EngageRI wades into three primary races with mailing to voters

Engage Rhode Island’s leaders were serious about sticking around.

The deep-pocketed 501(c)4 advocacy group that helped pass last year’s pension overhaul sent out campaign fliers this month in three districts with closely contested Democratic primary races for General Assembly.

Two of the mailers attack incumbent Reps. Spencer Dickinson of South Kingstown and Rene Menard of Lincoln for voting against the law. Dickinson’s opponent is South Kingstown Councilwoman Kathleen Fogarty, who backed the law, and Menard’s is Cumberland Councilwoman Mia Ackerman, a staunch supporter of the changes whose website specifically links her candidacy with Treasurer Gina Raimondo’s policies.

(The two women use almost identical language on their respective campaign sites, telling voters they’ll work for “your interests” rather than “special interests.”)

The third mailer praises East Providence Sen. Dan DaPonte, who’s trying to hold off a challenge from Rep. Roberto DaSilva, a “no” vote on the pension changes. It says DaPonte “played a pivotal role” in passing the “historic” measure in his role as Senate Finance Committee chairman.

As a 501(c)4, EngageRI isn’t allowed to explicitly urge a vote for or against the three Democratic lawmakers – the fliers just urge their constituents to call and share their opinions. Nevertheless, the message will almost certainly resonate as voters weigh their options before the Sept. 11 primary.

EngageRI spokesman Jon Duffy declined to say how much the organization spent on the mailers, but said they went out Aug. 8 to likely Democratic primary voters in each of the three districts, which were chosen for the competitiveness of the primary challenges.

“We’ve always said we will continue to be involved in the pension reform conversation, we would support those people that supported pension reform and point out those who didn’t,” Duffy told WPRI.com.

“I think you’ll see more,” he added. “It’s issue advocacy.” Here’s what the mailers look like:

7 thoughts on “EngageRI wades into three primary races with mailing to voters

  1. Maybe just maybe the people who voted against the pension reform know a thing or two about the LAW! EngageRI better have deep pockets so they can bail out the state when the state loses in court.

  2. The House is actively purging anyone who voted against the pension law, and using Gina’s Wall St. money to do it through 501(c)4s. Between ALEC, voter ID, Wall St. Dark Money Groups, and anti-union behavior, it’s high time we ask who these “Democrats” in leadership really are.

    Because I’ll tell you one thing.

    In any other state, they’d have an “R” next to their names.

  3. How come the RI engage businesses and people involved won’t divulge their names? Are they afraid to expose who they are?
    Are they that much of a coward that they cannot stand by face to face and face the public with their propaganda?
    It is evident they are truly hypocrites since they want to publish the names of lawmakers who vote on issues and want teh names of teachers state workers, police/fire fighter salaries but they in engage ri won’t come out in the open and tell the taxpayers of RI
    MEOW…..MEOW…to the bunch of cowards who call themselves Engage RI.You are as bad as the
    biased/ bigoted Ku Klux Klan who hid behind white sheets so people wouldn’t know who they were…you are no different in that respect…

  4. Oreo and others need a lesson in constitutional government. Article 1: Section 12 of the Rhode Island Constitution – “No ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall be passed”. Every legislator and every executive office holder that supported, signed and favored this pension legislation violated their oath of office. Every office holder is bound to support the constitution of the state of Rhode Island. They did not!!!!!!!! The courts so far have said the same thing and they are bound by constitutional law. Where Raimondo, the General Assembly and the Governor went wrong was to not negotiate with retirees. I for one would have been willing to say that a COLA should be based on fund performance in the future. I for one would have been willing to say no more compounding of the COLA. I for one would have been willing to suspend my COLA for 3 years to help the system. I for one am not willing to suspend the COLA for what could be 19 years or more. This is just robbery on the scale of Bernie Madoff. You need more money to support the promises made? Start taxing the damn yachts that line Narragansett Bay as they were taxed 20 years ago. This is just another example of the rich doing for themselves and skrewing the elderly middle class. Additionally, Raimondo math needs a serious examination. She built a pension crisis around the notion that we will live, on average, 87.6 years. This is bull s___ and no study in the entire country can be found to support this ridiculous assumption. Raimondo = Bernie Madoff!!

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