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PowerPlayer: Ken McKay

Monday, July 04, 2011

 

For those hoping to build a real two-party system in Rhode Island, Ken McKay is expected to be the answer. The state’s new GOP Chairman has a national following in Republican circles but because he also serves as former Governor Don Carcieri’s first Chief of Staff, he also understands Smith Hill and knows how the Ocean State works.

McKay is tasked with restoring relevance to a party that has recently enjoyed success on the Executive level, but has struggled within the General Assembly. He was kind enough to chat with GoLocalProv about his strategy heading into the 2012 election cycle.

1) Rhode Island is a state that has voted in a Republican Governor for much of its recent histroy? How come that hasn't trickled down to the General Assembly or other statewide officers?

We simply have not organized well enough around those races. The issues are clear now. Democrats did nothing this year to help us out of this economy, they passed higher taxes and tried to strip more local spending control. Now we organize the fiscal conservative vote and try to beat them in these seats.

2) You come back to Rhode Island with a strong national reputation. How will that help you in terms of running the RIGOP?

I don't think reputations help at all. What's the difference, you either work hard and try or not.

3) Take us through a day in your life.

I get up and have coffee with my wife, then we take our youngest two boys to the bus stop, then I go to the Party and get to work developing and communicating the message, trying to raise money, and trying to organize the vote for 2012. I try to go home and see our children before bed.

4) What's the number one issue voters should be focusing on heading into the next election?

Fighting Back the Powers that have failed them -- The Rhode Island Democrat Party and its Labor Paymasters -- we are the 50th worst place to do business according to a CNBC survey. They have ruined us -- Fight Back. It is up to us.

5) Tell us something nobody knows about you.

I once tried to start a Charity to help fund North Korean Refugees trapped in China. China violates two treaties by classifying North Korean Refugees who escape their as economic migrants and return them to North Korea for prison, torture and in many cases -- execution. Meanwhile, the United States looks the other way. We are letting our largest trading partner send freedom seekers back to a Country we have been at "conflict" with since the 50's. Those who contact Christians in China are most apt to be executed. One group labeled North Korea as the worst persecutor of Christians in the world. You would think it would be somewhere in the Middle East. Not so, it is North Korea with China's help.

Quick Hitters

Role Model:  My Dad
Favorite Restaurant: E & J (North Kingstown)
Best Beach: A small one in my Grandparent's neighborhood in North Kingstown
Best Book This Year: Speech-Less: Tales of a White House Insider, Matt Latimer
Advice for the Next Ken McKay: Work Harder, Think Less

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