Guest MINDSETTER™ John Loughlin: The Truth Matters
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
In 2010, I had the distinct honor and privilege of traveling across Rhode Island’s First Congressional District campaigning for the United States Congress. While I did not win the honor of representing Rhode Island in the Congress, I did meet 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.
Each of the candidates then, myself and the former Mayor of Providence, David N. Cicilline, attended several forums and debates where we each presented to the voters the qualifications we would bring to the position.
I knew otherwise. My campaign had conducted a review, using both publicly available information as well as the accounts of members of the Mayor’s own administration that indicated the City of 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 held on the steps of City Hall.
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.
During my three terms in the Rhode Island House of Representatives, I was formally referred to as “the Honorable John Loughlin.” That was a title that I took very seriously as the residents of Portsmouth, Little Compton and Tiverton, whom I was privileged to serve, can attest. For a presumably respected public official, such as the Mayor of Providence, to publicly and wrongly call my integrity into question was exceptionally difficult for me and my family to endure.
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 as both an enlisted man and for more than 23 years as a commissioned officer. 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. General Douglas MacArthur once said, “No nation can safely trust its martial honor to leaders who do not maintain the universal code which distinguishes between those things that are right and those things that are wrong.” 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, Such public servants are entrusted by us with our votes. They are the stewards of our hopes and dreams and are responsible for making decisions that impact our daily lives and futures in very real and direct ways.
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 to the citizens of Rhode Island’s First District that Mr. Cicilline 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.
I have two wonderful daughters of whom my wife and I are most proud. We instilled in them the belief that as good citizens they have no higher duty or responsibility than to be truthful. Being truthful can be and often is costly, but the truth is always easy to remember and you are never ashamed to look into a mirror. You cannot say the same once you start down the road of deceptions and lies. How can we as parents ever look them in the eye and tell them that we are thinking of voting for a man who struggles with the truth?
As a nation and state we face hugely important and difficult decisions. These decisions will be made, in large degree, by the men and women we elect to send to Washington as our representatives. It would be a profound mistake to return someone like David Cicilline to Washington whose character is flawed by a deficiency in personal integrity. 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. He does not deserve to be re-elected. Our state and our nation is in desperate need of electing men and women who possess essential attributes of CHARACTER, COURAGE, COMPETENCE and COMMITMENT.
I believe Brendan Doherty is clearly the better choice in 2012. Mr. Doherty will have my vote on November 6 and I hope all who reside within the First District will think long and hard before choosing which candidate is more deserving of their vote. We need to hold our representatives accountable for what they say and do. Mr. Ciccilline’s defeat will send a loud and clear message that character and integrity matter. 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.
John Loughlin is a former State Rep. and Congressional candidate.
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