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PowerPlayer: Republican Congressional Candidate Brendan Doherty

Monday, February 13, 2012


This week’s PowerPlayer is Republican Congressional candidate Brendan Doherty. The former head of the State Police was kind enough to chat with GoLocalProv about his vision for the state and the country.

1) This is your first foray into politics. What has been the most difficult part of running for Congress?

The most difficult part of being a candidate for Congress in this election has been the realization that Americans have lost faith in our institutions of power and in particular have lost confidence in the United States Congress. Soon after I became a candidate, it was reported that Congress had an approval rating of approximately 10% among the American people, with almost 85% having a negative opinion of Congress. It should be no surprise that the same survey showed 75% of Americans believing that our country is headed in the wrong direction. Friends often ask why I would work so hard to become part of an institution facing such turmoil and animosity. In fact, that is exactly why I am running – to uphold the proud tradition of public service I have followed throughout my career and to contribute in my own way to restoring the faith of Rhode Islanders and all Americans in our Congress, our government and our Nation.

2) You're the former head of the state police. What skills can you bring from that experience to the political process?

As the former head of the Rhode Island State Police and Director of the Division of Public Safety, I oversaw several departments with a combined annual budget in excess of $80 million. This required substantial organizational, management and leadership skills that will serve me well as a Member of Congress. Also, through my work in the organized crime and public corruption units of the State Police, I fought against fraud, waste and corruption in government and I will work with the same intensity to put an end to the wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars in Congress.

Most importantly, throughout my professional career, I have demonstrated the type of leadership, integrity and accountability that is needed in our representatives in Congress. In an organization such as the Rhode Island State Police, each member must be accountable for his own actions and leaders must also be accountable for those under their command. There is a complete lack of accountability among our representatives in Congress who are so focused on assigning blame that they sometimes forget their own purpose. Above all, I will bring to Congress the example of leadership and accountability to take responsibility for my own actions.

3) Take us through a day in your life.

An average day begins before dawn with local newspapers, websites, etc. and a survey of national news from the New York Times. I try to get to the gym for a workout before the day becomes too hectic, but there have been times when I have just sat in the parking lot taking phone calls and never even made it through the front door. Hardly a day goes by without me crisscrossing the first Congressional district to meet with community leaders and supporters, but I try to spend most of my time with business people, especially small business owners, to learn from them what they need to be in a position to create jobs in Rhode Island.

4) What are the three most pressing issues facing our state today?

The most pressing issue facing the State of Rhode Island and frankly, most of the United States is the need for secure jobs. It’s bad enough that Rhode Island has one of the worst unemployment rates in the Nation, but many among us who have jobs, have no job security. Still others are underemployed, biding their time in unskilled or even part-time jobs just to get by. We must allow our Rhode Island companies, particularly our small businesses, to thrive and create good paying and sustainable jobs. Job growth requires sustained economic viability, which is a second pressing issue for our State and our Nation.

Excessive government spending and exploding government debt has drained the life from our economy. Crushing debt and the constant threat of higher taxes to satisfy these obligations create fear and uncertainty in our economy and dampen prospects for private sector job creation. Finally, crumbling infrastructure is a very serious problem facing Rhode Island today. The most dramatic example is the Pawtucket River Bridge, which is in such disrepair that trucks can travel from Maine to Florida on Interstate Route 95, except for a small stretch in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Aside from the obvious disruption of commerce, this sends a signal to businesses and potential employers that Rhode Island just can’t get its act together and it is a shame.

5) Tell us something nobody knows about you.

I love coaching kids. I have coached football and basketball over the years and the time I have spent has been extremely rewarding.

Quick Hitters

Role Model: My Father

Favorite Restaurant: Trattoria Romana, McBride’s

Best Beach: Newport’s First Beach

Best Book You've Read in the Last Year: Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That Is Destroying America by Cal Thomas and Bob Beckel

Advice for the Next Brendan Doherty: Whatever adversity you may face, just power through it.

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