues to be of the utmost importance to me and to my family. I served honorably for more than 27 years in the Army Reserve. I was greatly honored to be found worthy and deserving of being recalled from retirement to serve a combat tour in Iraq where I was again privileged to be associated with men and women whose priorities always were service above self. The entire structure of the military is necessarily founded upon key core values of courage, honor and commitment. I fervently believe that all who aspire to public service, either elected or appointed, must also be held to account to these same core values,
Time always eventually reveals truth – and time has revealed and confirmed that I conducted my 2010 campaign with honor. The same cannot be said for our new Congressman. It was Mr. Cicilline who played fast and loose with the truth in order to self promote, mislead his constituents and gain votes he did not deserve.
I respectfully submit that Mr. Cicciline continues his deceptive ways. He has publicly and brazenly proclaimed said that he simply “misspoke” and was just “overly optimistic,” when the reality is that he engaged in a consistent pattern of deceit by blocking access to his own internal auditors, not submitting his final budget until after the elections and violating the city charter to move funds around – in effect cooking the books. As I learned firsthand, you must be very wary and on guard before accepting anything David N. Cicilline says as true.
It would be a profound mistake to return someone like David Cicilline to Washington. Based on his past record, how can we ever trust him to be honest with us? How can we ever be comfortable with the belief that he has the character to place service above self-promotion?
Regardless of your political party affiliation, I do not believe Mr. Cicilline is deserving of a second term in Congress. By his words and by his actions, he has demonstrated his inability or unwillingness to live up to the high standards of our military’s core values of courage, honor and commitment. The bottom line? Mr. Cicilline is a weak person who has trouble with the truth if he thinks the truth might hurt his political career. He is an opportunist who puts his own interests before those he is elected to serve.
I believe Brendan Doherty is clearly the better choice in 2012. We need to hold our representatives accountable for what they say and do. Mr. Cicilline’s defeat will send a loud and clear message that character and integrity are essential. Candidates who lack either are unfit to serve in public office. We the people also need act responsibly and cast our votes with honor and integrity. Our nation and our state, which we all love and want to preserve and protect, deserve no less.