Welcome! Login | Register
 

Best Romantic Weekend Getaways in New England—Autumn is the perfect time of year for…

What to Watch For: Patriots vs. Bears—The Patriots welcome the Bears to Gillette Stadium…

Rhode Island College Football Weekend Preview—Nationally Ranked Bryant returns home, Family weekend at…

$2 Million Donation Presented to The Wheeler School—Wheeler School presented with $2 million donation.

The Scoop: Elorza Requests Investigation Into Possible Ballot Tampering, Fung Tours Brutopia—Welcome back to The Scoop, the 4 p.m.…

RI Department of Health Releases Ebola Update—The Rhode Island Department of Health has releases…

Obama Reschedules Rhode Island Visit—Barack Obama has rescheduled his visit to Rhode…

NEW: Cianci Responds to Mail Ballot Tampering Accusations—Independent candidate for Mayor Vincent Cianci has released…

Rome Packing Co., Inc. Recalls Crab Meat—Rome Packing Co., Inc. has issued a voluntary…

Herb Weiss: Mistaken Identity Can Be Hazardous to Your Business—Eastside customers of The Camera Werks, a long-time…

 
 

Governor Chafee to EngageRI: What Are You Hiding?

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

 

Governor Lincoln Chafee has added his name to the growing list of critics who are concerned about pension reform advocacy group EngageRI’s refusal to release the names of its donors.

“In this time of public cynicism, it is regrettable that EngageRI would not embrace transparency,” Chafee said Monday. “This decision begs the question: ‘What / who are they hiding?’”

Chafee’s comments came on the same day that EngageRI defended its decision to keep its donors anonymous, arguing that they are not required to releases names based on their status as a 501(c)(4) organization.

“We believe that our supporters (financial and other) are proud of EngageRI and we encourage them to support us publicly,” said John Galvin, chair of EngageRI. “However, we respect the right that any donor to a 501(c)(4) entity has to remain anonymous, supporting a mission without being subject to the ‘political fray.’ Like most, if not all nonprofits, we’re willing to let our record speak for itself and accept the support of both those that wish to do so publicly as well as those that wish to remain anonymous.

Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Houston billionaire John Arnold gave between $100,000 and $500,000 to EngageRI, which played a pivotal role in convincing lawmakers to support a pension reform package crafted by General Treasurer Gina Raimondo. The organization has spent over $700,000 lobbying for pension reform since it was founded in 2011.

The story led pension reform critics to question who else has contributed to EngageRI, but the organization has consistently defended its practices.

"What I don't think the folks at EngageRI appreciate is each time they try to defend their decision they just sound defensive,” said National Education Association of Rhode Island government relations director Patrick Crowley. “Each time they say they are following the rules they make it clear they have a separate set of rules.”

But Galvin suggested that actions taken against key supporters of EngageRI may be of one the reasons donors wish not to have their names revealed.

“While boycotts and other forms of retribution have frequently been used to further legitimate and worthy social, economic and political goals, we believe that the harassment and boycotts inflicted upon some EngageRI supporters like Collette Vacations, Crossroads, Family Services and a number of local chambers of commerce last year in an effort to intimidate them from taking a position on pension reform both crossed the line of fairness and is an understandable reason why some supporters may want to remain private,” Galvin said.

 


 

 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.