The Scoop: Taveras Poll Boosted Raimondo Fundraising; More
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Taveras Poll Boosted Raimondo Fundraising
While the recent Brown poll shows Treasurer Gina Raimondo having a commanding lead over Providence Mayor Angel Taveras in a Democratic primary, the poll recently commissioned by the Taveras camp —showing the Providence Mayor with a commanding lead—may have served to bolster Raimondo's recent fundraising efforts.
According to members of Raimondo's team, the Taveras poll has helped galvanize support for the Treasurer and increase her campaign contributions. The Taveras poll, which was released on Sept. 18, showed that the Providence Mayor held a sizable 19-point lead over Raimondo in a hypothetical gubernatorial primary.
Conversely, a statewide poll released yesterday by Brown University found that Raimondo leads Taveras in a potential Democratic gubernatorial primary 42 percent to 33.6 percent. The poll also found that roughly one quarter of Rhode Islander voters remain undecided.
As far as Raimondo's fundraising totals, it could be days or weeks before the exact figures are released. Although the third quarter fundraising period ended on Sept. 30, the Rhode Island Board of Elections does not require candidates to submit their fundraising totals until Oct. 31.
Raimondo has almost $2.1 million in her war chest currently, while Taveras has $692,590, according to the most recent filings with the Rhode Island Board of Elections.
Source of data: ricampaignfinance.com
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Fung releases third quarter fundraising totals.
Allan Fung's camp announced today that the Cranston Mayor raised about $102,000 in the last quarter, which ended Sept. 31. After three quarters of fundraising, Fung has raised over a quarter of a million dollars.
"The broad financial support all across Rhode Island is a testament to the Mayor's hard work, dedication, and leadership in the city of Cranston" said Jim Donahue, Finance Chairman for the Committee for Allan Fung. "Where some leaders may be discouraged by the economic times, the Mayor sees opportunity. Though times are tough, we are seeing a growing economy in Cranston. With the new development in the heart of the city, Chapel View and Garden City Cranston are now combining to compete with Providence Place Mall and the existing outdoor malls in the state. The Mayor has focused on providing a stable business climate to our community in order to allow businesses to expand and thus putting more Cranstonians and Rhode Islanders back to work. Looking forward, we need this type of leadership and experience at the statewide level."
Fung has not officially announced his candidacy for governor, but did launch a gubernatorial exploratory committee last month.
Block on Business Tax
In light of a new study by the Tax Foundation, which found Rhode Island’s business tax climate amongst the worst in the nation, Moderate Party candidate for governor Ken Block is proposing several ways to make the state more attractive and competitive.
“Rhode Island needs to become competitive with our neighboring states and the rest of the country in order to create jobs and grow the economy," Block told GoLocal. "We are consistently ranked at the bottom of these types of studies because our policymakers fail to identify and address in a systematic way the issues that cause us to be uncompetitive. There are a range of taxes and policies that make Rhode Island uncompetitive, including our unemployment insurance and temporary disability insurance programs. My campaign will be all about identifying these issues and providing the specific ways to fix them so that the Rhode Island economy can grow and prosper”
According to the 2014 State Business Tax Climate Index released by the Tax Foundation, Rhode Island ranks No. 46 nationally in terms of the taxes it places on business, up from No. 47 last year. Rhode Island’s score was the worst in New England. Nationally, only Minnesota, California, New Jersey and New York fared worse.
Reed Talks Shutdown
Sen. Reed discusses how to resolve the federal shutdown and warns about a possible government default.
Despite being ten days into the federal government shutdown, U.S. Senator Jack Reed says he’s optimistic that a resolution will be reached.
“I am always hopeful that common sense will prevail, and I’ve talked to Republican senators who know we need to reopen the government as quickly as possible,” Reed told GoLocal. “This shutdown has been a waste of taxpayer money and should never have happened in the first place. It could be over soon if Speaker Boehner would just take up the Senate’s clean bill to fund the government and send it to the President.”
As far as who’s to blame for the shutdown, Reed admits that brinkmanship in the House has been a problem, but it’s not the only issue.
“Unfortunately, there’s a group in the House who won’t budge. But they’re not the issue. I know there are reasonable people on the other side who want to reopen the government and pay our bills. They know the American people deserve better. The question is will their leadership listen and permit some votes?”
Aside from the shutdown, GoLocal also talked to Reed about the looming default, which the Senator believes could have dire effects on Rhode Island and the nation as a whole.
“If the U.S. is forced to default the consequences could be severe. It could put people’s retirement security at risk and cause interest rates to spike, especially at a time when the economy is still recovering and millions of Americans are looking for work,” added Reed, who met with President Barack Obama this afternoon to discuss efforts to end the shutdown.
“In short, it could deal a major blow to our economy, and it is entirely avoidable. Speaker Boehner simply needs to let democracy run its course and allow the House of Representatives to do its job and vote to end this stalemate. Congress is supposed to help govern and solve problems, not create them. I hope reason finally prevails in the House and we can break the cycle of dysfunction.”
Center on Recent Ranking
Center for Freedom and Prosperity comments on The Tax Foundation's Ranking of Rhode Island's Business Climate.
Mike Stenhosue, CEO for the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, issued a statement today following the release of the 2014 State Business Tax Climate Index by the Tax Foundation, which ranked the Ocean State 5th worse in the country and last in New England.
"The Sales Tax Repeal Study Commission has a rare opportunity to make a recommendation that would dramatically improve the business climate in our state," said Stenhouse. "With almost 50% of the sales tax burden paid by businesses in RI, its repeal would mean a significantly lower cost of doing business for everybody, and would also eliminate compliance costs for tens of thousands of small business owners. Also, large, capital intensive technology, manufacturing, and medical companies would likely look at Rhode Island with renewed interest to start or expand their operations."
Testimony at the House Finance Committee hearing earlier this spring discussed how large technology companies, like Facebook, consider the presence of a state sales tax as an impediment when it comes to selecting states to expand their server farms, by imposing an added cost of purchasing and replacing expensive computer equipment, when compared with no-sales-tax states.
"Small business owners need new customers and lower costs today: The Sales Tax Repeal Commission has the power to recommend the decisive action to make this happen and to create the job opportunities that will attract families and businesses to our state. Rhode Island must consider bold reforms that depart from the failed status quo, which is the enemy of our future," added Stenhouse.
HealthSource RI Critique
Center for Freedom and Prosperity Reacts to HealthSource RI funding request.
The Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity issued a statement today in response to the recent $26 million request by HealthSource RI to continue future annual operation of the State's health insurance exchange after federal funds expire.
"Our 2012 report predicted this exact problem. This wasteful expense was not difficult to foresee, and will become a major headache for state legislators and department of health officials to deal with. Either taxpayers will have to absorb this cost, which will drive more and more people, already taxed to the max, out of our state, or; insurance policies will be taxed, making already high premium rates even more costly for families that merely desire affordable access to quality health care", said Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center.
The same report also cited figures from the Kaiser Family Foundation, predicting that the planned expansion of Medicaid in the Ocean State will add an additional $1.8 billion in new costs from 2014-2019, about 10% of which the state will be responsible for.
"These massive projected increases in health insurance costs, that somebody in Rhode Island will have to bear, can only result in yet another blow to our fragile economy, and will likely cost our state even more jobs," added Stenhouse.
Whitehouse Backs Yellen
Sen. Whitehouse statement on nomination of Janet Yellen.
U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released the statement below regarding President Barack Obama’s nomination of Janet Yellen to serve as the next Chair of the Federal Reserve:
“Janet Yellen is highly qualified to serve as our next Fed chair, and I look forward to supporting her nomination in the Senate. At a time when our economy is still struggling, Ms. Yellen will bring the right priorities, and a lifetime of experience, to help us create jobs and provide a fair deal to the middle class.”
CRMC head to give climate change presentation to House Environment Committee today.
The House Environment and Natural Resources Committee will meet this evening for a presentation by Coastal Resources Management Council Executive Director Grover Fugate on the impact of climate change and sea level rise on Rhode Island.
Director Fugate will present compelling information about the impact of extreme weather events Rhode Island has already experienced, such as Hurricane Sandy, verses previous predictions that may be significantly too conservative, and how the state should be planning for them.
The committee is chaired by Rep. Arthur Handy and vice-chaired by Rep. Donna M. Walsh.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Scoop to see what transpired.
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