Dems Question Hinckley’s Commitment to Rhode Island After Voting Record Emerges
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
The motivations of Senate candidate Barry Hinckley are again being called into question by supporters of incumbent Senator Sheldon Whitehouse after the Republican’s campaign confirmed that he registered to vote in Florida in 2010 before ultimately voting in the Ocean State later that year.
“Given this revelation, Rhode Islanders really have to question whether Barry Hinckley - who has said that running for office is a good way to boost public relations for your business, and has told others he’s running in Rhode Island because it’s a 'cheap seat' - is going to have their best interests at heart," said Bill Fischer, a spokesperson for the RI Democratic Party.
But Whitehouse supporters say it is Hinckley’s record in recent years that warrants more attention.
The Newport native spent much of his adult life in Boston where he co-founded Bullhorn, a software company that recently sold for over $100 million. But after a short time living in Florida in 2010, Hinckley says he moved back to Rhode Island in time to vote in the local elections. By March of 2011, he had already launched his Senate campaign website.
Two weeks ago, the Whitehouse campaign took Hinckley to task for suggesting that running for office was a smart public relations move for businessmen looking to make a name for themselves during a speech several years ago. Hinckley has pointed to the fact that he has poured $150,000 of his own money into the race as an example that he is committed to the campaign.
But now Democrats are questioning whether Hinckley simply chose Rhode Island because it is relatively affordable to run for a Senate race in the Ocean State.
Hinckley’s campaign manager Patrick Sweeney confirmed that the Republican moved to Florida for “a couple of months” and obtained a “license and registered to vote, but never voted.” He dismissed the Democratic Party’s criticism of his candidate.
“If that’s the best Bill Fischer has to offer, it is going to be a long election cycle for him,” Sweeney said. “It is readily apparent Senator Whitehouse does not want to debate the issues and is grasping at straws. Some questions for Mr. Fischer: Why has unemployment doubled in Rhode Island under his term? Why has gas doubled under his term? Why has the national debt almost doubled under his term? Why did Senator Whitehouse bail out the banks? Why did Senator Whitehouse take over $2 million dollars in special interest money?”
Whitehouse and Hinckley are expected to take part in several debates prior to the November election.