Fecteau: Senate Candidate Nick Autiello’s Convenient Political Progression
Sunday, March 25, 2018
If Mr. Jabour remains in office, he is already popular, yet – at the time of this writing – lacks the financing (he will likely loan his campaign money in the future). Mr. Jabour has only hundreds in the bank; also competing in the Democratic party, there is progressive activist Mr. Sam Bell.
Both progressive candidates Bell and Autiello are relatively well-financed (about $30k for Bell and $50k for Autiello), but their supposed anti-establishment credentials would likely divide their base. These two progressive challengers pose a problem for each other, but Mr. Bell’s (and perhaps Mr. Jabour’s?) ace in the hole is that Mr. Autiello was once a Republican operative – something that Mr. Autiello acknowledges.
No one knows exactly when Mr. Autiello discovered he was now a progressive Democrat (he claims it was some time in 2013), but some (including yours truly) theorize it was a more recent political maneuver to simply run for public office in Rhode Island. Mr. Autiello’s previous party affiliation is fair game (Mr. Autiello said so in an article) considering voters deserve to know the candidate they are supporting or opposing which includes his or her past.
In the same article, Mr. Autiello said his political progression was due to his youth. He was young and his parents were the reason he became a Republican (which is the reason he supported Republican Rudy Giuliani for president in 2008). He additionally mentioned that he wished dissidents would reach out to him so he could explain his views (I reached out and he never responded back). He let me know this was explained ad nauseam already (not clear enough, obviously). He also pointed to his support of Democratic candidates including New Jersey U.S. Senator Corey Booker in 2014 (Ivanka Trump supported Mr. Booker around the same time!).
While Mr. Autiello was allegedly coming to age (as he says), his history of attacking progressive Democrats including President Barack Obama – a president I worked for in the White House – is a serious concern. This should alarm any Democrat that is considering supporting him. After all, Rhode Island has enough ‘Democrats in Name Only’ in its General Assembly.
I question Mr. Autiello’s sincerity. He may just be another conservative Democrat masquerading as a progressive Democrat that does what he is told or this could just be a cheap attempt at a power grab. His political transformation seems too convenient, and his attacks on Democrats make me queasy. Mr. Auiello can attempt to buy support with all the money he raised (which simply looked like a way to gain good media coverage), but money cannot buy a time machine to go back to erase his controversial history – not yet anyway.
Related Slideshow: GoLocal: Benchmark Poll, October 2017
Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices. How likely is it that you will vote in this election?
Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50...
Definitely be voting: 78%
Probably be voting: 13%
What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?
Jobs and economy: 21%
State budget: 9%
Corruption/Public integrity: .8%
Don’t know: .9%
Recently, a proposal has been made to permit the issuance of $81 million in bonds by the State to build a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox. If there was an election today on this issue, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $81 million in financing supported moral obligation bonds to build the stadium?
Net: Approve: 28%
Definitely approve: 15%
Probably approve: 14%
Net: Reject: 67%
Probably reject: 19%
Definitely reject: 48%
Don't know: 4%
The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS. Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).
$50,000 or less: 27%
More $50,000 but less than $75,000: 13%
More $75,000 but less than $100,000: 13%
More $100,000 but less than $150,000: 17%
$150,000 or more: 13%
Don't know/refused: 17%
What particular ethnic group or nationality - such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth - do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?
Black or African American: 6%
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