To the Editor:
It seems Rhode Island voters may have started to turn the corner on electing some very decent and honorable officials with some brains. Or could it be that some elected officials are starting to listen to the voters, out of fear of never being elected again. Whatever it is, it sure is refreshing! Now it’s time to keep that type of voter mojo alive by keeping our elected officials in tow or in line by showing all of them they work for us.
The more we start participating and speaking out, the quicker they will get the message. We all should, on a daily basis, get involved, even if it’s as little as talking to our friends, family and neighbors about what’s going on in our towns, cities, state and federal government by attending meetings, writing letters about any and all issues, especially and most importantly about all the candidates that represent us. Voters should be aware on how the people they voted for represented their constituents, starting at our council and school district level people, to our state reps and senators all the way up the line to our state and federal officials.
If a voter wants accountability from their elected officials, then they have to know the whats, hows and whys on how those officials voted on all the issues.
The main question the voter should ask is, did those officials have the individual voter in mind or did they do it for a lobbyist, or a political favor to somebody, or maybe they did it to get union support in one form or another, or maybe it was for religious reasons, or was it just possible they voted along party lines?
The party type vote, to me, is the most reprehensible style of voting. I deplore it, when a party politician puts specific party politics over people. The bottom line is simply this: the voter should know how and why those elected officials voted the way they did. If the voter doesn’t know or doesn’t care about the whats and whys, then shame on them. In fact, I say if they are that ignorant of the facts, they should refrain from voting because they will only hurt the outcome of other serious voters who care and know why they are or are not voting for a candidate or an issue. The ignorant voter stupidity has cost all, or most of us, thousands of dollars in taxes and, much worse, loss of many freedoms.
As it stands presently, five stars go to:
• State Treasurer Gina M. Raimondo, for truly tackling the pension problem. If this woman were our state’s governor, Rhode Island problems would be cured in a heartbeat.
• Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis, for fighting against his own Democratic party and all the union bosses to get rid of the master lever on voting ballots.
• Speaker of the House Gordon Fox, for his honest, fair approach to the binding arbitration and the voter identification law. I, for one, did not like him, nor did I trust him. However, he has stepped up for the people/taxpayers/voters by showing he was opposed to binding arbitration. He knew the way the majority of the taxpayers felt about it. The voters/taxpayers feel binding arbitration has financially destroyed and killed all taxpayers in our state, cities and towns.
He also supported the voter I.D. bill and got many heavyweights to vote for it. That’s when he changed my mind about his politics. This guy stood against organized labor, most of his party bosses and a ton of minority caucuses that shocked and surprised me. He gives me hope.
• Deputy Minority Leader Joseph A. Trillo, for always being the voice of the average voter and taxpayer and the consummate one-man fighting machine for the small businessmen in Rhode Island and the underdog Republican party.
• Mayors Allan Fung and Angel Taveras, two guys that were dealt horrible hands but stayed cool and concentrated on the problems and worked to solve and salvage situations that could have been much more disastrous to their cities. They were smart enough to pull a mystical rabbit out of the hat without the use of some phony wand. They chose to tell the truth, do what was possible to do, and let the chips fall where they may. Their constituents’ may not have liked it, but owe them a thank you for doing what was right, honest and courageous.
My “kudos and thanks” go out to all those elected officials such as State representatives and senators, along with the other mayors, town councils and school committees of the cities and towns in Rhode Island, and especially the small handful of union bosses willing to work with them. Both sides bent to help each other out. These few seemed to recognize the problems elected officials faced in their respected communities and did everything possible to help officials out. By working together, they were able to hold down taxes for their constituents, and union members won by being able to keep their jobs and their union memberships alive.
The Rhode Island “Short Neck Ostrich Awards” go to the following:
• Governor Lincoln D. Chafee
• Lt. Gov. Elizabeth H. Roberts
• Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed
• Both of our U.S. representatives, James R. Langevin and David N. Cicilline
• U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
• President Barack Obama
And all of those elected politicians that did nothing for their constituents during the budget battles from Washington, D.C. down to our state, cities and towns.
I am also, at this time, throwing in the ignorant, uninformed voter that helped elect these hacks. They, too, should share in this shameful award.
By the way, for those of you that do not know what the R.I. Short Neck Ostrich Award is, please read below: It’s the award for sticking their heads not in the sand like a long neck ostrich would do, but sticking their head below their waist, but above their thighs.
Get it now?
Roberto A. Di Padua Sr.