To the Editor:
I don’t know Gerald Carbone, so I really can’t figure out what he’s thinking. But in his letter to the Editor, printed on October 18, he endorsed the Republican candidate for Warwick Mayor. For this Democrat to turn his back on his party and support the GOP candidate is disappointing, to say the least.
Just a few weeks ago, Mr. Carbone was asking Democratic voters to award him our party’s nomination. But those voters were clearly unimpressed, and gave Mayor Joseph Solomon more than four times as many votes. Now, he has chosen to betray his party.
Mr. Carbone and his so-called progressive friends have claimed that they are the “True Democrats.” Yet he touted his endorsement by the Progressive Party. And here he is supporting the Republican nominee? Odd…
This has the distinct aroma of “sour grapes.” The simple fact is that Mr. Carbone lost the Democratic primary for Mayor. Clearly, the voters didn’t consider his time as a journalist prepared him to be the chief executive of a city with a sizeable budget. He pointed to his experience in chairing the Warwick Library Board of Trustees. As I chaired the State Library Board for a decade, and served as President of the Providence Community Library for a number of years, I am certainly a supporter of libraries. But helping the library administration to obtain 3-D printers is hardly enough to qualify a person to be Mayor.
And it’s obvious that the voters didn’t agree that promoting some of these progressive, pie-in-the-sky ideas (i.e. a resolution opposing off-shore drilling) is a priority at the municipal level. While many of these are admirable national or global concerns, they’re out of place in a local race. A mayor has no jurisdiction over these types of issues. It might be nice to support workers in Nepal, but that’s not what the Mayor of Warwick is hired (by the voters) to do.
Mr. Carbone says he doesn’t like labels, and recommends that we not be fooled by local party labels. I agree. We should look behind the label, to see what the truth is.
The truth is that he ran as a Democrat. He chose to do so. If he wanted to be an independent, he could have run as an independent. He inserted himself into the Democratic primary.
The truth is that he proceeds to label me a conservative corporate lawyer. I’ll proudly admit to the lawyer part. And I represent Rhode Island companies as well as individuals, so perhaps he thinks that’s corporate law (Newsflash: it’s not!). But as for the conservative bit - either he’s confused about my positions, or he’s simply choosing to ignore them.
The truth is that he’s failed to check his facts. When he accuses the Warwick Democratic Party’s City Committee of recruiting me to run against the “incumbent Democratic woman in the Senate District 30 race,” he’s simply wrong. No one recruited me. The City Committee never asked me to run. That’s the truth.
The truth is that Mr. Carbone labels our city and state Democratic committees as further “right” than the few Republican candidates. But it appears he’s hardly in a position to complain, as he’s the one supporting a Republican – the party of Trump - for Mayor.
Perhaps he should look first at his own candidacy, and his own actions. For my part, I am supporting a True Democrat, Joe Solomon. Joe will continue to be a fine mayor.
Mr. McKenney won the Democratic nomination for Senate District 30 in September and will appear on the November election ballot.