Goodbye, Jim!


To the Editor:

Sorry, Jim, the party is over and I am voting for Mike Riley! I have always been inspired by the Marine mantra: God, Country, Corps (family). These are three ideals that all Americans should hold above all others. Loyalty to any political or fraternal organization should never trump that trinity.
We Rhode Islanders need to get away from this misplaced loyalty based on party affiliation and start to vote for candidates that will serve Rhode Island best. As a three-term Democrat councilman from Narragansett and 25-year party member, I have become disenfranchised. I grew up idolizing John F. Kennedy and was always awestruck by his statement, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” Individual responsibility and personal liberty is being squelched by our massive overreaching government, which is becoming a “nanny state.” This government has a ferocious appetite for our hard earned tax dollars, when that capital can be better spent going toward investment that would stimulate job growth.
Helping to reinforce my view that some Democrats have lost their way was when I received an email from Jim Langevin earlier this year stating he needed my help. It continued by suggesting that for $500, I could join him on the patio of Ruth Chris Steak House during WaterFire. That was the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back.” Election season is the only time when anyone ever hears from good old Jim. My message to Jim Langevin is: Jim, we have needed help for some time now, and you have been absent. While the average Rhode Islander’s net worth has been diminished by more than 30 percent, Jim Langevin’s has risen by the same. We are in a world of hurt and Jim Langevin has been indifferent and ineffective at the same time.
As proof of Jim’s lack of focus and impact on Rhode Island’s most pressing issues, Jim was recently asked what his greatest achievement in 12 years was. Jim pointed to a piece of legislation he co-sponsored in 2006 funding respite care. This is laudable I am sure, but insignificant in a 12-year record. This is a bill that has brought a paltry sum of funding to Rhode Island. It took him six years to accomplish and he cannot point to anything more noteworthy since. Jim’s latest assertion that Rhode Island’s woes have to do with a skills gap is laughable. We have some of the best schools in the country. We are an educating machine. We educate young people and then they leave because our business climate is abysmal. Again, you have been silent. On close inspection of Langevin’s voting record and campaign contribution schedule, the time lines are incredible. Time and time again, when Jim has voted favorably for special interest groups, he received envelopes worth thousands of dollars, either shortly before, shortly after and in some cases on the same day. Is Jim Langevin working for special interest groups or Rhode Islanders? He claims the latter, but his actions and results tell a different story.
In this election we have a clear choice. Mike Riley is a proven leader; he is accomplished, knowledgeable and a capable individual that will make a difference. Jim, it’s time to go!

George Lenihan


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