GoLocal Examines Voting Records of RI Gubernatorial Candidates
Friday, February 28, 2014
Last week, GoLocal broke down Democratic candidate Clay Pell’s spotty voting record, and went on to determine that the grandson of Sen. Claiborne Pell failed to vote in 10 of the 18 elections he was eligible to participate in.
Today, GoLocal examines the voting records of the four remaining candidates -- Gina Raimondo, Ken Block, Angel Taveras, and Allan Fung.
State Treasurer and Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Gina Marie Raimondo, a native of Smithfield, became eligible to vote in 1989. According to the Providence Board of Canvassers, Raimondo voted in the primary, presidential, mayoral and gubernatorial elections for the years 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012.
“I do not have her voter registration card in Smithfield anymore,” Said Smithfield Town Clerk Carol A. Aquilante.
That’s not to say Raimondo never voted before 2002. It’s possible she did and the files have been destroyed or sent to storage. However, Raimondo Campaign Manager Eric Hyers said “She registered to vote as soon as she moved back to Rhode Island.”
Hyers did not respond to additional questions or repeated requests for additional information.
“I moved to Rhode Island in 1991 and bought my first home shortly after. Between 1991 and 1999, I was traveling as a software engineer working for GTECH. As a young adult starting my career, my work as an engineer required travel and extended stays in many places including Austin, Texas, Irving, Texas, Salem, Oregon, Edmonton, Canada, Saskatoon, Canada, Calgary, Canada, Winnipeg, Canada, and even Stockholm, Sweden,” he said.
According to the Milford Registrars Office, there is no record of Block ever voting in Connecticut. It's possible the records were purged by the system. Connecticut does not keep voter records indefinitely, especially if the resident has moved to another state. Block, however, admitted Thursday that he never voted until he moved to Rhode Island.
“In 2000, I married my wife Jen and settled in Rhode Island, no longer travelling for business. I voted in 2000 and every election since. As a father of two, I will encourage my kids to start voting earlier than I did. And my daughter Ana is already way ahead of me. She won an election for student government, and now reminds me that she is the only member of the family to be elected to office. I hope to change that soon.”
According to the Providence Board of Canvassers, Block voted in the following elections – including primary, presidential and gubernatorial: 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011 (Special Election in Barrington, where he lives), and 2012.
Democrat candidate and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras became eligible to vote in 1988. According to the Providence Board of Canvassers, Taveras voted in the primary, presidential, mayoral and gubernatorial elections for the years 1996, 1997 (Providence Special Election), 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012.
Taveras Campaign Manager Danny Kedem did not return multiple requests for comment regarding the candidate’s voting record for the years leading up to 1996.
Cranston Mayor Allan Fung
The Fung campaign did not return numerous calls for comment regarding the Mayor's voting record prior to 1996.
More concern with recent history
“I think voters mostly are concerned with whether someone has voted in recent years. If a candidate is seeking office now, people want to see that they have been engaged in the issues and participating in elections,” said political expert Darrell M. West of the Brookings Institution. “What someone did a decade or more ago would be much less of a problem from a voter standpoint.”
Related Slideshow: PAC Spending in the 2014 Rhode Island Governor’s Race
With Election Day now just months away, GoLocal took a look at PAC spending in the Rhode Island gubernatorial campaigns.
Who is giving to who -- and how much? And what's worth more, the money or the grassroots support?
Below is look at recorded PAC giving by the candidates in their campaign finance reports for the 2013 calendar year, by quarter. Candidate Todd Giroux has an affadavit for an annual filing exemption.
Gina Raimondo - Q1 2013
PAC money received: $7,000
Gina Raimondo - Q2 2013
PAC money received: $4,400
Gina Raimondo - Q4 2013
PAC money received: $6,950
Angel Taveras - Q1 2013
PAC money received: $3,600
Angel Taveras - Q2 2013
PAC money received: $6,550
Angel Taveras - Q4 2013
PAC money received: $6,100
Allan Fung -- Q1 2013
PAC money received: $1,550*
- INVESTIGATION: Pell Failed to Vote More than Half the Time
- PODCAST: Pell Failed to Vote More than Half the Time
- Will Pell’s Missing Votes Matter at the Polls?
- Pell’s Failed Voting Record Gets Worse
- 10 Questions Block Has to Answer When Running for Gov of RI
- 10 Questions Fung Has to Answer When Running for Gov of RI
- 10 Questions Pell Has to Answer When Running for Gov of RI
- 10 Questions Raimondo Has to Answer When Running for Gov of RI
- 10 Questions Taveras Has to Answer When Running for Gov of RI