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Campaign Update – Chafee Gets Another Union Endorsement

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


The Democratic Party takes on Moderate Party candidate. Democrat endorses GOP candidate for Congress. Kilmartin releases environmental plan. Council 94 makes endorsements. Chafee gets another union endorsement … and more from the campaign trail.

UFCW Endorses Chafee

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 238 has endorsed independent Lincoln Chafee for governor.

“Lincoln Chafee's independent thinking and action has always been about putting people first,” said David Fleming, president of UFCW Local 328. “We know as Governor that he will make sure that working people have the opportunity to improve the lives of themselves and their family, by strengthening our state's economy and balancing our budget.”

The southeastern New England branch of the union has 14,000 members in retail food service, banking, transportation, health care, and other industries.

Council 94 Endorses Cicilline and Kilmartin

Rhode Island Council 94 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees has endorsed Democrats Peter Kilmartin for Attorney General and David Cicilline for the First Congressional District.

"I am pleased to announce Council 94's enthusiastic support for David Cicilline for Congress and Peter Kilmartin for Attorney General. Both candidates have a depth of experience that demonstrates once elected they will get real results for working families,” said J. Michael Downey, president of Council 94. “Council 94 will spread the word of our support for Mayor Cicilline and Representative Kilmartin in the time remaining before Election Day and we wish them the best of luck in their respective races."

Council 94 has 10,000 active and retired state, municipal, and private sector employees.

Kilmartin Releases 5-Point Environmental Plan

Attorney General Candidate Peter Kilmartin announced a five-point environmental protection plan aimed at keeping Rhode Islanders safe from harm caused by environmental crimes.

His five-point plan to protect the environment includes:

1) Leading the fight against the proposed Weaver's Cove Energy project to build an offshore jetty for liquid nitrogen gas (LNG) tankers. Kilmartin believes that the project is inappropriate for Rhode Island's environment.

2) Working to create an Environmental Crimes Strike Force by integrating RI's Environmental Crimes Task Force with the State Police, Local Police and the U.S. Attorney's Office. This Strike Force will strengthen RI's ability to fight and enforce crimes against the environment.

3) Pushing for cleaner energy by advocating for lower electricity rates and vocalizing his support for new forms of energy production in RI, such as offshore wind energy.

4) Cracking down on "green fraud" by prosecuting businesses that mislead consumers into thinking that their products are environmentally friendly when they are not. He will also work with RI companies to develop better green marketing and sales practices.

5) Advocating for tougher environmental protection laws.

Democrat Greco Endorses Zaccaria

Ernie Greco, one of Congressman Langevin's opponents in the Democratic primary for the Second Congressional District, has announced his endorsement of Mark Zaccaria, the Republican nominee in the race.

In a letter sent to Zaccaria, Greco calls for a change in Congressional politics and believes that Zaccaria is the candidate to do it.

"For those of us who realize that a change of the current Congress is absolutely necessary in order to change the direction of the country, a vote for Mark Zaccaria is our best choice at this time," wrote Greco.

Zaccaria thanked Greco for his endorsement, agreeing that Congressman Langevin's "party-line" voting must come to an end. "Like Ernie, I know that we can't afford to send Mr. Langevin back to Washington to vote the party line with Speaker Pelosi ninety-nine percent of the time. It's time for real leadership that will focus on creating solutions to the problems we face as a nation."

Greco is a professor at Roger Williams University and a scholar at the conservative Ocean State Policy Research Institute.

Loughlin Criticizes Cicilline on Immigration

John Loughlin, Republican candidate for the First Congressional District, recently sent Democratic rival David Cicilline a letter criticizing his approach to illegal immigration.

In the letter, Loughlin accuses Cicilline of failing to follow Gov. Don Carcieri’s order to "crack down on illegal immigrants" creating "a magnet for illegal immigration in the city of Providence, [which has] put the public safety at risk."

If elected to Congress, Loughlin has promised to vote against the DREAM Act, which would grant amnesty to illegal immigrants who go to college or join the military. He asks that Cicilline do the same. "It's time we focus our efforts on shutting off the magnets that encourage people to come here illegally."

Democratic Party Takes on AG Candidate Little

The state Democratic Party yesterday launched a broadside against Chris Little, the Moderate Party candidate for Attorney General, taking him to task for the corporate clients he has represented

"The Moderate Party nominee for attorney general is clearly out of touch with everyday Rhode Islanders. Chris Little is a highly paid corporate lawyer who defended corporations accused of unemployment and fair wage abuses," said party chairman Ed Pacheco.

Little responded: “If all the Party and its Attorney General nominee, Peter Kilmartin, can do is say I have represented businesses, then they truly are bankrupt with ideas to improve life in Rhode Island, and for average Rhode Islanders. It is another example of the politics of attack and obfuscation rather than engaging in a true debate as to the candidate who is best qualified to fulfill all of the obligations and responsibilities of the Office of the Attorney General.”

Pacheco singled out the following corporate cases as evidence that Little was “out of touch” (Little’s response to each one is included):

Little represented Robert Derecktor, company president of Rhode Island, Inc., who sought to deny unemployment benefits to his employees: On May 24, 1988, Rhode Island, Inc., a shipyard company barricaded its entrances, blocking union steel workers from voting on a new collective-bargaining agreement. The employees later filed for unemployment compensation for that day. Company president Robert Derecktor attempted to deny the workers their unemployment benefits. 

Little campaign response: One would also hope that the Democratic Party will do a better job in its legal research on behalf of the person they want to be the chief legal officer. They fail to note, that with respect to the Derecktor case, Little’s representation of Derecktor arose out of embezzlement by one of the leaders of the State Democratic Party of funds paid by Derecktor for a bond pertaining to a government contract. When the embezzlement was discovered, Derecktor was in default and all of the jobs of the workers were threatened. With Little’s guidance, the bonds were reinstated and jobs preserved until, ultimately, Derecktor finally had to file for bankruptcy. The Democratic leader who embezzled the funds plead guilty in federal court.

Little defended Brown University when they faced legal action under the Equal Pay Act: In 1983, Little represented Brown University against Professor Winkes. Professor Winkes was not receiving pay equal to his female counterpart Professor Zerner, even though they had both earned tenure. The University attempted to defend itself by claiming that the market for female professors resulted in higher salary.

Little campaign response: Little did defend Brown University almost 30 years ago when it faced legal action under the Equal Pay Act. But, the Democrats fail to notice the U.S. Court of Appeals reversed the finding of the illegal action by Brown, ruling that Brown’s efforts to attempt to retain a female Associate Professor under the circumstances adequately supported the University’s compensation decisions.

Little represented National Starch Company, a chemical company that was involved in a dispute about liability and cleanup costs at a hazardous waste site: The federal government and United Technologies Corporation (UTC) had determined that the National Starch Company was partially responsible for the clean-up costs of hazardous waste in a landfill in Cranston, RI. The National Starch Company attempted to bargain with UTC about its clean-up costs.

Little campaign response: While Little had nothing to do with any hazardous waste sites in Cranston, he did represent a New Jersey company (National Starch) in the Davis site, which had hired a properly licensed company (AETC) to properly dispose of its laboratory waste. When those wastes were discovered at a Rhode Island site, National Starch paid because under the law it was obligated to do so regardless of its absence of fault. Thereafter, National Starch pursued AETC for breach of its responsibilities, and a federal jury ruled in favor of National Starch, awarding it $2.3 million.

Little is currently representing H.W. Ellis Painters in a dispute with the Painters Union about timely contributions to the employee benefit fund: In November 2009, the Painters Union filed a court action lawsuit against H.W. Ellis painters over their failure to timely pay into the employee benefit fund.

Little campaign response: H.W. Ellis Painters is represented by an attorney in another law firm, though Little and his firm at an earlier point in time did represent the company, which was doing its best to attempt to pay the employee benefit funds when it was petitioned into receivership by its lender.


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