Is this the Mailer that Took Out State Rep. Jon Brien?
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Labor unions had mixed results in Tuesday’s elections, but they may have picked up the upset of the year when firefighter Stephen Casey unseated State. Rep Jon Brien (District 50) in Woonsocket.
Brien, a conservative Democrat, was the chairman of House Municipal Government Committee and was considered one of the lawmakers who played a vital role in pushing for legislation that required voters to show identification at the polls.
He also had the unfortunate distinction of co-sponsoring the legislation that helped paved the way for the $75 million loan guarantee the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) gave to former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios just over two years ago. The video game company filed for bankruptcy in June.
And last week, SEIU District 1199NE, the union which represents nearly 4,000 health care workers throughout Rhode Island, let voters know about it.
The group confirmed Wednesday that it spent $834.57 for a mailing (see below) sent to frequent primary voters, that ripped Brien for “sponsoring the law that made it all possible” for Schilling’s company to receive the funds.
Brien, who lost by 50 votes, has long maintained that he was unaware the bill, which created the EDC’s $125 million Job Creation Guaranty Program, may have been designed specifically for Schilling. In May, he told GoLocalProv that former House Finance chairman Steven Costantino convinced him to co-sponsor the legislation and that he thought providing more access to funding for small businesses seemed like the right the idea at the time.
“I really feel the wool was pulled over my eyes, in retrospect,” Brien said at the time. “I feel I was sold a bill of goods. Never once did I hear anything about 38 Studios.”
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