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Doherty vs. Cicilline: A Contrast in Character

Thursday, May 19, 2011


As retired RI State Police Colonel Brendan Doherty launched an early bid for Congress in the First District last week, certain critics came out quickly to note the obstacles he may face in the campaign. The first and perhaps most obvious is that, in announcing as a Republican, he is most likely facing a Republican primary against John Loughlin, who came within a few points of stopping David Cicilline from winning the seat last fall.

Loughlin has stated he fully intends to run again. As a lifelong Army reservist, he was tapped for a new six-month tour of duty in Iraq and has just very recently departed. Though he should be highly commended for his commitment to military service, it remains to be seen if that assignment may ultimately affect his earlier decision to make a second run at the seat. Only time will tell but it would be a shame for the state GOP if these two competent and high quality candidates have to face off against each other before one of them gets to the real opponent, the current Congressman, David Cicilline.

Should circumstances emerge making Doherty the chief Republican candidate, it is difficult to overstate the vivid contrast in character between the Colonel and Congressman Cicilline.

Colonel Doherty, by all accounts, served with great distinction in an unblemished career on the State Police force which took him to the very top leadership post. Those who may question his experience with public policy issues that would come with a Congressional seat are underestimating both the man and the mandate that contemporary chief law enforcement officials carry out.

Holding the top leadership post of the state police force means intersecting with some of the most challenging public policy questions facing us today. Immigration law and all that it encompasses is only one of them. Corrupt use of government funds, financial fraud schemes, and internet fraud and cyber crimes, are just a few of the fiscal and government related areas which someone of Colonel Doherty’s stature has overseen.

His leadership of the numerous investigation successes of the state police stands in stark contrast to the disastrous municipal management of the former Cicilline administration. The fiscal meltdown of Providence is an unfolding fiasco from which Cicilline will not be able to run nor hide.

But what is coming more clearly into view in recent weeks beyond the former Administration’s budget blunders, is the character—or lack thereof—of David Cicilline in responding to the rising chorus of questions. His ongoing determination to blame first, the state’s aid cuts; then, his own city Auditor, certain Council members and fiscal adviser Gary Sasse; then, Republicans in Congress, conveys a desperate mission to shift focus away from own incompetent decisions and actions.

Contrast that with Doherty’s demeanor and actions last winter as he conveyed a strong difference of opinion over an immigration policy favored by Providence law enforcement and Governor Chafee. Doherty vehemently disagreed with Providence seeking to opt out of the Secure Communities Program being implemented statewide by Attorney General Peter Kilmartin. The program, Doherty argued, is aimed at determining the legal status only of those suspected of criminal behavior and cannot be effective in a tiny state if it is ignored in the state’s largest city. He called it irresponsible and misguided thinking by the new Providence Commissioner of Public Safety Stephen Pare and he issued a sharp statement to that effect. Days later he reportedly had a face to face discussion, initiated by Chafee, over his very public stand on it.

However, at no time did the very clear depth of his disagreement over the policy become a personal, vindictive style attack. He conveyed his clearly strong convictions on what is a very weighty policy in a highly principled way and ultimately decided that it would not be the best future course for him to continue serving as Colonel. He stepped down in a professional, respectful way and did not issue insults or blame as he did so.

His campaign is smart to highlight uncommon integrity as a central theme of his candidacy. It is a quality he exudes and one which the public is desperately searching for as problems multiply both statewide and across the nation.

In terms of the incumbent, many “I” words come to mind. Incompetent. Insincere. Indifferent (to the fiscal hurricane he has unleashed on Providence).

Integrity—sure isn’t one of them.

If you valued this article, please LIKE GoLocalProv.com on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Donna Perry is a Communications Consultant to RISC , RI Statewide Coalition www.statewidecoalition.com


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JUST SAY IT..BRENDAN IS A MAN & DC IS ???..whatever you call him in Edgewood or Newport
prediction: DC kicks his rear all day

Comment #1 by lOUIS PRIMA on 2011 05 19

Here's a news flash for you Donna Perry: Shiny Boots Brendan couldn't even beat that wacko Chris Young in an election.

He'll get a few votes from state police suck-ups that he promoted, a few groupies like yourself that get turned on by the boots and Smokey the Bear hat, and of course he'll get a couple of votes from radical right wing tea party gun nuts, but that's about it.

It's time for Brendan to face the facts-the governor canned him, his 15 minutes of fame are over, and he's officially become irrelevant.

Comment #2 by johnny jones on 2011 05 19


The Doherty-Chafee confrontation was political theater, pure and simple -- a cynical charade played by Brendan Doherty and directed by his RDM Ministry of Propaganda for the purposes of setting up Doherty's absurd-on-its-face "uncommon integrity" trademark.

Newly minted REPUBLICAN Brendan Doherty claims that he "can't remember" for whom he cast his presidential vote in the 2008 DEMOCRATIC Primary.

Brendan Doherty launched his campaign with distortions and misrepresentations and, quite likely, lies of Cicilline-esque proportions.

Uncommon DEFINITION OF integrity -- now that slogan I'll buy for Brendan Doherty!

A "contrast of character" between Doherty and Cicilline?


Brendan Doherty and David Cicilline -- peas in a pod.

Comment #3 by Charles Drago on 2011 05 19


Is RISC jumping on the Doherty bandwagon, just like they jumped on the Caprio sinking ship when they should have endorsed John Robitialle? Mr Doherty may be a good man however the true conservative candidate is John Loughlin and he deserves the loyalty of republican voters and the support of RISC....or will your organization abandon him for the new flavor of the month who supports unions and is Pro Choice? Yet another Rhode Islander getting a nice big RI pension check.

Comment #4 by jack flash on 2011 05 19

join my facebook group dump cicilline 2012. We need a new Congressman for the 1st district .

Comment #5 by anthony sionni on 2011 05 19


What is the real problem in RI...The Dems, or the union leadership...maybe both? The unions will be supporting Doherty over Loughlin...THIS IS A DEAD GIVE-AWAY. This is what Doherty and Cicilline will have in common. This is enough for me....

Comment #6 by guy smily on 2011 05 19

While this article may dismiss Doherty's complete lack of policy expertise as not a problem, it is very concerning to me that within a week he said he was against the Ryan Plan, then was for it and doesn't know where he stands on Obamacare. Plus his abortion stance is the worst kind of wishy washy politician pandering.

Comment #7 by Jen Petersen on 2011 05 19



Also: In a presidential election year, Democrats will come out in force for Barack Obama and -- more significantly in terms of this thread -- to try to recapture the U.S. House.

Doherty's "heart" is not the issue. It is his party affiliation that will do him in.

(That and his dishonesty and ignorance: Brendan Doherty and David Cicilline -- peas in a pod.)

UNLESS, of course, the Democratic nominee is David Cicilline -- who CANNOT WIN in November.

To all caring Democrats: Brendan Doherty proves my adage:

Every dollar donated to David Cicilline is a dollar donated to the Republican Party.

Comment #8 by Charles Drago on 2011 05 19

Ugh, this article is as slimy as it gets. Why not just come out and say, "vote for Doherty because he is the REAL man?"

Comment #9 by Lizzie Dodge on 2011 05 19


Mr. Doherty can't identify with the Republicans...his stands on abortion and guns stick out like a sore thumb. In addition, he clearly can identify with the unions as he enjoys his $110,000 a year state pension (which like judges he did not contribute to), medical benefits...etc. Yes he earned it but the average Republican working 2 jobs and contributing to a 401K sees a big disconnect! He should have run as a democrat as he has more in common with them.

Comment #10 by jack flash on 2011 05 19

I wonder if RI State Police Colonel Pare, the man he replaced, will be voting for him. Doherty is no better than Centracchio who fired Baccus for following the Geneva Conventions at Gitmo.
I could support Pare or Baccus. Until then GO Cicilline.

Comment #11 by Real Clear on 2011 05 20


Go AWAY Cicilline!

And so you shall, lying, incompetent fraud.

Comment #12 by Charles Drago on 2011 05 20

Everyone behind the scenes is aware that Doherty is all over the place on the issues and just wants to win. His democrat handlers will hide him for a few months as he needs to educate himself on the issues. He announced way too soon and is not prepared to speak to the issues.

Comment #13 by jack flash on 2011 05 24


Doherty's "democrat" handlers?

Poor usage aside ...

Comment #14 by Charles Drago on 2011 05 24

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