Trillo carries Trump banner in bid for governor

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President Trump won’t be on the November ballot.

That hasn’t stopped former Warwick State Representative Joseph Trillo from running as Rhode Island’s Trump candidate for governor. A Republican turned independent, Trillo ran the president’s campaign in the state in 2016 as his honorary campaign chairman.

On Friday, Trillo brought Mark Burns, who has been dubbed “Trump’s top pastor” to Warwick’s Crowne Plaza. It was a free event. The Trillo campaign solicited $100 donations for a reception and photographs with Burns.

While the audience numbered about 50, Pastor Burns could have been speaking to hundreds. His passion for the president and his bashing of Governor Gina Raimondo was delivered with conviction and gusto and greeted with cheers and applause.

The numbers didn’t deter Burns. He said when Trump started his campaign the effort was dismissed as foolish and impossible by the media. Yet, he pointed out, as Trump campaigned and drew increasingly large crowds it became apparent his message to “Make America Great Again” resonated.

“That’s what’s going to happen to Joe Trillo,” Burns said. He urged Rhode Islanders to get on the “Joe Trillo train” and not be left waiting at the station.

In introducing her husband, Marilyn Trillo said Trillo has the voice, vision and plan for the state. She also talked about Trump and how she had been drawn to his campaign and his vision for the country “that did my heart so good.” She said her husband felt the same way.

She recalled that “he said, ‘I want to lead this state to his election for president.’”

Trillo said government assistance rolls have grown from 20 to 30 percent of the population and that Raimondo and the Democrats are happy with that.

“It’s just craziness,” he said. Trillo said the governor and the Democrats are happy with that as “more are dependent on the system and that’s more votes.”

Trillo says he can help those on assistance succeed by cutting government regulations that stymie small businesses and through education. He said he wants “to put discipline back in our schools.”

Burns defended Trump’s “put America first,” saying, “He was elected president of the United States, not the world.”

He attacked liberals who he said are more concerned about social programs and illegal immigrants. He said it’s “creating a system of entitlement,” which is making it hard on small businesses and making it easier for large corporations to leave the country.

“Your current governor…good God. Lord, if I wasn't a preacher I might have to say a cuss word every once in a while,” Burns said. “It vexes me, people like her, who will ignore the combat veteran in your own city of Providence, Rhode Island, but will open up her doors to illegal immigrants bringing them to the front of the line.”

“Your governor is clearly more excited about being the ‘Rogue Island.’ She doesn't care too much about Rhode Island...She bumped her head or something. Because this is America.”

Burns applauded Trump’s achievements.

“Isn't his policies already working? Even with all the hell that he is going through, he is still winning. Everybody that hits him, he is still winning, every time he turns he's still winning. Every time they try to draw up something, he's still winning. Every time they said he said something, he still wins. This is why we have to elect Joe Trillo,” Burns said.

“It's not about politics. It's about people. It's not even about party – it's about people. It's not about prosperity – it's about people. And if we can carry on that spirit, Rhode Island can become great again,” said Burns.

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Justanidiot

Finally, some sanity to the campaign.

Voting Mr. Trillo in as our next governor will #MRIGA

Tuesday, February 6
GoodJake

He does not have my vote. Trillo is an embarrassment and corrupt as they come. Does he think everyone forgot about the Block Island incident?

Wednesday, February 7
Justanidiot

Block Island incident?

Fake News.

#MRIGA

Wednesday, February 7
WarwickResident138

GoodJake, can you elaborate on the Block Island incident? I did a google search and the closest thing I found were articles regarding his being kicked out of a yacht club for his behavior and his proposed mooring bill from around 2015. Is this what you're referring too or is it something else?

Wednesday, February 7
Kammy

He was the "honorary chairman" in RI. Self-appointed just like Corrente. Don't even get me started on the charlatan who calls himself "Top Pastor". He fabricated his education and Army reserve service. We are surrounded by people who think if they say it enough it will be true even if proven to be false!

Wednesday, February 7
Thecaptain

GOP Chair Files Election Board Complaint Against Corrente for Failing to Report Ad, HQ Spending

by Rob Borkowski on February 6, 2018 in News to You

[CREDIT: Correnteformayor.com] Mayoral Candidate Richard Corrente

WARWICK, RI — Warwick’s Republican City Committee has filed a complaint against Richard Corrente with the Rhode Island Board of Elections Campaign Finance Division, asking for an investigation into the perpetually campaigning politician’s unreported campaign spending on a full-page Pennysaver ad.

Anthony Corrente (no relation to Richard) said the Pennysaver advertisement ran Dec. 17, but that no record of the ad appears in Correte’s latest quarter campaign finance report. A check of Corrente’s campaign finance reports of all of 2017 shows spending on the ad has not been recorded, Warwick Post reported Jan. 31.

Anthony Corrente is also asking the Board of Elections to investigate Richard Corrente’s spending regarding the latter’s failure reporting any expenses related to operating his campaign headquarters located at 1609 Warwick Ave., also related to the Pennysaver ad.

“In this advertisement, Corrente also states that people can visit him at “Corrente for Mayor headquarters, 1609 Warwick Ave., (next to Dave’s),” but “does not report any expenses” or “any contributions or personal loans” that would cover rent, utilities, or other costs.

No office costs listed for 2017; past rent went to payer of tax bills on Richard Corrente’s residence

A review of Richard Corrente’s campaign finance reports for 2017 found no mention of any payments related to the office at 1609 Warwick Ave. In fact, among the first quarter, second quarter, third quarter, and fourth quarter filings, the candidate only entered a $100 loan to the campaign in income and $44 to print new checks in expenses for the entire year.

NOW, CHECK OUT THIS:

Kilmartin Opposes Trump Administration Rule Giving Worker's Tips to Employers

In a review of earlier campaign finance reports, Warwick Post found that Richard Corrente paid $4,000 for the campaign office on Feb. 17, 2016 to Clay Shackleton, listed on state business filings as President of G W Realty, which owns Gateway Plaza. The check was paid to Shackleton personally, as opposed to to G W Realty.

Clayton A. Shackleton is also listed as paying the tax bills on 177 Grand View Ave. in 2014 and 2015, totaling nearly $13,700:

City tax records show that Clay Shackleton paid the delinquent tax bills on Richard Corrente’s residence in 2014 and 2015; Corrente paid Shackleton $4,000 for his campaign office in 2016. [Screenshots from Warwick Tax Assessor website]

City tax records show payments of $6,910.33 in 2014 by Clayton A. Shackleton for Richard Corrente’s residence.

City tax records show payments of $6,762.19 in 2015 by Clayton A. Shackleton for Richard Corrente’s residence.

Richard Corrente also filed to change the address of the campaign office to its location in Hoxsie from 177 Grand View Ave. on Jan. 19, 2017, and later put up signs on the storefront for his business, Bankers Mortgage.

Wednesday, February 7
CrickeeRaven

Hello again Thecaptain:

I also replied at the other article where you posted Warwick Post's report; here's hoping that these revelations compel the fake "mayor" to maintain his recent silence on this website, as they have in the past. You'll recall that we first discussed the Clay Shackleton payments last August [in this comment thread: http://warwickonline.com/stories/aldrich-could-end-up-being-a-school-again-rhodes-for-housing,126254?] , and that the fake "mayor" has never said a word about them. Not one.

And I wonder if you saw this earlier Warwick Post article, which reviews the claims he made in the Pennysaver ad that the Republican chairman is referring to: "Digit Spinner: Richard Corrente Fudges the Numbers Again."

https://warwickpost.com/digit-spinner-richard-corrente-fudges-numbers/

I think you would agree that his two-month-old 2018 campaign is not off to a very good start -- and that's aside from his failure to restrain himself from commenting on this site and having all of his statements disproven.

Wednesday, February 7
Cornelia

Joe Trillo is vocal, bold, and just what the state seems to need. He’s not politically correct but is passionate about “righting the ship” that is the ocean state. We know what we have now, so why not give him a chance.

Wednesday, February 7
Thecaptain

Crikeee,

That is not the only complaint lodged with Mr. Richard Thornton of the Board of Elections. There was another complaint filed on August 28th. Clearly there are issues. But then again, we knew that !

Wednesday, February 7
Thecaptain

Digit Spinner: Richard Corrente Fudges the Numbers Again

by Joe Hutnak on February 4, 2018 in All Politics Are Local

WARWICK, RI — Democratic mayoral candidate Richard Corrente is starting his second run for office where he left off last time: Trying to manipulate numbers.

Just this week, the Warwick GOP announced that Corrente apparently failed to report campaign spending on a political ad by filing reports with the Board of Elections that did not include the ad buy.

The problems with this ad go beyond allegations that Richard Corrente didn't report it on his campaign finance filings. [Copy of ad provided by Warwick GOP Chair Anthony Corrente]

The problems with this ad go beyond allegations that Richard Corrente didn’t report it on his campaign finance filings. [Copy of ad provided by Warwick GOP Chair Anthony Corrente]

A review of his 2017 campaign records posted online showed that thewarwick-post-commentary Pennysaver ad is not mentioned at all, nor is there any record of “Friends of Richard Corrente,” listed on the ad as the group that paid for it, either making a donation to the campaign or paying for the ad as a separate political action committee.

Beyond the accounting problems, though, Corrente’s ad itself shows that he’s still trying to make numbers say something that they simply can’t.

Electoral math doesn’t add up

Start with the first claim in the ad, that he “campaigned for 700 days in a row.” Corrente does not define what “campaigned” means, so it’s difficult to confirm whether he, indeed, engaged in political campaigning for 700 days.

As for that figure of 700, Corrente filed his initial notice of organization with the Board of Elections on Dec. 11, 2014; election day in 2016 was on Nov. 8, a span of one year, 10 months, and 28 days, or a total of 698 days. That’s a relatively minor inaccuracy, though one that’s overshadowed by other claims in the ad.

Corrente’s ad then states that he received “more votes than any other opponent” of Mayor Scott Avedisian, which is true, as far as it goes — although he doesn’t mention the fact that he spent the highest amount of any candidate in a Warwick mayoral race since 2006.

In that election, Donald Torres spent about $20,000 and finished with 11,676 to Avedisian’s 24,595, meaning Corrente spent double the money Torres did for 2,400 more votes on the way to a 65-to-35 loss to Avedisian.

When a tax cut isn’t a ‘cut’

The next part of the ad gets to the heart of Corrente’s campaign message: That even though he lost the 2016 election, the city council “heard [Corrente’s] words through their constituents” in turning down 29 “tax-increasing amendments” that he says Avedisian “tried to pass,” resulting in less taxes and spending.

Corrente also says that Avedisian “was unanimously denied every time” by the council.

The first thing to address is the claim of a “tax cut” in the FY2018 budget. As approved by the city council, the current budget does not increase the tax rate, but does anticipate higher tax revenue because the council is counting on a 99-percent tax collection rate, among other factors.

The adopted FY2018 budget includes an expected $3.6 million increase in tax revenue, in fact.

So, the tax rate stayed the same this year — that’s not the same as a cut. By comparison, the FY2017 budget did include a tax rate decrease though it generated higher revenue as the result of a recent property revaluation.

As far as the cut in spending that Corrente claims, the FY2018 budget shows that expenditures are set to go up by some $6.5 million over FY2017.

In other words, Corrente is taking credit for the city council passing a tax cut when the tax rate is staying the same, whereas he criticized Avedisian for raising taxes last year, when the tax rate went down, and also claiming tax and spending cuts when both are actually increasing.

Following the amendment trail

Now, what about those “29 tax-increasing amendments” that the council denied “unanimously?”

Corrente is misreporting how the budget was passed in Warwick. For this year’s budget, the council proposed 29 amendments that reduced proposed city spending by about $750,000 and held back $3 million in school funding while the teachers contract was negotiated.

Avedisian, in his reply to the council’s adopted budget, agreed to let the 29 council-approved amendments stand, writing: “Being a political realist, I know that vetoing a budget and sending it back to a nine-to-zero Council of the other party would be futile.”

The mayor also noted in his budget response that he had previously proposed two amendments that the council accepted, and that “Twenty-five of the twenty-nine [council] amendments passed unanimously.”

So, Avedisian did not “try to pass” those 29 amendments; none of the amendments were aimed at increasing taxes; and not all of the council votes on the amendments were unanimous.

Corrente then finishes this section of the ad by claiming: “For the first time in 17 years, Warwick taxpayers DID receive tax relief — and Corrente’s 700-day campaign had a LOT to do with it.”

Again, tax revenue and spending are going up in FY2018, so calling it “tax relief” is a stretch, as is claiming that his 2016 campaign somehow influenced the council’s actions — which, as explained above, did not happen as Corrente characterized them.

Generalization and exaggeration

Corrente’s ad concludes with a call to support him with donations, saying “The tax-and-sped [sic] political insiders won’t. They want higher taxes. Corrente doesn’t represent them. He represents the 80,000 Warwick taxpayers that are paying the tab.”

The glaring error in that statement is the estimate of 80,000 taxpayers in Warwick; there are about 80,000 residents in the city, not 80,000 taxpayers.

It’s important, at this point, to distinguish between taxes that directly fund the city and schools and others like the sales tax, restaurant and hotel taxes, and so-called “sin taxes” on cigarettes and alcohol that go to the state first before Warwick gets a share of them.

Going by his statements that focus on the city’s finances, Corrente is talking specifically about Warwick residents who pay “the tab” via car and property taxes, and there simply aren’t 80,000 of them.

These are not the insiders you’re looking for

What’s also problematic about this part of the ad is that Corrente doesn’t explain who these “insiders” are.

While he doesn’t specify what he means by that term, he is raising a point about donations; here’s what a review of his campaign finance records show.

Corrente’s reported contributions include money from a veritable who’s who of local Democratic Party members, among them Councilors Edgar Ladouceur, Joseph Gallucci, and Donna Travis; state Reps. Camille Vella-Wilkinson, Evan Shanley, Joseph McNamara, and K. Joseph Shekarchi; and school committee member Karen Bachus.

He also received donations from Cranston Democratic City Committee Chairman Michael Sepe and Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza.

While it’s not clear what he means by “insiders,” Corrente has taken money from several prominent local and state Democratic Party members for his campaign.

Corrente also funneled $41,258 of personal money into his campaign in addition to the $4,208 he raised through contributions.

According to Corrente’s own formulation, he will “represent” the people who donate to his campaign. So, since he provided 90.25 percent of the funding for his 2016 run while contributions comprised 9.25 percent, Corrente apparently represents himself and a few local Democratic politicians.

One other note: Some of the city councilors have served multiple terms, meaning they approved prior budgets that increased taxes and spending, including the 2014 budget that added $400,000 to the school department that no one requested, further clouding the question of who these “tax-and-spend political insiders” may be.

Conclusion: Corrente still trying to play games with numbers

This isn’t the first time that a review of Corrente’s claims has found them lacking, to put it mildly.

He promoted his 2016 campaign with a Warwick Beacon letter to the editor claiming that the city unfairly hiked the assessments on his properties at Avedisian’s behest while Avedisian got a tax break; a Warwick Post analysis later found that, not only had Avedisian’s taxes gone up while Corrente’s didn’t, but Corrente actually didn’t own the residence he called home. The Beacon reported that he had lost it to tax foreclosure.

Later in the campaign, as Corrente maintained that Warwick had lost more than 4,600 business over a decade, the Post found that a proper comparison of data from three separate sources showed nothing of the kind.

Given the chance to recant his claims at a debate with Avedisian, Corrente instead doubled down and insisted his disproven statements were true.

As a result, this latest ad is one of a piece with Corrente’s established campaign behavior [though no one is an official candidate until they file the proper forms with City Hall in June], and does nothing to dispel the questions that seem to dog every statement he makes.

What consolation there may be in all of this is that Corrente is not considered a legitimate threat to unseat Avedisian, who is already among the longest-serving mayors in Rhode Island history and can extend his tenure with a 10th overall election victory this year.

The local Democratic party seems to tolerate Corrente more than actively support him; Avedisian replies to him only as much as he needs to; and Stacia Huyler, the 2014 Republican mayoral primary candidate turned blogger, grouped Corrente among the “political candidate clowns” who have challenged Avedisian.

Think about that: The former Avedisian opponent who tried her own hand at scaring people by manipulating numbers is saying that Corrente shouldn’t be taken seriously as a candidate.

In the end, unless Corrente makes a major change in his campaign rhetoric and behavior, the one number he’ll have to face and be unable to spin is zero, representing the number times he’s actually won an election.

Wednesday, February 7
Justanidiot

This is all fake news.

Please stick to the facts.

Thursday, February 8
CrickeeRaven

Are you tryin to git a jerb with the mayer, Justanidiot? Seems he kin use a fact-checker.

Thursday, February 8
Kammy

I can't express my appreciation enough for all of you that have researched the facts and presented them in rebuttal to the BS Corrente posts. At the very least, he lacks total understanding of the finances of this city. I lean more towards him being a complete fraud and liar. At least now I understand his complete and utter butt kissing of the WTU and WCC. They gave him money! I thought he was just pandering in the hopes of their endorsement (and he probably still is) but it was in response to them providing campaign funds.

Even in the face of solid facts, he still continues to parade his utter lack of knowledge like a banner. Ridiculous enough to "double down" on misinformation. As predicted, he doesn't need any enemies because his own words will be the tool that ends his failed campaign. Well, that and the fact that he failed to report spending campaign funds.

Thursday, February 8