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PowerPlayer: Democratic Congressional Candidate Anthony Gemma

Monday, June 25, 2012


This week’s PowerPlayer is Democratic Congressional candidate Anthony Gemma. Mr. Gemma was kind enough to chat with GoLocalProv about his vision for Rhode Island and the country.

1) You're a successful businessman now running for Congress. Tell us what you can do for Rhode Island that you're opponents cannot.

You hit the nail right on the head. I am the only candidate that brings business experience into the race. As a businessman I know that when the middle class is successful, our society flourishes. We must encourage this. Having managed two businesses and having starting the non-profit organization (the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation), I understand business and non-profits in a way no one else in the race does. I know that this is important for understanding job creation and strengthening our national and local communities.

When a bill comes up in Congress that could affect how businesses and non-profits function, I will be the best voice for start-up businesses and non-profits. I can attest to the fact that starting up a small business is difficult, but few people realize how difficult it is for non-profits to begin. Creating jobs in this country will have to hinge on creating jobs in the public sector, the private and the not-for-profit sector. I will bring my knowledge and experience to Congress so businesses and non-profits can grow and be a successful part of our community and our nation.

2) Everyone knows job creation is the biggest issue in the country. Give us three other issues you'd like to fix in Washington right now.

After job creation, the next major issue on my agenda is to fight for preventative healthcare programs, specifically fighting for women’s healthcare. In comparison, the Republican Party continues to attempt to cut services which would prevent illness, saving money in the short term at the expense of growth and life expectancy in the long term. I know how important preventative care is; it saves people's lives. I see this happen every day at the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation, giving women hope by helping women detect the disease at the earliest possible stage.

Another important issue I want to work on in Washington is helping our veterans. I am appalled by the manners in which, we as a nation, have abrogated our responsibility to defend those who risk their lives to defend us. Federal and state services currently offered to veterans take little if any advantage of cutting-edge technological resources that are routinely utilized to support commercial ventures. I want to help change this atmosphere, and give hope to our veterans.

I am an ardent supporter of programs for our senior citizens. I believe we must preserve, protect, and strengthen Social Security, and Medicare. The social contract we have made with our parents' and grandparents' generations must be upheld. They must not have to make the impossible choice between medicine and food. When I hear discussions from the Republicans in Congress of turning Medicare into a voucher, I cringe at the idea. If elected I will use my vote to prevent dishonoring the promise we made to our seniors.

3) Take us through a day in your life.

Perhaps “lives” is the more accurate word. I work, on average, 18 hours per day. This campaign, from countless public appearances, through internal planning sessions, to private study and writing, consumes most of that time. Meeting my responsibilities to family account for the balance.

4) Rhode Island seems to suffer from that first in, last out dilemma whenever the economy goes in the tank. Give us three ways to improve Rhode Island's economy.

  • Create sustainable, well-paying jobs in ways detailed in my “21st Century Congressional Jobs Plan.”
  • Make higher education affordable and accessible to all, eliminate the need for prospective degree seekers to choose between learning and earning, and as a result create a skilled workforce to support both traditional and cutting-edge industries.
  • Develop industries and resources unique to Rhode Island (our concentrations of educational and health-and-wellness centers, and Narragansett Bay, for examples), create strategic/symbiotic relationships among them, and offer the resulting models for national applications.

5) Tell us something nobody knows about you.

I’m a Patriots fanatic and have been all my life. I love football, and hope to one day find the time to couch a youth football team.

Quick Hitters

Role Model: My mother

Favorite Restaurant: Too many to mention

Best Beach: Newport and Narragansett

Best Book You've Read in the Last Year: Profiles in Courage - John Kennedy

Advice for the Next Anthony Gemma: Live, Laugh and Love


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How is this guy a power player? Because he let you interview him?
He's a guy running for office with a big name. .

He currently has NO power at all. He has NO chance of getting elected.
But yet, he's a power player. I don't get it.

There are hundreds of people running for various offices. It's funny how most names you never even hear about, until you get in the voting booth.

Comment #1 by pearl fanch on 2012 06 25

blah blah blah Democrat talking points - seems he has studied Cicilline quite well because he sounds just like him with the fear tactics don't vote for the bad scary Republicans they just want to take every thing away from our seniors. Pathetic - Doherty doesn't even need to talk to get my vote, Gemma and Cicilline talk enough bullshit to lose my vote.

Comment #2 by don almonte on 2012 06 25

@Pearl: Gemma is running neck and neck with Cicilline. Gemma is an underdog but he has a good chance of winning the Democratic primary.

@don: It's almost weird how good Brendan Doherty looks when he says nothing and just lets Cicilline and Gemma talk.

Comment #3 by Todd B on 2012 06 25

Gemma a successful business man? Let's see. He was handed the keys to Gem Plumbing, a company built from the ground up by his father while he was still a kid. OK, he started Mediapeel, a marketing company with no known clients notwithstanding the whole theater about Alex and Ani buying Mediapeel. Oh well, he calls himself a marketing guru so that has to be worth something.

Now he is going to "make higher education affordable and accessible to all." Wasn't that what Olivia Culpo responded when they asked her how she would like to make the world a better place?

Comment #4 by Edward Smith on 2012 06 26

Todd, I think we can all agree that Cicilline is a total piece of crap, who shouldn't even be allow to vote, never mind run for office.

Your man Gemma, is running neck and neck with him. He should be blowing him away!!!!!!!! That proves my point that he has no power.

Doherty will steam roll over either one of them. Hopefully other races will go the same way.

Comment #5 by pearl fanch on 2012 06 27

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