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NEW: Fung As Councilman Voted for Gun Limits, Costa Reacts

Saturday, February 08, 2014


GoLocal has learned that when GOP candidate for Governor Allan Fung was a member of the Cranston City Council he sponsored and voted for efforts to ban assault weapons in Cranston and legislation that supported a statewide efforts to limit gun ownership.

Republican State Representative Doreen Costa of North Kingstown learned of the Fung votes today, "I was shocked -- I didn't see this coming at all, I'm still learning about it, reading the resolution. No matter what side of the aisle you're on, there are both Republicans and Democrats that support the 2nd amendment.  You're either pro or anti second amendment, there's no in between.

GOP and Gun Ownership

As recently as October of 2013, the GOP organized a 2nd Amendment Celebration in West Greenwich. At that event, the GOP announced it would auction off an assault rifle. That fundraising effort came under criticism by many including, GoLocal's MINDSETTER™ Russ Moore, who wrote at the time, "Just when you think you’ve seen everything, in steps the RI-GOP to teach you a lesson. The lesson, of course, is just what not to do if you want to be relevant. Give them credit, just when you think things can’t get any worse for the GOP, (they only hold 10 seats in the state legislature, Democrats hold 101), the GOP steps forward with yet another bonehead maneuver."
NOTE: Moore is a Democrat.

Fung's Legislation

According to Cranston City records, Fung was the 2004 legislation's author.

On motion by Councilman Fung seconded by Councilman Lanni, it was voted to amend the above Resolution as follows: last paragraph, after the words “City Council”, delete remainder of paragraph in its entirety and add “requests the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation to urge reauthorization of the Violent Crime Control and Enforcement Act of 1994.” Motion passed on a vote of 8-0. The following being recorded as voting “aye”: Councilmen Fung, Jackvony, Councilwoman O’Hara, Council Member Fogarty, Councilwoman McFarland, Councilmen Ferolito, Lanni and McDonough -8.
On motion by Councilman McDonough, seconded by Councilman Lanni, the above Resolution was adopted as amended on a vote of 7-1. The following being recorded as voting “aye”: Councilmen Fung, Jackvony, Councilwoman O’Hara, Council Member Fogarty, Councilwoman McFarland, Councilmen Lanni and McDonough -7. The following being recorded as voting “nay”: Councilman Ferolito -1. 

The second piece of legislation supported fire arm restriction at the statewide level. Fung voted for the effort, but was not the primary sponsor. 

"My personal thoughts -- now, I adore Allan, I think this should have been brought out sooner.  Speaking for me -- this isn't something I'm happy about hearing," said Costa.

Efforts to reach the Fung campaign went unanswered.


Related Slideshow: 10 Questions Fung Has to Answer When Running for Gov of RI

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10) Can Fung raise the money necessary to be competitive?

At the last reporting period, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung's campaign had only $336,000.


Ken Block had $540,000 and he just entered the race.  


Democrat Gina Raimondo has over $2.3 million and even Angel Taveras has $759,000 cash on hand.

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9) Is Fung ready for prime time?

Fung is well-liked in Cranston and most everyone thinks Fung is a "nice guy."


Gina Raimondo and Angel Taveras can claim they took on tough issues.


Ken Block articulates big ideas and a proven record in business, but out of the gate Fung's campaign seems less than ready.


Fung's campaign manager got confused about how many Democrats Fung has  donated to and his motivation for donating to them. 


Would another four years in Cranston be the wiser path?

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8) Can Fung effectively run against Angel Taveras?

Fung claims Providence Mayor Angel Taveras as a close friend, but it raises questions about inherent personal conflicts and ability to run and effective race.


Politics in Rhode Island is often a blood sport, will Fung approve that knockout punch TV spot in the closing weeks that tags Taveras for the spiraling crime problem in Providence?

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7) Is Fung's base big enough?

For Mayor Fung, his base is Cranston, but he does not enjoy a groundswell of Hispanic voters like Providence Mayor Angel Taveras hopes to bank on (7% of the voters were Hispanic in the General Election in 2012, according to Pew Research).


A race against Raimondo would be tough as she would very likely have a strong block of female voters.


Where does Fung get his votes?

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6) Can Fung defend the tax increases in Cranston?

When Fung runs as a Republican against a Democrat, there is an advantage if Fung can point out a differentiation of fiscal discipline. Fung, as Mayor, had numerous and significant residential and commercial tax increases.


This will not help him against the fiscally prudent Ken Block, but even if he were to win the primary then he would lose the advantage against Angel Taveras in a General Election. Both have ushered large tax increases through their councils.

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5) Why pledge to create "20,000 jobs"? It sounds like Don Carcieri.

Don't know if Fung was paying attention, but GOP Governor Don Carcieri ran on...creating 20,000 new jobs. 


When Carcieri left office, Rhode Island had the worst unemployment in America. Not sure Fung wants to mirror that Carcieri pledge.

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4) Defending Don Carcieri and making him a part of the campaign - is that a good idea?

The collapse of 38 Studios has scarred Don Carcieri's legacy as Governor of Rhode Island. At best, Carcieri was star struck to give a baseball player $75 million -- at worse, Carcieri was part of something far more ominous.


For Fung, who wants to run as the future of Rhode Island, why be associated with Don Carcieri?

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3) Defending the lobbyist role?

In 2014, do we think Rhode Islanders will be looking for a former lobbyist for a large corporation that is cutting Rhode Islander's jobs to be our next Governor?


Lobbyist-turned-Governor will be tougher to pull off than actor Ronald Reagan-turned-Governor of California in the 1960's.

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2) Understand the changing position on gay marriage?

Hard to know what Allan Fung's position is on gay marriage. At different times he offered a range of views.


Some GOP primary voters have been opposed to the RI law and others were supportive, but neither segment of the GOP may understand what his position was -- or is.  

Prev Next

1) Political donations to local, federal and national Democrats - are you sure you are a Republican?

Fung has given to David Cicilline, US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, former RI Senate President Bill Irons and once RI Attorney General Patrick Lynch. Fung's campaign manager claims he was a lobbyist and needed to donate to Democratic leaders.  Cicilline, Reid and Lynch meet none of those criteria.  


Not only did Fung give thousands of his own dollars to Dems, he turned down requests from leading GOP candidates like John Robitalle and Jon Loughlin who were badly outspent and needed every dollar to win.


The Republican party in Rhode Island is a pretty small group trying to create a pretty big tent - from Scott Avedisian to Doreen Costa. For most Republicans in this state it is tough -- you don't enjoy the political connections and you're part of a tiny minority -- so loyalty matters.


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Doreen Costa ... The New Speaker for the RIGOP .... Great Stuff, LOL


Comment #1 by PO Taxpayer on 2014 02 08

good job Doreen. are you voting for angel or gina?

Comment #2 by john paycheck on 2014 02 08

While Moore gave his take on the issue back in October, I gave mine. In the ensuing months, the RI GOP has not imploded.


I believe there is room to have nuanced views on this issue and come to that conclusion in a rational and reasonable manner.

Comment #3 by Donn Roach on 2014 02 09

Unfortunately, the anti-gun people have manipulated language to their advantage. They have made "assault rifle" stick, creating a military-type image of something more than a rifle and something to emotionally rouse the uninformed.

In fact, they are referring to semi-automatic rifles that fire each time the trigger is pulled. The permitted rifles are not automatic weapons that fire steadily by depressing and holding the trigger.

I, too, have to question Fung's motives. Was he playing to an audience for political expediency as opposed to standing for Constitutional guarantees?

Comment #4 by Art West on 2014 02 09

As has been widely reported on every other site except this dump, Fung changed his position after getting to know his chief of staff, Carlos Estrada and becoming an occasional shooter. This was ten years ago.

Block admitted to voting for Obama last year so that Obamacare would go forward and so that the supreme court wouldn't be more conservative. His words on the RI NPR blog.

Seems like the Block team is overplaying these small, decades ago issues and starting to look mighty petty.

Comment #5 by Brandon Hawk on 2014 02 10

As a sportsman, and as someone who has seen Mayor Fung shoot with Mike Stenhouse, I was a little surprised by this. But hey he saw the light and he's been to many rod fundraisers. It was 10 years ago & he's been with us for probably the past nine? I'll still vote for him because he's a tremendous fiscal republican & the most electable one we have.

Costa getting into this article is amusing, because if I were looking for a gun expert in the party I would've gone to Mike Chippendale or Dexter Liu. She must be playing both sides like usual.

Comment #6 by Barry Holmes on 2014 02 10

I agree with Barry. Fung is the most electable. I don't trust Block--he will say anything to get elected. This whole issue is simply ridiculous... we need leadership in the State. Pell will win this thing hands down; Fung is the only person who can beat the Pell name.

Comment #7 by Diane Fitzgibbons on 2014 02 10

I gained respect for Fung when I heard this. It was a courageous stand for a Republican to take, and I hope he stands by it. However, I'm waiting for the inevitable press release or Depetro show appearance where he'll say, "I was wrong." I lost respect for Ken Block when he backed off his two votes for Obama--"I was wrong." Raimondo and Block have shown us that even people perceived as having independent views must cave in and read from the party playbook when running for higher office. It's disappointing. Right now, I'm torn between Block and Fung, but if Fung shows me that he's a man of convictions, I might put aside my other reservations and give him my vote.

Comment #8 by John Onamas on 2014 02 10

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