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NEW: Fung Campaign Calls on Ken Block to Release Tax Returns

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Cranston Mayor and GOP gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung has called on fellow candidate Ken Block to release his 2013 tax returns.

Fung released copies of his 2013 state and federal tax returns to the Providence Journal on Wednesday, which reported that Block is the only candidate for Governor who refuses to disclose his returns. Copies of Mayor Fung's return are available for inspection at his campaign headquarters.

“One of the steps we can take to restore faith in government in light of the federal raid on former Speaker Fox's office is to voluntarily provide financial disclosure," said Patrick Sweeney, Fung's campaign manager. "Mayor Fung is committed to good government and transparency, which is why he is releasing his tax returns."

“In this atmosphere, the public deserves openness from its candidates for governor. The fact that Ken Block will not release his returns is troubling, especially in light of the history of corruption at the State House. As Republicans, it will be hard for us to remain credible  if our gubernatorial candidates refuses to release their tax returns," said Sweeney.

“Release your tax returns Mr. Block,” Sweeney added. 


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.  

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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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Here we go, another politician using the word "transparency". How many times are we going to see this during the run up to the election? How many times did we see it during the last election? Finally, how much transparency have we actually witnessed?

Personally I could care less what's in ANYBODY'S tax returns. That's their business and has nothing to do with what kind of a political representative they'll be. The issues that are driving this state into the toilet aren't derived from personal financial dealings. They're derived from moral ineptitude.

Comment #1 by Patrick Boyd on 2014 04 17

Fung sounds weak if that's all he's got. Just like the ticket scandal. He suspends the chief but the captain/union president who was the target of the investigation remained on the job. The chief retires and Fung says it was the right thing to do but doesn't explain why. Meanwhile captain union is still working. Go figure.

Comment #2 by Max Diesel on 2014 04 17

The Fung campaign is looking more inept every day. Perhaps the Mayor can tell us how much he made as a paid lobbyist working against the taxpayers of Rhode Island for several years! His Mayor salary is public knowledge already.

Comment #3 by Marie Dawn Christie on 2014 04 17

THis is a phony issue. Fung, knock it off... only jobs matter. You're better than this.

Comment #4 by Scott Gomes on 2014 04 17

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