King Charges: Raimondo Violates Campaign Pledge
Thursday, October 14, 2010
In June, Raimondo, a Democrat, announced her support for proposed rules from the Securities and Exchange Commission that would bar investment advisors from investing money from public pension funds if their employees donated more than $250 to a political candidate who oversees those funds.
Until the rules were adopted, Raimondo said she would follow them. “Voluntarily adopting these proposed rules is just one way I will show Rhode Islanders that I plan to lead by example to help restore their faith in government,” she said. (Read more.)
But King, a Republican, claims she has violated that pledge by accepting thousands of dollars from companies that do business with the General Treasurer’s office.
“Our opponent Gina Raimondo has accepted funds from companies and individuals over the amount set forth by the SEC and her own campaign promises. If fully investigated, she has violated the Pay to Play rules and more,” said King campaign manager Vic Pichette. “It’s just another example of her hypocrisy.”
A GoLocalProv review of campaign finance records shows that she has received at least $24,150 in campaign contributions from employees at companies that work for the General Treasurer’s office. Those break down as follows: $600, Fidelity Investments; $1,600, Sovereign Bank; $2,525, Citizens Bank; $1,000, Oppenheimer & Company; $4,500, Washington and Trust Company; $10,300, Hinckley, Allen & Snyder; and $3,625, Partridge Snow & Hahn. Among the individual donations, 21 were more than $250.
So-called pay to play donations have been a major issue for the sitting General Treasurer, Frank Caprio, who is now running for governor. In 2009, he returned about $54,000 in donations from out-of-state law firms that sought to do business with his office. Even though Caprio returned the money, his opponent for governor, independent Lincoln Chafee, has continued to make an issue out of it.
‘Raimondo’s integrity is not for sale’
Raimondo campaign manager Joe Shekarchi, denied she would be influenced by donations from the companies that do work for the General Treasurer’s office.
“We do not believe donations are an issue for our opponent or for our campaign. There are several individuals who have donated to both campaigns. Gina has received support from almost 2,000 contributors including family, friends and colleagues she has known for many years,” Shekarchi said.
He added: “I want to be very clear: Gina Raimondo’s integrity is not for sale at any price. She will govern based on merit and merit alone—her decisions will be based on what is best for Rhode Island.”
Shekarchi noted that the companies identified in the GoLocalProv review do not meet the strict criteria for an “investment advisor” as defined in the proposed SEC rules. “We stand by the contributions and our campaign practices,” he said. “We follow the spirit of the law and the letter of the law.”
It turns out that King has received some of the same kinds of employee donations as Raimondo, albeit in smaller amounts: $350, Citizens Bank; $100, Washington Trust; $250, Oppenheimer & Company; and $250, Partridge Snow & Hahn.
Pichette noted that King had not made the same promise as Raimondo. But he said the campaign would return anything over $350, which he said is the new donation limit set by the SEC.
- GoLocal Voter’s Guide - GT Candidates: Gina Raimondo
- Exclusive: Raimondo Releases First Campaign Ad
- King Releases Tax Returns, Raimondo Won’t
- King Releases Tax Returns, Says Raimondo Refuses To
- Raimondo Beats King in Fundraising Race
- Raimondo Explains Why She Won’t Release Tax Returns
- Raimondo Releases Financial Information
- GoLocal Voter’s Guide - GT Candidates: Kerry King
- Kerry King Responds to Democratic ‘Hack Job’
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