RI GOP Wars Over Chafee-Fung Mailer Sent in 2010

Monday, July 14, 2014

 

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Did John Robitaille lose the 2010 Governor's race because of an 11th-hour mailing to Cranston and Warwick voters that appeared as though Allan Fung endorsed Linc Chafee?

GoLocal has uncovered a a 2010 direct mail piece featuring Fung and Chafee, "The Team You Can Trust" which was paid for by The Lincoln Group - a political group led by former GOP chairman Mike Levesque, a Fung donor. 

"The mailing included a photo of Mayor Fung that was copied from his website and a photo of Lincoln Chafee, staged to look like they posed together for a photo.  No one was more surprised than Mayor Fung to see that mailing," said Fung for Governor campaign spokesperson Rob Coupe.  "On the same day that he learned of the mailing, Mayor Fung issued a statement condemning the misleading tactic behind the mailing and confirming his support for John Robitaille, whom he had publicly endorsed and continued to support.  Mayor Fung's statement can be seen here."

Of the mailer that was sent to residents in two of the state's GOP hotbeds in the days leading up to the election, Robitaille, who lost the race to Chafee by less than 10,000 votes, said of this year's GOP gubernatorial primary between Fung and Ken Block, "I continue to stay neutral during this GOP primary. However for the sake of accuracy Mayor Fung did not support me in 2010. He did endorse me in the final days prior to the election."

Robitaille lost to Chafee in Cranston by 648 votes in 2010.

Consideration in Close Race?

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John Robitaille

Levesque, the principal along with Guy Dufault of the Lincoln Group, which sent the mailer, has individually given several hundred dollars to Fung, including one $200 and one $500 donation last year, in addition to giving thousands to Chafee and other candidates.

When asked if the Fung camp would return donations from the Lincoln Group's Levesque, Coupe said, "We don't know if Mike Levesque personally was behind this mailing but it was not anything Mayor Fung ever condoned or endorsed."

"We have another example of Fung being less than honest with voters.  This mailer was paid for by supporters and contributors to Mayor Fung, but he says he didn't know about it," said Block campaign spokesperson Jeff Britt.  "He should give any money back from the Lincoln Group.  Remember, it was Mike Levesque and Guy Dufault who were involved in the hit on Carcieri in goumada-gate."

"Ken isn't focused on 2010, on who-supported-who, but on fixing Rhode Island and the Block plan," Britt continued.  "Ken's not interested this issue.  Allan's made his support for Robitaille a centerpiece of his campaign, however." 

Coupe said that following the revelation that the mailer had gone out, which he added was neither authorized nor approved by Mayor Fung, the campaign issued the following message to its Constant Contact list.

"Mayor Allan Fung today expressed his extreme disappointment with the misleading political mailer distributed by the Lincoln Group to Cranston residents. This mailer caused some residents to believe that Mayor Fung had implicitly endorsed Lincoln Chafee for Governor," the statement read.

"I endorsed Republican John Robitaille several weeks ago and he has my continued support," stated Fung in the communication. "I strongly feel that he's the best candidate to lead our state through these difficult fiscal times. It is unfortunate that the Lincoln Group feels a need to resort to misrepresentations for political gain."

Coupe added,  "It's also important to note that the mailing took place three days before the election, during the media blackout period to prevent news coverage of the deceptive tactic.  I also believe similar mailings went out in Providence and other communities.  Whether or not those mailings in other communities were coordinated, the Cranston mailing was neither authorized nor approved by Mayor Fung."

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Related Slideshow: PAC Spending in the 2014 Rhode Island Governor’s Race

With Election Day now just months away, GoLocal took a look at PAC spending in the Rhode Island gubernatorial campaigns.

Who is giving to who -- and how much?  And what's worth more, the money or the grassroots support?

Below is look at recorded PAC giving by the candidates in their campaign finance reports for the 2013 calendar year, by quarter.  Candidate Todd Giroux has an affadavit for an annual filing exemption.

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Gina Raimondo - Q1 2013

PAC money received: $7,000

AON Corporation:  $2,500*
Attorneys Partridge, Snow, and Hahn: $1000
Brokers for Better Health Care: $250
Engage RI PAC: $1000
Hinckley Allen and Snyder: $1000
Hinckley Allen and Snyder Rhode Island PAC: $1000
RI Medical PAC: $250
 
Cash balance ending March 31, 2013: $1,723,203.71
 
Excessive donation made in error, said would "be reflected" in 2nd quarter report
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Gina Raimondo - Q2 2013

PAC money received: $4,400 

Amica RI PAC: $250
Cox PAC: $1000
Federal Express RI State PAC: $250
IBEW Local 99: $500
Iron Workers Local 37: $250
Metlife Insurance PAC D:  $200
Plumbers and Pipefitters Local: $500
RI Bricklayers PAC: $500
RI Carpenters PAC: $200
RI Laborers PAC: $500
Sheet Metal Workers: $250
 
Cash balance ending June 30, 2013: $2,063,548.54
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Gina Raimondo - Q3 2013

PAC money received $1,750 

Citzens Bank PACOM: $500
Delta Dental of RI PAC: $500
DRIVE PAC: $500
International Union of Painters: $250
 
Cash balance ending September 30, 2013: $2,305,657.89
 
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Gina Raimondo - Q4 2013

PAC money received: $6,950

Attorneys Partridge, Snow, and Hahn: $750 
Building Industry PAC: $500
Capitol Communications Group LLC, PAC: $500
Emily's List RI: $1000
IBEW Local 99: $250
Plumbers and Pipefitters: $500
RI Laborers' PAC: $1000
RI Medical PAC: $750
RI Public Employees Education PAC: $1000
United Food and Commercial Workers: $500
Utility Contractors' Association: $200
 
Cash balance ending December 31, 2013: $2,508,647.86
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Angel Taveras - Q1 2013

PAC money received: $3,600

Capitol Communications Group, $500
Iron Workers Local 37, $100
IOUE (Intl. Union of Operating Engineers) Local 57: $1000
Moses and Afonso PAC: $1000
Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 51 PAC: $500
RI Carpenters PAC: $250
RI NERCC (NE Regional Council of Carpenters PAC) PAC: $250
 
Cash balance ending March 31, 2013: $560,779.72
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Angel Taveras - Q2 2013

PAC money received: $6,550

Attorneys Partridge Snow and Hahn: $250
Attorneys Partridge Snow and Hahn: $750
Building Industry PAC: $500
Chartercare Employee PAC: $250
COX PAC: $250
COX PAC: $750
Hinckley, Allen, Snyder PAC: $1000
Hinckley, Allen, Snyder Rhode Island PAC: $1000
IBEW Local 99: $100
Local 791 UCFW PAC: $500
Providence Firefighters Local 799: $200
RI Troopers Association: $1000
 
Cash balance ending June 30, 2013: $692,590.12
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Angel Taveras - Q3 2013

PAC money received: $1,300

Connecticut Healthcare District 1199: $500
Providence Firefighters Local 799: $800

Cash balance as of September 30, 2013: $759,150.22
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Angel Taveras - Q4 2013

PAC money received:  $6,100

American Association of University Professionals: $1000
Darrow Everett PAC: $500
Enterprise Holdings PAC of RI: $500
Enterprise Holdings PAC of RI: $500
Middletown Firefighters COPE: $100
RI Laborers Public Employees PAC: $1000
RI Medical PAC: $1000
RI State Association of Firefighters: $1000
United Food and Commercial Workers: $500
 
Cash balance as of December 31, 2013: $1,025,981.62
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Allan Fung -- Q1 2013

PAC money received: $1,550*

Amica PAC: $250
Cox PAC: $200
IBEW Local 99: $250
International Brotherhood of Police: $350
RI Troopers Association: $500
 
Cash balance as of March 31, 2013: $160,520.12
 
* A later filing amended the PAC amount to $1,650 and cash balance to $159,520.12.
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Allan Fung - Q2 2013

PAC money received: $1,600 

Amica PAC: $250
International Brotherhood of Police: $650
MetLife PAC D:  $200
Opticians PAC: $500
 
Cash balance as of June 30, 2013: $256,498.77
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Allan Fung -- Q3 2013

PAC money received: $1,100

CIRI PAC: $100
Darrow Everett: $500
RI Troopers Association: $500
 
Cash balance as of September 30, 2013: $336,553.93
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Allan Fung -- Q4 2013

PAC money received: $3,800

Amica / RI PAC: $500
Capitol Communications Group $500
Hinckley, Allen, Snyder: $500
MetLife PAC D: $800
Opticians PAC: $500
RI Medical PAC: $1000
 
Cash balance as of December 31, 2013:  $384,925.44
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Ken Block

Quarter 1:  No PAC $; cash balance   $20,000.07
Quarter 2:  No PAC $; cash balance   $73,987.53
Quarter 3:  No PAC $; cash balance $547,685.26
Quarter 4:  No PAC $; cash balance $634,126.60
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Clay Pell

Quarter 4 (first report filed): No PAC $, cash balance $1,105,152.43 

 
 

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