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NEW: Taveras Calls on Raimondo to Have Enron Exec $100K Returned

Monday, February 03, 2014


Providence Mayor Angel Taveras

Mayor Angel Taveras' campaign has called for gubernatorial opponent General Treasurer Gina Raimondo to have LeadHERship Super PAC return a $100,000 donation from ex-Enron executive John Arnold.  

Taveras’ campaign is asking General Treasurer Raimondo to "stay true to her pledge to hold Wall Street accountable" and direct the pro-Raimondo Super PAC American LeadHERship run by Kate Coyne-McCoy to give back the $100,000 it received from Arnold and his wife. 

“If Treasurer Raimondo is serious about keeping Wall Street and other national special interest groups and their money out of the Governor’s race, then she’ll call on Kate Coyne-McCoy to return Arnolds' $100,000 Super PAC donation,” said spokesman Danny Kedem

According to the Taveras campaign, Arnold is a Texas hedge fund billionaire who has funded EngageRI with at least $100,000, gave $8,000 to the Treasurer’s campaign, and another $100,000 to the Super PAC American LeadHERship.

“Clearly the Arnold family is looking for as many ways as possible to support the Treasurer’s pension reform agenda,” said Kedem. “Rhode Island doesn’t need a Texas hedge fund billionaire to try to buy this election."

The Taveras campaign says "Arnold is just one of several Wall Street connections who have contributed to EngageRI, the Treasurer’s campaign, and the pro-Raimondo Super PAC.  When contributors from Wall Street give to the Treasurer, it appears that the pro-Raimondo Super PAC hasn’t been too far behind soliciting their help too.”

In January, Taveras was the first candidate to sign a pledge to end third party spending.  


Related Slideshow: Win-Loss Records for 2014 Gubernatorial Candidates’ Campaign Managers

Oftentimes operating largely behind the scenes, a candidate's campaign manager or consultant plays an instrumental role in the outcome of the race.  

The 2014 Rhode Island Gubernatorial candidates have assembled their campaign teams -- and managers, all of whom bring extensive political operative experience to the table.  

Below is a look at the "batting average" of past efforts of the current set of top operatives when they were at the helm of other political races.  

Prev Next

Eric Hyers - Campaign Manager, Gina Raimondo

Congressman David Cicilline's 2010 Campaign:  WON

Congressman David Cicilline's 2012 Campaign: WON

NJ State Senator Nia Gill's 2013 Campaign: WON

MA State Sen. Karen Spilka 2013 Congressional Campaign:  LOST

Winning Percentage: .750

Hyers, who cut his teeth organizing for for now-Senator Kirsten Gillibrand when she first ran for Congress in 2006, worked as a field organizer for John Edwards for President in the 2008 Iowa caucuses, directed a statewide field operation in Wyoming, managed state legislative races in Virginia and New Jersey, and served as the Executive Director of the Connecticut Democratic Party. 

Hyers scored big while managing campaigns in New Jersey and Rhode Island, but came up short most recently in Massachusetts.  

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Danny Kedem - Campaign Manager, Angel Taveras

Anthony Wiener's 2013 New York Mayoral Campaign:  QUIT

New Haven Mayor John DeStefano's 2011 Campaign:  WON

Winning Percentage: .500

Kedem joined Wiener's political comeback bid after Weiner had resigned from Congress in a sexting scandal -- only to leave when Wiener once more was caught continuing the habit, spelling his downfall once again.  

Connecticut Magazine's Jennifer Swift delineated Kedem's campaign history as having successful managed a New Haven mayoral bid, as well as outlining Kedem's early days organizing for Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill’s U.S. Senate campaign and Hillary Clinton's 2008 run for the presidency.

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Jeff Britt -- Campaign Consultant, Ken Block

2002 Bruce Bayuk RI General Assembly Write-In Campaign: LOST

2006 RI Governor Donald Carcieri Campaign:  WON

2012 Mark Binder RI General Assembly Campaign: LOST

Winning Percentage: .333

Seasoned political operative Britt lost close races in Bayuk and Binder, but scored big with Carcieri while working alongside Ken McKay.  Following the Bayuk effort, Britt served in the "Carcieri 1" administration to work across the aisle and support GOP efforts statewide.  

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Patrick Sweeney -- Campaign Consultant, Allan Fung

2010 John Loughlin Congressional Campaign: LOST

2012 Barry Hinckley Senate Campaign: LOST

Winning Percentage: .000

The former Executive Director of the Rhode Island Republican Party has extensive campaign and consulting experience, but is still looking to win big spearheading a major candidate effort.  

Sweeney was Deputy Campaign Manager for Loughlin in 2010.  

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Devin Driscoll -- Campaign Manager, Clay Pell

Northeast Regional Director, Organizing for Action

Communications Director, Rhode Islanders United for Marriage

Winning Percentage:  N/A

Driscoll has headed up successful grassroots efforts and served on the Obama for America campaign in two separate stints, as Rhode Island state director for the 2012 campaign and as a field organizer in 2008.  Managing Pell's run for Governor marks Driscoll's first bid to win a statewide office campaign.  


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Funny that only problem Mayor Taveras had with the pension reform was that it didn't include cities and towns. Too funny that he passed his own pension reform shortly after the state.

Comment #1 by Redd Ratt on 2014 02 03

Finally, someone calling out Gina the DINO (Democrat in name only) for the scam artist she truly is. The last thing Rhode Island needs is to have some arrogant little Texas Enron trader telling us how to live. Do you ever wonder why Gina clams up at the mention of John Arnold or Engage RI? Because if the citizens of this state ever knew what a coma she pulled off transferring money from the middle class to her hedge fund buddies she wouldn't even register in the polls. Unfortunately, the media and news organizations are too stupid to distinguish between a hedge fund and a credit default swap in order to report this race with an semblance of truth thus giving Gina, Wall Street's favorite faux democrat, a free pass.

Comment #2 by Jonathan Bainsworth on 2014 02 04

At least John Arnold is an American citizen. Taveras goes to Puerto Rico to fundraise.

Comment #3 by Redd Ratt on 2014 02 04

@ Redd Ratt Puerto Rico has been a U.S. territory and the people have been granted U.S. citizenship since 1917. The U.S. Congress legislates certain issues regarding PR. PR may actually become the 51st state if the consensus report of the residents is correct.

I'm not backing Taveras or Riamondo, just giving some information.

Comment #4 by Wuggly Ump on 2014 02 04

How can Raimondo give the money back? She's already spent most of it on salary for her good "friend" Kate Coyne-McCoy to chair this committee. Which makes me wonder if the chairman and co-chairman of EngageRI were also so generously paid?

Comment #5 by Fruma Efreom on 2014 02 04

Ted Nesi did a short profile on John and Laura Arnold:


Comment #6 by Art West on 2014 02 04

Art West: I believe that profile was originally based on information put together by the Arnold's expensive and slick PR firm if it's the one I'm thinking of -- all their donations to hospitals, etc. I would be very skeptical of such a profile. Read the article about him in Rolling Stone. I could be wrong but reading Nesi's article the first time made me ill so I'm not checking. You're welcome to.

Comment #7 by Fruma Efreom on 2014 02 05

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