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RI Conservatives: I Can’t Believe I Live Here (Part 2)

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Hyper Regulation: “[Senator] Ruggerio’s bill is not addressing animal abusers…The targets of this new regulation are the good and decent people of Rhode Island…Do these people really need to be put under Ruggerio’s control?...For some reason, Ruggerio does not trust Rhode Islanders with a dilemma as complex as owning a raucous pet. Rather, his impulse is to simply take the choice away from them.”

This was the case I laid out last year when Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio (D) sponsored legislation that would prohibit pet owners from devocalizing their cats and dogs – legislation that Ruggerio justified by arguing, “Imagine if your ability to talk was suddenly taken away from you.”

Bryant University’s Raymond Fogarty once warned that Rhode Island’s “regulatory system is out of control.” And just this week president of the RI Farm Bureau William Stamp declared, “Regulation is run amok in the state of Rhode Island.” Still, Sen. Ruggerio – along with five other co-sponsoring Democrats – are persisting with the legislation that would require that “only licensed veterinarians,” monitored by very specific guidelines, “would be allowed” to perform the procedure of “debarking.” Violators would “face a fine of $1,000,” may “be barred by a court” from owning animals, and “required to take humane education, pet ownership and dog training classes.” Anyone “selling a dog or cat for profit would be required to disclose whether the animal has been devocalized and provide a veterinarian-signed certificate showing the procedure was done for medical necessity.”

Ruggerio’s bill is the progressive mindset on parade. It represents the very elitist and anti-liberty mentality that has caused Rhode Island to receive such distinctions as “the most regulated state” and “the worst place for business.”

In fairness, however, Ruggerio’s bill isn’t nearly as egregious as when Democrats attempted to force Rhode Island business owners to hire people with criminal records.

Yes, they really did that.

Union-Democrats Oppress Workers: The day can’t be far off when private union members realize that they have been exploited by public labor leaders such as NEA-RI president Larry Purtill, who told a union crowd last year, “Here in Rhode Island we have Working RI and the AFL-CIO. We’re gonna work together. The public sector is gonna support the private sector, for good jobs and good benefits because that’s what’s gonna make this economy go. And the private sector is gonna turn around and support the public sector. We are all in this together.”

“Solidarity” with government unions – the principal agents of soaring taxes and anti-business environments – makes no sense for laborers whose careers rely on a thriving private sector. As executive director of the RI Builders Association John Marcantonio recently stated, “If you have nothing being built, all those people who would have a job don’t.”

Last summer the Providence Journal reported that the “unemployment rate across the building trades is running between 25 and 40 percent.” And Marcantonio expressed this week that “even before the economy crashed in 2008…the number of building permits had been steadily declining…[having] reached a peak in the late 1990s.” “Even in the best of times for building and real estate,” he explained, “the number of units in the state of Rhode Island continued to drop dramatically.” While “official state estimates” put the unemployment rate for the construction industry “between 21 and 24 percent,” Marcantonio believes “the rate is far higher, as much as 40 percent.”

Meanwhile, public employees and public retirees are receiving increases to their wages and pension payouts, helping to keep Rhode Island tax rates among the highest in the country. Perhaps it’s time for private laborers to rethink their allegiance to the religion of solidarity.

Vapid Terminology: The troubled State of Rhode Island, the collapsed Central Falls, and the smoldering capital city all have one thing in common: They have all been steered for decades – almost exclusively – by the philosophies and interests of organized labor and progressive Democrats.

Yet, within several recent press releases put out by Ocean State Democrats, Rhode Islanders are meant to be influenced by terms such as “radical,” “extreme,” “far-right,” “most conservative,” “the rich,” “Texas,” and “Tea Party agenda” – all words that Democrats are now attempting to associate with Republican candidates Barry Hinckley and Brendan Doherty.

Political players such as Stephanie DeSilva, the executive director of the RI Democratic Party, are clawing for credibility by employing their party’s traditional, simple-minded accusations: “Republicans are simply looking out for the wealthiest Americans.” Democratic Party chairman Ed Pacheco stated that Brendan Doherty is in “lockstep with the far-right Republicans in Congress.” And the disgraced David Cicilline has released statements faulting Republicans for trying to “take care of the rich,” “end Medicare,” and align themselves “with far-right former Gov. Carcieri.”

Never choosing to actually explain what makes “far-right” values so abhorrent, in 2012 watch for these disingenuous Democrats aiming to restore the public’s confidence in them merely by utilizing these cautionary phrases in order to divert attention away from one inescapable reality: Central Falls, the City of Providence, and Rhode Island as a whole can only be described as failed Democratic experiments.

In other words, local Democrats know that Rhode Islanders are beginning to realize that the bankrupting of entire cities has proven to be the most “radical” policy of all.

In contrast to Rhode Island, the notoriously Republican state of Texas is continually ranked at the top of business climate studies. While Rhode Island has been suffering from the “fastest population decline,” The Economist reported last year that people are moving to Texas in “droves.” Democratically-run California (one big Rhode Island) was actually sending their leaders to Texas for “tips on how to better their economy.”

Perhaps it’s time for Rhode Islanders to take a second look at the Republican Party (the party of Martin Luther King Jr.). Perhaps it’s time for Rhode Islanders to vote for people who Democrats consider to be “far-right.” Their “Tea Party agenda” seems to serve the people well.

Travis Rowley (TravisRowley.com) is chairman of the RI Young Republicans and a consultant for the Barry Hinckley Campaign for US Senate.


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