I’m a Republican, and I support Gemma – for now

To the editor:

I am a Republican. A rock-solid, Tea-Party activist, Constitutional and small-government-minded conservative. And, yes, I will be voting for the Romney-Ryan ticket come November.

But in spite of solid my political affiliation (which I have been aligned with for over a decade) being somewhat a rarity in our solid-blue state, it wasn’t solely the issues that drew me to my philosophy.

Coming from a family of once-proud Democrats, I would say the major factor that turned me off to the party came down to one major connection: The Ocean State, the Democrats’ long-dynasty of political power, and unrelenting history of corruption between the two.

Yes, for me it became a matter of honesty and transparency that come first when picking our elected leaders.

Enter the 2012 political season. Next week, on Tuesday, Sept. 11, Rhode Island Democrats and unaffiliated voters have an important, top-of-the-ticket vote to cast in the primary for Congressional District 1.

On one hand, you have Anthony Gemma. A long-time business-owner with private-sector job-creating experience, philanthropist and founder of the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Foundation, and one-time primary candidate for the same congressional seat (essentially a political-outsider).

On the other hand you have David Cicilline. Son of renowned mob attorney Jack Cicilline, brother to convicted felon John “Johnny Wraps” Cicilline, and one-term incumbent congressman.

Oh, he was also the former two-term mayor of Providence. let’s talk about that, shall we?

In 2010, Cicilline said with great enthusiasm, the city was left in “excellent financial condition.”

This “excellent” condition included a nearly-$200-million-dollar budgetary hole, cited by Cicilline-successor Angel Taverass as a “Catagory-5 fiscal emergency” that has put the city “on the brink of bankruptcy,” along with a Moody’s bond-downgrading since March of last year.

On job-creation, Cicilline’s record is no different. In the summer of 2010, the mayor-then-candidate claimed he ushered in $3 billion in new investment to Providence. But after former city Planning Director Thomas Deller admitted the Cicilline administration was caught in a lie, this claim was ruled FALSE by PolitiFact. To put it to numbers, while the national unemployment rate was a solid 9.6 percent – the Capital City, meanwhile, was stuck at a jaw-dropping 11.5 percent.

And yet, in spite of it being by a slim, 6-point margin, this man still went on to represent Rhode Island’s First Congressional District.

My biggest questions to his supporters since the 2010 election are simple: Are you proud of your candidate?! Will you make the same mistake of rewarding poor-leadership with your vote once again?!

It fills me with great sadness and concern that so many good, common-sense voters in Rhode Island are so blinded by party that they reward poor management with political promotion.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. That’s why, for the sake of honesty and transparency, I urge all primary-voters to Vote for Mr. Gemma next week.

As a Republican, I may not agree with him on all the issues, but at least the November General-Election will be without a shameful candidate on the ballot.

And, if not, I’m sure RI is ready for the party of Reagan to represent CD-1.

William Sousa Grapentine
Bristol

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