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PowerPlayer: Republican Congressional Candidate Michael Riley

Monday, April 30, 2012


This week's PowerPlayer is Republican Congressional candidate Michael Riley. Mr. Riley was kind enough to chat with GoLocalProv about his background and his campaign.

1) You're challenging Congressman Langevin, who has never really had a tough opponent before. Why will you be different?

If voters are satisfied with the incompetence and sense of entitlement that Congress exudes, so be it. The notion that people don't like Congress, but tolerate their Congressman, is about to be upended. I offer specific solutions to creating jobs and getting government out of the way of economic advancement. Our elected officials have to be held accountable. That means not saying one thing when you are in you are in your home district in Rhode Island and voting an entirely different way when sequestered away in Washington.

There is a fundamental difference between me and my Democratic opponent: I am totally focused on economic issues, creating jobs and the fragile financial condition of our towns. He favors bigger government and higher taxes to pay for it.

2) What are the three biggest issues plaguing Rhode Island today?

Unemployment in Rhode Island is at 11 percent. Eleven percent! So much for TARP and Motor City bailouts and "shovel ready" projects. Second ,our towns are in critical condition due to economic mismanagement and persistent underfunding of health care obligations and pensions. The choice between much higher taxes and bankruptcy is now very real. This crisis was foreseeable and we "kicked the can". Now Congress is doing the same thing in Washington DC . Third, Rhode Island taxes are just too high across the board . If we want more taxpayers we need to attract them not repel them.

3) Take us through a day in your life.

6am. Wake up. Feed the dogs. Feed the cat. Commute 1 mile to work.

Read the Providence Journal, Narragansett Times and skim other local papers online. I read the WSJ, Bloomberg, Barron's, Morningstar, SEC filings etc. The background noise is usually filled in by financial news.

Late afternoon evenings are spent on the campaign. On Tuesday nights I indulge myself and play in a pitch league.

4) You're a guy with a Wall Street background. Tell us why that can be a good thing despite what some may think of Wall Street?

I have made a successful career out of managing the financial assets of working people and families who have entrusted me with their futures. I have always taken that trust seriously and it goes beyond the fiduciary responsibilities that a money manager bears. As a small business owner, I had to compete with large institutions like Goldman Sachs and CitiBank.When think of these firms I am reminded of Former Goldman CEO , Democratic US Senator and New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine who embodies the negative image of Wall Street today. Corzine gambled his clients' money on risky bets and lost it all. But he still bundled more than $500,000 in campaign donations for President Obama. Something is very wrong with that picture.

5) Tell us something nobody knows a about you.

I once danced with Cyndi Lauper.

Quick Hitters

Role Model:  My father Ivers Riley.He started with nothing and through hard work and integrity he became a giant in the financial industry...Yet he continues to be humble.

Favorite Restaurant: Pancho O'Malley's

Best Beach: Narragansett Town Beach

Best Book You've Read in the Last Year:  Boomerang by Michael Lewis

Advice for the next Mike Riley: Hard work and strong principles are necessary to accomplish great things.


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