Welcome! Login | Register

Subscribe Now: Free Daily EBlast

 
 

Kilmartin Blasts Corrections Officers’ Hodgson Endorsement

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

 

The campaign of Attorney General Peter Kilmartin has questioned the motivation of the Rhode Island Brotherhood of Corrections Officers (RIBCO) endorsing opponent Republican Dawson Hodgson, given RIBCO's past support of Kilmartin -- and recent legal issues facing the son of RIBCO's President Richard Ferruccio.  

Kilmartin, who has received over $3,000 in donations from RIBCO since 2004 and as recently as March, questioned the timing and rationale of the endorsement of his opponent, following the revelation that Ferruccio's son got a 5 year sentence with 5 months to serve and then a 55 month suspended for felony assault in April, and has a pending case with the Attorney General's office for felony assault and domestic strangulation.  

"We are not aware of any differences of opinion between the Attorney General and the RIBCO leadership, but Peter was never given the opportunity to interview. However, Peter has always supported Rhode Island's correctional officers—as a policeman, as a state legislator, and as Attorney General—and he has a deep respect for these public servants and the work they do," said Kilmartin campaign manager Matt Lenz.  "I would hope that RIBCO's leaders base their endorsements on merit, not personal biases; it would certainly be disheartening and misleading to RIBCO members if the latter were the case."

Kilmartin's opponent Hodgson defended his endorsement on Monday. 

"My endorsement came from the entire union: members and leadership alike.  Peter was understandably upset when he found out he wasn’t going to receive the union’s backing, and tried to persuade reporters that the rank and file was with him," said Hodgson.  "He was wrong.  I’ve found that just because Peter says something, doesn’t make it true."

RIBCO's Ferrucio did not respond to request for comment about the endorsement on Monday.  

Endorsement in Question

Peter Kilmartin

Hodgson announced the endorsement on September 15 from RIBCO, who represents thirteen hundred members who work at the ACI as rank and file officers, stewards, inmate industries supervisors, office personnel and medical and social work professionals.

“I am honored to receive the endorsement of these men and women who work so hard to keep our communities safe,” Hodgson said.  “RIBCO’s members face the most dangerous criminals in our society every day.  Their endorsement speaks volumes about my plan to create safe streets, build a strong economy, and restore public trust in Rhode Island.”

Hodgson served as a criminal prosecutor in the office of Rhode Island’s Attorney General between 2005 and 2010.  Hodgson was then elected to the State Senate in 2010 where he rose to the Senate Judiciary committee’s ranking member.

“Dawson’s passion and common sense make him the perfect choice to run the AG’s office,” said Ferruccio of the endorsement.  “The criminal justice system is broken and getting worse every year.  We need to demand change.” 

Kilmartin's camp noted where the Attorney General and RIBCO had, in their opinion, had historically aligned.

"RIBCO supported Peter Kilmartin's legislation to eliminate "good time" opportunities for our most violent criminals and child predators," said Lenz, noting Robert Langdon, Vice President of the Union for Correctional Officers, was on the record with saying, “Correctional officers are not against good time. We’re against how liberal good time is today. This is a good step forward. We don’t need incentive of good time to maintain appropriate levels of good behavior.”

Lenz continued, "[Kilmartin] has enjoyed the support of RIBCO on other initiatives aimed at protecting our communities, most notably Kilmartin's recent legislation that created "Child Safe Zones" in Rhode Island, which prohibit any facility or business that provides programs or services intended primarily for minors from employing a registered sex offender.  The legislation passed the General Assembly and was signed by Governor Chafee."

Hodgson Hits Back

Dawson Hodgson

Hodgson spoke Monday to what he saw was the reason for his endorsement -- and questioned the timing of the legal issues coming out so closely to the election.  

"While on the Senate Judiciary committee, I worked closely with RIBCO on numerous issues regarding the justice system as well as achieving marriage equality for their fellow officer Pat Baker," said Hodgson.  "One such prominent justice concern was an effort to fix the 2008 expansion of the Good Time Laws passed by then Majority Whip Kilmartin, an issue highlighted by the early release of Michael Woodmansee.   The members also pointed out that my experience prosecuting felonies sets me apart from Peter Kilmartin, who has yet to prosecute a felony case. That difference also led to my endorsement."

"On another note, I’m troubled that the record of this conviction made its way to a reporter during a race in which Peter finds himself down in the polls.  While I applaud the journalistic skills of GoLocal, I’d be interested to find out how the site’s reporters were directed to the case," said Hodgson.  "If this lead came from Peter’s friends or supporters I’d ask voters if this is what we should expect from the state’s top law enforcement official who has already been criticized for his failures on open government responsibilities."

 

Related Slideshow: Strengths and Weaknesses of RI General Election Candidates

Election Day in Rhode Island is Tuesday, November 4.  With primaries decided, local academic experts June Speakman, Professor of Political Science at Roger Williams University, and Val Endress, Professor of Communications at Rhode Island College, broke down the strengths and weaknesses of the major candidates for statewide office in Rhode Island this year. 

Prev Next

Fung - Strengths

Candidate:  Allan Fung (R)

Race: Rhode Island Governor

"During his term as mayor, voters have perceived Fung as very likable, and it will be important to capitalize upon that quality.  It will take finesse and skill for his campaign operatives to (1) offer voters a sufficient number of reasons to vote for Fung and emphasize his positive qualities and (2) create negative ads that are stylized and mature," said Endress.  "Neither of those goals were met in the primary and it's essential that Fung recalibrate his campaign.   In addition, Fung's inching toward the middle to capture independents will provide challenges as well, particularly if he gains additional endorsements from right-wing organizations, that don't necessarily play well in Rhode Island."

Prev Next

Fung - Weaknesses

Candidate:  Allan Fung (R)

Race: Rhode Island Governor

"Unlike his Democrat opponent, Fung's campaign organization has been somewhat prone to mistakes/misjudgments in the primary.   It's unclear whether primary voters were voting for Fung or simply voting against Block.  While Fung's negative campaign may have been effective, he won't be able to maintain the same tone for the general election," said Endress.  "Fung needs to raise money, and a lot of it. Raimondo will undoubtedly keep the campaign coffers filled, and Fung will need to place increased emphasis on fundraising.  For good or ill, money still matters in campaigns, and Raimondo has the presumed edge."

Prev Next

Raimondo -- Strengths

Candidate:  Gina Raimondo (D)

Race:  Rhode Island Governor

"Raimondo ran a disciplined and stylized campaign.  She's an extraordinary fundraiser, exhibits grace under pressure, and able to maintain her focus.  She's had to work to soften her image, and that's typical of many women running for office, particularly those who run a controlled campaign designed to highlight their competency for office," said Endress.  "Raimondo was able to seamlessly pivot from a conversation about pension reform to a focus on jobs and the Rhode island economy.  This means that Fung will need to sharpen his position and proposals to deal with what has long been on the minds of Rhode Island citizens."

Prev Next

Raimondo - Weaknesses

Candidate:  Gina Raimondo (D)

Race:  Rhode Island Governor

"Raimondo, like most primary winners, will need to move more toward the middle in order to open the way for Republican-leaning independents to vote for her," said Endress.  "This could spell some trouble for her recently solidified support in Providence, something that she'll have to work to protect in the upcoming campaign.  In essence, Raimondo will have to lean a little bit left and lean a little bit right in order to win, and that task can test even the most talented campaigners."

Prev Next

McKee - Strengths

Candidate:  Dan McKee (D)

Office:  Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor

The six-term Cumberland Mayor, who defeated Ralph Mollis and Frank Ferri in the Democratic primary, now faces Republican Catherine Taylor in the General Election. 

"McKee received significant late funding from sources outside of the state because of his advocacy of charter schools," said Speakman.  "It's likely that will continue into the general election, allowing for television ad buys that were helpful in his primary victory."

Prev Next

McKee -- Weaknesses

Candidate:  Dan McKee (D)

Office: Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor

Education reform advocate McKee has placed himself at odds in the past with the state's union establishments -- and in a primary season that saw public sector unions take several high profile defeats -- could find himself in the crosshairs of organized labor in the general election.

"He won without union support in the primary and is unlikely to get it in the general," said Speakman. 

Prev Next

Taylor -- Strengths

Candidate: Catherine Taylor (R)

Race:  Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor

"Taylor is a moderate Republican.  History tells us that Rhode Island Democrats will support such candidates in state-wide races.  Although all candidates have focused almost exclusively on jobs and the economy, Taylor's message weaves in her ideas about health care, eldercare ad government efficiency," said Speakman.  "And her gender matters.  The three women on the state-wide ticket should all benefit from the mood for change that appeared on primary day."

Prev Next

Taylor -- Weaknesses

Candidate:  Catherine Taylor (R)

Race: Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor

Taylor, who ran a relatively low-profile primary campaign in which she spent the least amount per vote of all statewide candidates, faces an opponent in McKee who orchestrated a higher-profile and higher-spending statewide campaign.

Endress questioned the role that the unions might -- or might not play -- as Taylor has split the ticket on labor from Fung, who supports right-to-work laws, while Taylor does not.  "Will Raimondo and McKee campaign together and capitalize upon the diminishing power of public education unions?  Will these unions vote for Taylor?  Will they eschew endorsing a candidate for Lt. Governor?  Will they sit out this election cycle and go to the polls in record low numbers?"

Prev Next

Almonte -- Strengths

Candidate: Ernie Almonte (I)

Race: Rhode Island General Treasurer

"This is a very interesting race to watch.  In the primary, Magaziner raised his profile, ran and effective campaign, and is seemingly poised for a victory.  But one must not underestimate Ernie Almonte's campaign acumen and his qualifications for office," said Endress.  "This may be the race that focuses less on personality (though both have demonstrated likable qualities) and more on their qualifications for office."

Prev Next

Almonte -- Weaknesses

Candidate: Ernie Almonte (I)

Race: Rhode Island General Treasurer

The Democrat-turned-Independent Almonte, who avoided a bruising three-way primary under his former party's umbrella, now faces a two-way race in the general.  Without the help of a cross-cutting Republican to lower the threshold needed for victory, the party dynamic might prove problematic.

"Almonte is running as an independent, which brings him no advantage in this case," said Speakman.

Prev Next

Magaziner -- Strengths

Candidate: Seth Magaziner (D)

Race: Rhode Island General Treasurer

"Magaziner's primary campaign was flawless -- no glitches, no fumbles -- leaving no reason to expect anything else in the general election campaign.  He is a newcomer to Rhode Island politics, but not to Rhode Island, which helped him in a way that newcomer status did not for Pell. And he's a friend of Bill's," said Speakman -- referring to President Clinton.

Prev Next

Magaziner -- Weaknesses

Candidate: Seth Magaziner (D)

Race: Rhode Island General Treasurer

Magaziner took a great deal of heat during the primary season for his youth and experience -- or lack therof -- but whether that will prove a sticking point in the general election is yet to be seen.  "Whatever concerns voters might have had about youth and inexperience were dispelled in the primary campaign," said Speakman.

Prev Next

Carlevale -- Strengths

Candidate:  John Carlevale (R)

Race:  Rhode Island Secretary of State

The self-professed good government candidate has been a member of such advocacy groups as  Operation Clean Government, Rhode Island Statewide Coalition, RI Taxpayers, and Common Cause-RI.  Carlevale, who has run previously for Secretary of State, as well as RI Senate and Lt. Governor, lists a detailed reform platform on his website -- including supporting a Constitutional Convention. 

Prev Next

Carlevale -- Weaknesses

Candidate: John Carlevale (R)

Race:  Rhode Island Secretary of State

The biggest battle for Carlevale is name recognition.  "Gorbea's surprise victory garnered her a lot of attention in recent days, boosting her name recognition.  Always a good thing for a candidate," said Speakman.  "The same cannot be said for Carlevale.  According to his website, he has run for office as an Independent, a Democrat, a Cool Moose and a Reform party candidate."

Prev Next

Gorbea -- Strengths

Candidate:  Nellie Gorbea (D)

Race:  Rhode Island Secretary of State

"Gorbea has the resume for the job, and now the experience as a candidate. She will attract votes from women and Latinos," said Speakman.  "Democrats have no reason to move away from her, and nowhere to move.   A general election victory should be relatively easy to accomplish."

Prev Next

Gorbea -- Weaknesses

Candiate:  Nellie Gorbea (D)

Race:  Rhode Island Secretary of State

Apart from fundraising duties which face all primary candidates -- and can prove more difficult for down-ticket contenders -- Gorbea's main issue is continuing to get her message out, and differentiate herself from her opponent.  "Gorbea cannot rest on the laurels of her primary victory," said Endress. "A vote for Fung could also be a vote for Republican down ballot races."

Prev Next

Hodgson -- Strengths

Candidate:  Dawson Hodgson (R)

Race: Rhode Island Attorney General

As Hodgson looks to capitalize on an opportunity to unseat the current Attorney General, he points both to his track record in the State Senate -- and calling out Kilmartin on his own record -- as his top assets.

"Hodgson is likely to gain momentum in this campaign and pose a real threat to Kilmartin," said Endress.

Prev Next

Hodgson -- Weaknesses

Candidate:  Dawson Hodgson (R)

Race: Rhode Island Attorney General

While Hodgson has taken some issues to task with Kilmartin, he has turned away from others, including pressing the AG for action -- or at least accountability --  on the beach contract scandal with saw a state concession contract awarded to State Representative Peter Palumbo, which is not allowed under state ethics law.  Facing Kilmartin's war chest and party machine, Hodgson needs to capitalize on any opportunity he can. 

Prev Next

Kilmartin -- Strengths

Candidate:  Peter Kilmartin (D)

Race: Rhode Island Attorney General

The incumbent Attorney General, like his opponent, had no primary, with the focus being solely on the General Election in November.  Kilmartin has the firepower of the Democratic party machine behind him as he looks to repeat election day victory in 2014. 

"Kilmartin knows how to campaign and has a fundraising advantage," said Speakman.

Prev Next

Kilmartin -- Weaknesses

Candidate: Peter Kilmartin (D)

Race: Rhode Island Attorney General

"While incumbency is usually a considerable asset for a candidate, in this campaign, establishment candidates have not done well," said Speakman.  "Unlike the newcomers, he will have to answer questions about some of the recent scandals besetting state government, in particular 38 Studios and his long tenure in the General Assembly---two aspects that Hodgson has already highlighted (not always accurately)."

Prev Next

Cianci -- Strengths

Candidate:  Vincent "Buddy" Cianci (I)

Race:  Providence Mayor

The two-time former Mayor is a formidable candidate with talented team surrounding him -- and appears poised to raise close to $1 million in his effort to reclaim the office. 

"The question is whether Cianci can capitalize upon those voters who threw their support to Raimondo rather than Tavaras in the primary," said Endress.

Prev Next

Cianci -- Weaknesses

Candidate:  Vincent "Buddy" Cianci (I)

Race: Providence Mayor

The two-time former felon seemingly has to address his record at each and every turn, as to be expected.  While he continues to acknowledge and dismiss the impact of his past in public forums, the groundswell effort for a new Providence - and a new direction -- is working feverishly to defeat Cianci's effort for a third go at the office

"Cianci has a built-in core of supporters, but he may have limited outlets for additional support," said Endress.  "If Buddy were to look for a new constituency, the logical place might be the Millennials.  But this group votes in lower numbers and may not find Cianci to be an attractive candidate."

Prev Next

Elorza -- Strengths

Candidate:  Jorge Elorza  (D)

Race: Providence Mayor

"Elorza has the benefit of Solomon's support, and of the experience he gained as a candidate. Over the course of the primary campaign, he got stronger as a speaker and his audiences got more enthusiastic," said Speakman.  "He has the support of the East Siders and now, with Solomon's help, the south side.  He has a talented and committed campaign staff and tactical and fundraising help from Smiley, all significant advantages."

Prev Next

Elorza -- Weaknesses

Candidate:  Jorge Elorza  (D)

Race: Providence Mayor

"Elorza has to be error free in this 2nd phase and also ignite the electorate," said Endress. "He needs to run a forceful and impassioned campaign against Cianci and Harrop, with concrete solutions to longstanding problems in Providence, and a large dose of hope for the future."

Prev Next

Harrop -- Strengths

Candidate:  Dr. Daniel Harrop (R)

Race: Providence Mayor

Harrop had the ability to watch from the sidelines as the Democrats duked it out during primary season, and selectively interject himself in the debate when he wanted.  Harrop is running hard on the ultimate outsider, anti-Cianci candidate, and pits himself as the fiscally conservative option (he supporters receivership to fix the city's finances, among other platform stances.)

"Harrop may not be a contender, but there is a question about whether he could garner enough votes in a close race between Cianci and Elroza to impact the final results," said Endress.

Prev Next

Harrop -- Weaknesses

Candidate:  Dr. Daniel Harrop (R)

Race: Providence Mayor

The Republican faces an uphill battle in the heavily Democratic Providence, which includes garnering name recognition outside of political circles.  With both fiscally and socially conservative policy stances, Harrop's right-leaning stances are a tough sell in the capital city. 

"It's difficult to see a place for the Republican Harrop in this race, unless something goes very wrong for Elorza," said Speakman.

 
 

Related Articles

 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

 

X

Stay Connected — Free
Daily Email
 
:!