Guest MINDSETTER™ Sen. Elaine Morgan: Playing Politics

Saturday, October 08, 2016


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Senator Elaine Morgan

Living my entire life in Rhode Island has been wonderful. I have seen a lot of things in the political arena--the good, the bad, and the unethical. Breaking this unethical cycle is the challenge we must continue to undertake by staying on course.

What I hear in traveling across the country and talking with many people is this: “Oh, you’re from Rhode Island. Better you than me,” along with other derogatory comments. I hear many stories about how someone chose to leave R. I. because it was impossible to run a successful business in a climate of overtaxing and over-regulating.

One of these businessman now living in Georgia has a successful business employing over 250 people. We must keep these people here! Having started four businesses myself and having struggled to stay afloat, I can relate. This is one of the motivating factors that inspired me to take on the challenge of Senator at the state level. I could no longer sit on the sidelines and complain; it was time to take action.

This is my first term as Senator for District 34. It has been the most productive and successful legislative session for both the Senate and the House in years. Monumental strides were accomplished by partnering with DBR (Dept. of Business Regulation) and DLT (Dept. of Labor and Training). I have personally been involved in assisting businesses large and small in reducing taxes and streamlining the regulation process with the creation of an online system negating red tape, which is so often a major hindrance for maintaining good standing in the eyes of the State. There is so much more work to be done!

The Future

We need to continue our efforts to keep Rhode Island on the growing path to success. I have advocated on issues to make it easier and less costly to do business in RI and to grow jobs and the economy in a small-business state. I am honored to be named “Friend of Small Business” for the 2015-16 legislative session by the NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business). In addition, The Center for Freedom and Prosperity rated me the Number One Senator in the state in protecting our freedom, values, and way of life.

We live in one of the most beautiful places in the country. I will continue to work with NFIB to promoteand make our state an attractive place. I believe and have faith that together, with good leadership and accountability, we will renew and restore our state to a place “We the People” can be proud of.

Importantly, Hopkinton is facing a major challenge that will be devastating to our community and way of life. Our Governor wants a State-run “Transit facility” at Exit 1 off Route 95. If allowed, it will change our town permanently, starting with the pristine well water we enjoy. I am not a “rubber-stamp” Senator who will let the leadership upstate tell our town what is best. I have formed a coalition “of the people, for the people” and have sworn to protect and serve our residents and towns. We have a voice. I am your strong voice! I am dedicated and working collaboratively with the five towns I have been elected to serve.

Keeping my promise to take the calls and emails of my constituents personally, I will never answer you with a cold, stock-type email. My record speaks for itself.

It has been an honor and privilege to serve you!


Related Slideshow: Races to Watch in 2016 - RI Progressive Democrats

Sam Bell, State Director for the Rhode Island Progressive Democrats, ran through a list of races to watch at the GA in 2016. Bell noted that as of June 1, Progressive Dems had yet to make endorsements.  "This is just my take and analysis of these races," said Bell. 

Bell noted other races as well that weren't on the list. 

"Julie Casimiro, because of her positions on certain labor issues and some of her past work on education, but we view her as a real Democrat, we are certainly cheering her on, and some of our members may well help her out," said Bell, who noted it was similar for another Democrat. "Same for Lisa Tomasso, we certainly feel she is the much preferable candidate (to Republican Sherry) Roberts."

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1. House District 60

Incumbent: Rep. David Coughlin (D)

Challenger: David Norton (D)


"[Coughlin] is facing a strong challenger in Norton. I think the [PawSox] stadium issue really resonated with people in Pawtucket, and the problem with the way politics works in RI. Pawtucket has a unique understanding of that, and Coughlin is out of step with the district and vulnerable," said Bell. 

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2. House District 54

Incumbent: Rep. William O'Brien (D)

Challenger: Bill Deware (D)

North Providence

"Bill's the head of the Rhode Island Radiologist Association, he's been active in UNAP. O'Brien has painted himself as an established politician. He wanted to lower the corporate income tax. On economic issues he's out of step with the middle class in his district," said Bell. 

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3. House District 67

Incumbent: Rep. Jan Malik (D)

Challenger: Jason Knight (D)

Barrington, Warren

"Malik has been extremely ideologically conservative, with an 'A plus' rating from the NRA. He voted against marriage equality and his district isn't extremely right wing -- it's very liberal on social issues. And Warren is a place where you saw two successful progressive town council primaries last cycle, knocking out established [Democrats]," said Bell. 

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4. House District 3

Incumbent: Rep. Thomas Palangio (D)

Challenger: Moira Walsh (D)


Walsh, a Classical High School and Rhode Island College Grad, who has been an organizer for Jobs with Justice, is challenging Pelangio on Smith Hill.

Pelangio served as a State Rep from 1992-2002; he was elected again in 2012 and then again in 2014.

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5. House District 69

Incumbent: Open (after Ray Gallison stepped down)

Challenger: Susan Donovan (D)


"The machine has still yet to put up someone to replace Gallison. People are really excited about change, especially with what happened there.  I'd be surprised if leadership even wants to go in there," said Bell. 

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6. House District 25

Incumbent: Rep. Jared Nunes (D)

Challenger: Kathleen Decker (D)

Coventry, West Warwick

"There's two races in West Warwick, and Nunes is one of them. Remember, he proposed "tolls everywhere"," said Bell, referencing his assessment of Nunes public-private funding proposal for roads. 

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7. House District 27

Incumbent: Rep. Pat Serpa (D)

Challenger: Nicholas Delmenico (D)

Warwick, West Warwick, Coventry

"Serpa just canceled the hearings on 38 Studios. West Warwick is a community that's been damaged by machine politics," said Bell. 

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8. House District 22

Incumbent: Joseph Solomon, Jr. (D)

Challenger: Jennifer Siciliano (D)


"She jumped in last minute to run against Solomon again -- and again, he is someone who's endorsed by the NRA. I think he's out of step with the party's core values, and it's a community that knows we need change," said Bell.

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9. House District 24

Incumbent: Rep. Joe Trillo (R)

Challenger: Evan Shanley (D)


"Yes, Trillo is a Republican, he's Trump's guy here. But he's tied to the political establishment. That's the way the establishment works," said Bell.

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10. House District 72

Incumbent: Rep. Dan Reilly (R)

Challenger: Linda Finn (D)

Middletown, Portsmouth

"Finn's running again against Reilly, who it's no secret is dealing with major legal issues with his family. He's vulnerable," said Bell. 

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11. House District 39

Incumbent: Justin Price (R)

Challenger: Larry Valencia (D)

Hopkinton, Exeter, Richmond

Valencia ran and lost in 2008, won in 2010 and 2012, and was beaten by Price in 2014. 

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12. Senate District 11

Incumbent: Sen. John Pagliarini, Jr. (R)

Challenger: James Seveney (D)

Portsmouth, Bristol, Tiverton

"I like this rematch. Especially in a Presidential year, where the Republicans will have to defend Trump," said Bell. 

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13. Senate District 34

Incumbent: Sen. Elaine Morgan (R)

Challenger: Catherine Cool Rumsey (D)

Charles, Exeter, Hopkington, Richmond, West Greenwich

"Morgan beat Rumsey in 2014, in a year that the state's Democratic candidate, Gina Raimondo, narrowly carried the race. It was uniquely bad for down ballot races (for the Dems). Now with Trump at the top of the ticket for the Rs, it will be hard for Morgan," said Bell. 

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14. Senate District 21

Incumbent: Sen. Nick Kettle (R)

Challenger: Margaux Morisseau (D)


Progressive Morisseau lost to Kettle in 2014 and is making another run at the seat in 2016. 

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15. Senate District 7

Incumbent: Sen. Frank Ciccone (D)

Challenger: Doris De Los Santos (D)

Providence, North Providence

De Los Santos is making another run at the seat held by Ciccone since 2002; she ran unsuccessfully in 2014. 


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