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Arthur Schaper: Todd Giroux: Liberty Democrat for RI Governor

Friday, May 09, 2014


Todd Giroux, Liberty Democrat candidate for Governor or Rhode Island.

A conservative friend of mine informed me about a dark-horse, brass-ring candidate for Rhode Island Governor. Quixotic yet ardent, a hardened unlikely “Liberty Democrat” candidate, Todd Giroux is preparing a fantastic if believable campaign.

Born in Woonsocket, raised in North Smithfield (GOP minority leader Newberry’s territory), Giroux is standing up to Wall Street’s control of the Rhode Island Statehouse. Blasting the precedent-setting pension reforms, Giroux indicted Treasurer Gina Raimondo, herself running on the Democratic Party, because she is getting campaign cash from corporations, including the former Enron executive John Arnold.

When it comes to blaming Wall Street to save Main Street, that argument clunks along like a beat-up car on a potholed street in Providence. (Thanks again, Cicilline!)

Wall Street bad. Main Street good. But how many voters, union members, public sector employees have voted in the same status quo of spend now, tax more, and balance later. Then again "bad voters, must vote better” won’t bring in the votes, will it?

At least Giroux brings a populist beat to the Providence statehouse.

What’s Giroux’s jag a beef with the pension reforms, anyway?

Those reforms are going to prevent $4 billion of consumer spending here in Rhode Island and eliminate nearly five billion from pensioners who have earned that money. That affects education the children of our state, tax revenue, investment . Those people chose to work as firemen police, putting their lives and future in danger.

I started differing with Giroux right there. Public employees (police and fire) do put their lives on the line, but strictly speaking they do not earn a pension, as much as they agree to a retirement plan paid out mostly by the city. Furthermore, these lavish agreements between statehouse and union hall have turned into n easy street of middle-class public workers into another 1% entitle class based on an uneasy redistribution of wealth from the silenced taxpayers.

Should City councils pledge hundreds of millions of future residents’ money?

I asked Giroux’s thoughts about the Central Falls bankruptcy.

We do need consolidation to many municipal services in Rhode Island.

That would cut a lot of jobs, put a lot of Rhode Islanders out of work, would it not?

Differentiating himself from the other candidates, Giroux calls himself a Liberty Democrat

I understand the constitution and property rights. There are many politicians negotiating away our freedoms, liberties, and playing politics with our economic conditions. I am working here to defend property rights.

About helping the state economy, the candidate also shared: I support commerce loans.

Loans are crucial to entrepreneurship and expansion, but who will put up the money? Rhode Island?

On a positive note, Giroux is a staunch Second Amendment supporter. He spoke at a pro-2A rally in January this year.

About Obamacare and Health Source RI: It’s a model of affordable health care, I want continuity in the program so that all Rhode Islander s have access.

Apparently, Giroux missed the bipartisan memo: Rhode Island Dems and GOP want to scrap the state exchange and let the Feds run it: perfect example of bipartisanship. Giroux suggested bailing on the 38 Studios bailout to pay for the health exchange. After two years, though, what then?

Having no data polling his odds so far, Giroux also acknowledges that his conservative friend has not officially endorsed him, yet. A few candidates for prior local races have, including Tony Pallicio, the former IT Director for the Attorney General. (The same AG who had no knowledge about disgraced former Speaker Gordon Fox and his many investigation.)

Targeting independents for his campaign, (50% of Rhode Islanders), Giroux believes that his commitment to the Constitution will help him connect with voters.

Let’s talk about how the constitution has helped the majority of Americans, they have delivered us from slavery, equal rights for women, civil rights Act, marriage equality.

Once again, I tried to remind this gubernatorial candidate that the US Constitution does not speak strictly to marriage equality. Even last year’s Supreme Court decision struck down a few states’ marriage laws on procedural grounds, and a majority of states still do not recognize gay marriage, either.

There was no talking to him.

Pivoting back to revitalizing the Rhode Island economy, Giroux referred again to the plan for a commerce fund and an infrastructure fund.

Where would the money come from?

I am calling for Rhode Island’s Fair Share of the 2008 Economic Stabilization Act. That was the law passed to bailout the banks. There were a number of investments and incentives provided in that act. That allows for the reallocation of funds to communities.

On one hand, he supports property rights. On the other hand, he wants a big share of other Americans’ wealth, conscripted through taxation. What gives? At least he supports lower state, income, and property taxes.

But back to the big question: how is Rhode Island going to pay for all of these grand ideas?

Despite his lack of details and fuzzy understanding of key issues, Giroux’ passion pushed through, but will his enthusiasm engage Rhode Islanders to give this Liberty Democrat a chance?

We’ll see.


Arthur Christopher Schaper is a teacher-turned-writer on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance. Follow him on Twitter@ArthurCSchaper, reach him at [email protected], and read more atSchaper's Corner and As He Is, So Are We Ministries.


Related Slideshow: PAC Spending in the 2014 Rhode Island Governor’s Race

With Election Day now just months away, GoLocal took a look at PAC spending in the Rhode Island gubernatorial campaigns.

Who is giving to who -- and how much?  And what's worth more, the money or the grassroots support?

Below is look at recorded PAC giving by the candidates in their campaign finance reports for the 2013 calendar year, by quarter.  Candidate Todd Giroux has an affadavit for an annual filing exemption.

Prev Next

Gina Raimondo - Q1 2013

PAC money received: $7,000

AON Corporation:  $2,500*
Attorneys Partridge, Snow, and Hahn: $1000
Brokers for Better Health Care: $250
Engage RI PAC: $1000
Hinckley Allen and Snyder: $1000
Hinckley Allen and Snyder Rhode Island PAC: $1000
RI Medical PAC: $250
Cash balance ending March 31, 2013: $1,723,203.71
Excessive donation made in error, said would "be reflected" in 2nd quarter report
Prev Next

Gina Raimondo - Q2 2013

PAC money received: $4,400 

Amica RI PAC: $250
Cox PAC: $1000
Federal Express RI State PAC: $250
IBEW Local 99: $500
Iron Workers Local 37: $250
Metlife Insurance PAC D:  $200
Plumbers and Pipefitters Local: $500
RI Bricklayers PAC: $500
RI Carpenters PAC: $200
RI Laborers PAC: $500
Sheet Metal Workers: $250
Cash balance ending June 30, 2013: $2,063,548.54
Prev Next

Gina Raimondo - Q3 2013

PAC money received $1,750 

Citzens Bank PACOM: $500
Delta Dental of RI PAC: $500
International Union of Painters: $250
Cash balance ending September 30, 2013: $2,305,657.89
Prev Next

Gina Raimondo - Q4 2013

PAC money received: $6,950

Attorneys Partridge, Snow, and Hahn: $750 
Building Industry PAC: $500
Capitol Communications Group LLC, PAC: $500
Emily's List RI: $1000
IBEW Local 99: $250
Plumbers and Pipefitters: $500
RI Laborers' PAC: $1000
RI Medical PAC: $750
RI Public Employees Education PAC: $1000
United Food and Commercial Workers: $500
Utility Contractors' Association: $200
Cash balance ending December 31, 2013: $2,508,647.86
Prev Next

Angel Taveras - Q1 2013

PAC money received: $3,600

Capitol Communications Group, $500
Iron Workers Local 37, $100
IOUE (Intl. Union of Operating Engineers) Local 57: $1000
Moses and Afonso PAC: $1000
Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 51 PAC: $500
RI Carpenters PAC: $250
RI NERCC (NE Regional Council of Carpenters PAC) PAC: $250
Cash balance ending March 31, 2013: $560,779.72
Prev Next

Angel Taveras - Q2 2013

PAC money received: $6,550

Attorneys Partridge Snow and Hahn: $250
Attorneys Partridge Snow and Hahn: $750
Building Industry PAC: $500
Chartercare Employee PAC: $250
COX PAC: $250
COX PAC: $750
Hinckley, Allen, Snyder PAC: $1000
Hinckley, Allen, Snyder Rhode Island PAC: $1000
IBEW Local 99: $100
Local 791 UCFW PAC: $500
Providence Firefighters Local 799: $200
RI Troopers Association: $1000
Cash balance ending June 30, 2013: $692,590.12
Prev Next

Angel Taveras - Q3 2013

PAC money received: $1,300

Connecticut Healthcare District 1199: $500
Providence Firefighters Local 799: $800

Cash balance as of September 30, 2013: $759,150.22
Prev Next

Angel Taveras - Q4 2013

PAC money received:  $6,100

American Association of University Professionals: $1000
Darrow Everett PAC: $500
Enterprise Holdings PAC of RI: $500
Enterprise Holdings PAC of RI: $500
Middletown Firefighters COPE: $100
RI Laborers Public Employees PAC: $1000
RI Medical PAC: $1000
RI State Association of Firefighters: $1000
United Food and Commercial Workers: $500
Cash balance as of December 31, 2013: $1,025,981.62
Prev Next

Allan Fung -- Q1 2013

PAC money received: $1,550*

Amica PAC: $250
Cox PAC: $200
IBEW Local 99: $250
International Brotherhood of Police: $350
RI Troopers Association: $500
Cash balance as of March 31, 2013: $160,520.12
* A later filing amended the PAC amount to $1,650 and cash balance to $159,520.12.
Prev Next

Allan Fung - Q2 2013

PAC money received: $1,600 

Amica PAC: $250
International Brotherhood of Police: $650
MetLife PAC D:  $200
Opticians PAC: $500
Cash balance as of June 30, 2013: $256,498.77
Prev Next

Allan Fung -- Q3 2013

PAC money received: $1,100

CIRI PAC: $100
Darrow Everett: $500
RI Troopers Association: $500
Cash balance as of September 30, 2013: $336,553.93
Prev Next

Allan Fung -- Q4 2013

PAC money received: $3,800

Amica / RI PAC: $500
Capitol Communications Group $500
Hinckley, Allen, Snyder: $500
MetLife PAC D: $800
Opticians PAC: $500
RI Medical PAC: $1000
Cash balance as of December 31, 2013:  $384,925.44
Prev Next

Ken Block

Quarter 1:  No PAC $; cash balance   $20,000.07
Quarter 2:  No PAC $; cash balance   $73,987.53
Quarter 3:  No PAC $; cash balance $547,685.26
Quarter 4:  No PAC $; cash balance $634,126.60
Prev Next

Clay Pell

Quarter 4 (first report filed): No PAC $, cash balance $1,105,152.43 


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