Letter: McGaw offers alternative to RI old boy network

Posted 8/6/20

To the editor:

When Michelle McGaw announced her candidacy for Rhode Island House District 71 (Little Compton, Tiverton, Portsmouth) last September, the popular Portsmouth resident fully expected …

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Letter: McGaw offers alternative to RI old boy network

Posted

To the editor:

When Michelle McGaw announced her candidacy for Rhode Island House District 71 (Little Compton, Tiverton, Portsmouth) last September, the popular Portsmouth resident fully expected to be campaigning against the present District 71 Rep. Dennis Canario, an ex-Portsmouth police officer who backs increased access to guns, especially in schools.

McGaw, a trained pharmacist with 30 years experience in Rhode Island health care, believes strongly that concealed weapons have no place in our schools. But in June, Canario, a protégé of Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattielo, suddenly withdrew his candidacy.

In a smooth bit of musical chairs, both he and Mattielo have now endorsed Tiverton town councilman John Edwards for the office. If that name sounds familiar, it is. Edwards is son of John Edwards IV, Senate Majority Whip at the statehouse and representative of RI District 70, a section of Tiverton that borders District 71.

Could there be a more perfect example of how Rhode Island’s old boy network operates? McGaw, an active member of the RI Democratic Women’s Caucus, supports transparency, accountability and inclusion in government. She does not take money from corporate PACS, corporate lobbyists or the fossil fuel industry. She has seen how difficult it is to bring bills to the statehouse floor and make headway against entrenched politicians. She is an advocate for $15 minimum wage, single payer health care, affordable housing and quality public education.

There’s little doubt Edwards V will be getting donations from House leadership. If he wins, his vote is already sold. In an elective season crying out for new voices, Michelle McGaw is the clear choice to represent Little Compton, Tiverton and Portsmouth. I will be voting for her in the September 8 primary.

Janet Taylor Lisle

Little Compton

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.