NEW: RISC Unveils Taxpayers’ Issues Platform
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
The Rhode Island Statewide Coalition (RISC) is unveiling a 3-piece voter information package for the 2012 campaigns for General Assembly that is designed to identify pro-taxpayer issue positions as well as candidates who RISC views as working for—or against—the best interests of the state’s taxpayers. The RISC Taxpayers’ Issues Platform will take the place of conventional candidate endorsements in races for the state Legislature this year.
“Voters need to have a clear snapshot of which candidates are working in the best interests of the taxpayers, and which are working against them and their community at the statehouse, and we believe this Platform can help do that,” said RISC Executive Director Donna Perry. “Those who are standing in the way of reducing the pension debt burden, are trying to go backwards on tax rates, and work to undermine needed reforms to the school systems are working against the taxpayers and against the best interests of the state. The voter needs to understand that.”
Perry said the Platform is the central tool RISC is providing this fall to educate voters as to whether their hometown rep or senator is representing the best interests of their community, local taxpayers, and hometown businesses.
The Issue Index and Position Statements of the Platform
The Platform represents a compiling of broader topic areas which impact taxpayers, local budgets, and the state’s broader jobs creation/economic development strategy. It looks partly at specific votes, and partly at broader legislative activity that could include sponsorship of bills, committee work, or alignment with other special interest/advocacy efforts.
Though there are thousands of individual pieces of legislation that can have implications for the taxpayer, the purpose of the platform is to offer voters a simplified snapshot of the taxpayers’ perspective against which to measure candidates, whether they are incumbents or new challengers.
The Platform is made up of two key components: an Issues Index, and a RISC Position Statement that reflects the broader RISC perspective on the issue. The Platform covers issues that fall under the broader umbrella categories of: pension reform; municipal spending; tax rate reform; education reform; economic development loan programs and practices; illegal immigration laws; and issues related to transparency and practices of the General Assembly.
Campaign Trail Palm Card & Voter Question Guide
RISC is also producing a “Palm Card” version of the Platform, similar to the door to door campaign card candidates distribute, by which voters can have a handy, easy to absorb brochure to better understand the issues. RISC will also unveil an on-line “Voter Question Guide” this fall that will aim to help voters pose relevant questions to candidates along the campaign trail. It’s aimed at helping voters assess a candidates’ viewpoint on issues RISC views as most relevant to the best interests of taxpayers and their local communities.
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