Democrat women are right to revolt

By Arlene Violet
Posted 12/9/19

Quick! What do former Congresswoman Claudine Schneider, former Lieutenant Governor candidate and Secretary of State Susan Farmer, former Attorney General Arlene Violet, Former General Treasurer Nancy …

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Democrat women are right to revolt


Quick! What do former Congresswoman Claudine Schneider, former Lieutenant Governor candidate and Secretary of State Susan Farmer, former Attorney General Arlene Violet, Former General Treasurer Nancy Meyer, former Secretary of State candidate Barbara Leonard, and former statewide candidate Kathryn Power and others all have in common? The answer is that they were all endorsed by the Republican Party, starting almost 40 years ago. Former minority leader Lila Sapinsley was selected by her GOP brethren to head the top post in the legislature. She was followed by a host of other talented women legislators. This is also true of the GOP party chairs, culminating in the present Chair, Sue Cienki.

Now look at the Democrat Party. In 2014 Gina Raimondo did NOT receive the endorsement. It was only when she and Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea actually won their respective terms did they get subsequently endorsed by the Democrats. Before them, no woman received an endorsement.

So, it is not surprising that there is a revolt by female democrats against the misogynism. Some of their male counterparts' attitude is capsulized by former senator and now lobbyist, Stephen Alves, of the democrats' state committee. When some democrat women wanted to change a bylaw, he retorted, “If a pig grunts, you don’t grunt back.”

It is very interesting that he should use a pig analogy to describe the women. After all, nobody is a bigger hog than he. As a state senator he populated the state with some 80 family and friends with state jobs. When a "voluntary payment" process was initiated to have some legislators contribute toward his family health care, this “financial guru” who worked for UBS refused to pay anything. While “serving” in the Senate he split a $100,000 commission paid out of a union pension for no work performed. The payment from Prudential Financial was washed from the company through the pension fund and then to UBS as a “finder’s fee.” Just who is the “oink”?

If the democrat male leadership had any respect for women they would have removed Mr. Alves from the committee. No matter, though. He only insulted women. If they didn’t remove him when he porked the taxpayers, why would they remove him now for his insulting comment?

Ironically, the GOP is supposed to be the more conservative party. Yet, they are more democratic than the democrats. The Republican executive committee has seats for the RI Federation of Republican Women, the Conservative Caucus, Young Republicans, College Republicans, and the Liberty Caucus, which endorsed second place finisher, Patricia Morgan, over the GOP primary winner, Allan Fung. (As per Sue Cienki, Providence Journal, 11/20/19). The Republicans raise their own money for their own use…endorse candidates, send out press releases etc., something not permitted by the democrats.

Skeptics may say that allowing democracy leads to GOP defeat and Democrat victories. There are numerous unrelated reasons why democrats win races, but, even were this assertion true, the public should not countenance this attack on democracy.
I say to the democrat women, right on, sisters! Even more, put a real "hurt" on the male chauvinists by switching over to the Republican Party.Make your chant of “Shame, Shame, Shame" a reality by kissing those dinosaurs heading your party a fond goodbye.

Arlene Violet is an attorney and former Rhode Island Attorney General.

Arlene Violet

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