2018 Gov’s Playbook: Fung & Raimondo Battle Over Immigration — Who Is a Liar?

Monday, August 13, 2018

 

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Two issues exploded this week: immigration and accusations of lying. 

The emerging issue in the Rhode Island’s governor’s race of immigration is growing into a wildly divisive one. At the top level, it may turn into a referendum on President Donald Trump and open borders.

Mayor Allan Fung of Cranston signed an agreement with the Department of Justice promising that federal immigration officials will be contacted when a criminal in custody is in this country illegally.

"The number one responsibility of our government, whether it's the City of Cranston or the State of Rhode Island, is protecting our citizens. We have a lot of work to do. Unfortunately, under Governor Raimondo, Rhode Island had the highest murder rate in the region in 2016. The steps we have taken this week ensure that criminals who are here illegally will be identified to federal authorities, so that they cannot continue to commit crimes in our city," said Mayor Fung.

"When I'm Governor, we will not be protecting criminals who are in this country illegally, period. We will not be a sanctuary state, and I will fight against sanctuary cities like Providence. Governor Raimondo's policies at the Department of Corrections are creating an unsafe situation for our families. We need only look at the Ramon Delossantos case where a repeat drug offender, in this country illegally, was not reported to ICE upon leaving the ACI, and went right back to becoming one of the state's biggest opioid kingpins within a year," said Fung.

On Thursday, Providence and Central Falls Mayors Jorge Elorza and James Diossa announced they were suing the federal government.

“Does Governor Raimondo support Mayor Elorza's lawsuit? Does she believe Providence and the state of Rhode Island should be sanctuaries for criminals who are also here illegally? Law abiding citizens have a right to know where Governor Raimondo stands on enforcing the law,” said Fung.

“At the heart of Central Falls' turnaround in recent years has been the community-oriented nature of our police department, made, in part, possible by Byrne JAG funding. We are hopeful that the federal court will order that Central Falls can continue to receive this important funding without the requirement that our police officers become agents of a broken, federal immigration system,” said Diossa.

“When I'm Governor, Rhode Island will NOT be a sanctuary state! Because of Governor Raimondo's policies, a criminal who was in this country illegally was shielded from immigration officials upon his release from the ACI,” said Fung in a Facebook post.

Debate Debate Continues -- Charges of Lying

Both Raimondo and Fung continue to refuse to conduct public debates with their opponents. Raimondo’s campaign claims that they won’t debate Matt Brown because he is a “liar.” But, the campaign refuses to disclose his lies. The only issue the Raimondo claimed was a “lie” was his position on “oil money.”

“Brown said he took over $40k from Big Oil in his last campaign because he didn’t understand "the urgency of the climate change crisis" at the time -- even though he gave multiple speeches during the same period calling global warming a 'serious global threat.' Any 10-year-old can see right through his lies,” said Emily Samsel of the Raimondo campaign.

When asked for specifics Samsel said, “Matt Brown’s entire campaign is fundamentally dishonest. He is all over the place — Monday night he told a room of seniors that the Governor was going to take away their health care, earlier this year he announced he was seeking the Democratic nomination while still registered Independent, his field organizers are telling voters that Governor Raimondo is closely aligned with Trump, he falsely claims that Governor Raimondo cut Medicaid and in 2006 he pretended he didn’t know about the Hawaii money laundering scheme his campaign orchestrated.” But, Raimondo’s campaign has refused to support the claims.

Brown’s campaign fired back. “You can’t just call someone a liar to distract from an issue. The real issue is that voters deserve to hear candidates speak on the important topics in a debate, not just from packaged, 30-second TV ads,” said Juliet Barbara.

 

Related Slideshow: 2018 Governor’s Race Playbook - August 13, 2018

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Momentum: Up

Patricia Morgan (R)

Wins:

Morgan blasted Fung for refusing to debate. 

“Debates are a necessary part of a healthy democracy,” Morgan said. “I want there to be an informed electorate.”

Morgan pointed out Fung’s refusal to take a firm stance on certain key issues, including Second Amendment rights and abortion.

“Everyone knows where I stand, I’m quite clear about it,” Morgan said. “I’ve been a proud gun owner since I was twelve years old. I am strongly pro-life. Fung, meanwhile, has openly said he was pro-choice, then willfully twisted his position to seem like he was pro-life.”

Morgan believes Fung’s refusal to agree to a public debate stems from a desire to remain a “blank slate” candidate, one from whom voters can project their own beliefs. She added that Fung is taking a “Clinton-esque” approach, by declaring himself the frontrunner in the election while staying away from direct media exposure.

Losses:

N/A

X-Factor: Fung's unwillingness to debate is drawing attention.

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Momentum: Up

Luis Daniel Muñoz (I)

Wins:

Muñoz is calling for "all ballot-certified candidates" to be included in gubernatorial forums and debates during the 2018 election season. 

Muñoz' call comes on the heels of Democratic candidate Matt Brown calling on Governor Gina Raimondo to debate, and GOP candidates fighting over the number of Republican primary debates. 

Losses:

N/A

X-Factor: Made some noise and got some attention.  Can he make it into more? 

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Momentum: Up

Matt Brown (D)

Wins:

Raimondo's unwillingness to debate is a win for Brown. He seems to be everywhere. Canvassing across the state. Appeared on the John Loughlin show on WPRO and walked away with a toaster for the appearance. "@mattbrownforgov with his new John Loughlin Show toaster - How bout it @GinaRaimondo you could have one too! Just come in studio @wpro #removablecrumbtray"

Losses:

Solid week for Brown. Can his grassroots effort offset Raimondo's massive media buy?

X-Factor: No money, no matter? Brown is testing the strategy that a volunteer-driven effort can off-set a massive organization and big-time money.

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Momentum: Flat

Joe Trillo (I)

Wins:

Trillo called on Raimondo and Fung "disgraceful" for refusing to debate on local television and radio stations before the September primary election. 

“Every Rhode Island voter deserves better than what we’re seeing from Governor Raimondo and Mayor Allan Fung.  Televised and radio debates give Rhode Island voters the opportunity to form an educated opinion about the candidates before casting their votes.  Governor Raimondo and Mayor Fung want to keep voters in the dark until after the primary election because they’re clearly afraid of how they’ll measure up against their respective primary challengers,” said Trillo.

Losses:

Unlike Matt Brown, who has an army of volunteers, Trillo is struggling to get his message to the voters.

X-Factor: Will Trillo invest his own money to drive the race via media?

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Momentum:Down

Allan Fung (R)

Wins:

Is the immigration battle his best issue?

Joseph Molina Flynn, head of the Latino PAC and GoLocalProv MINDSETTER™ Tweeted this week as the immigration debate began, "This is a huge disappointment. Not that I, personally, expected any different from @MayorFung. It’s unfortunate that those who hail their immigrant story can’t understand how not everyone enjoys the same privileges."

Losses:

The unwillingness to debate (except for an AM radio show in Woonsocket) raises questions and is a missed opportunity for a lot of earned media.

X-Factor:  Fung needs a strategy.

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Momentum: Down

Gina Raimondo (D)

Wins: 

She is spending a lot on media. Her commercials are solid and many barely show her or have her speak. 

Losses:

Her unwillingness to debate Brown is a win for Brown and appears that she is hiding behind her media dollars.

X-Factor: Unwillingness to debate is raising questions about her willingness to defend her record. 

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Momentum: Down

Giovanni Feroce (R)

Wins:

N/A

Losses:

Feroce went negative this week in a series of Facebook posts, "Today is a new day, let's go. Patricia Morgan has no experience at all! All you "anybody but Fung" folks please pay attention. Morgan wouldn't even get interviewed for a starting level position at most companies, let alone run a state. Stop it already. 

If you are committed to Fung, it is time to change your priorities. Put Rhode Island first! "

X-Factor: What happened to the man of action?

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Momentum: Down

Spencer Dickinson (D)

Wins:

Very little activity.

Losses:

N/A

X-Factors:  No press statements, little social media, few public appearances.

 
 

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