Block blasts Raimondo for hiring campaign operative as chief of staff

By Dan McGowan

The sparring ahead of the 2014 governor’s race has begun.

A day after Rhode Island Public Radio reported that likely gubernatorial candidate General Treasurer Gina Raimondo is bringing in veteran political operative Andrew Roos as her chief of staff, Moderate Party Chairman Ken Block accused Raimondo of hiring a campaign manager on the state’s dime.

“If this person has no relevant experience for running the treasurer’s office and is there mainly as a campaign manager then that person’s salary should not be at taxpayer expense,” Block, a potential candidate for governor himself, told

Roos, who managed Myrth York’s unsuccessful campaign for governor in 2002, is leaving a Google’s elections and issue advocacy division in Washington D.C. to join Raimondo’s staff. Joseph Pratt, Raimondo’s current chief of staff, has been moved to deputy treasurer/chief of administration.

But Block said campaign managers should be paid out of campaign finance accounts.

“It would be absurd for taxpayers to have to pay a large salary for a campaign operative with no relevant executive experience for one of our statewide elected officials,” Block said. “Last I knew the treasurer had plenty of campaign cash to pay for these services.”

Raimondo spokeswoman Joy Fox did not respond directly to Block’s comments, but said the treasurer is ”committed to having the strongest, most diverse team possible to help deliver results for Rhode Islanders.”

Although she has deflected questions about her political future, Raimondo has established herself as the early favorite in the governor’s race, ahead of Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and current Gov. Lincoln Chafee. The Democrat had more than $1.3 million in her campaign account as of Dec. 31, more than Chafee, Taveras and Block combined.

7 thoughts on “Block blasts Raimondo for hiring campaign operative as chief of staff

  1. It’s never a good idea to let people know how crooked you are before you actually attain the office you are seeking. If Ms. Raimondo had spent a fraction of the time she has wasted in her years-long campaign for governor in solving the states financial problems, maybe the state wouldn’t have had the worst pension returns in my lifetime and amoung the worst in the country last year, second only to California.

    Gina, you have more money than at least a hundred average citizens who live here in RI… why do you need more? Why do you feel the need to take what little we have left? Please take your hand out of my pocket Gina, I’m tired of it.

  2. Really, who cares? Welcome to Rhode Island. In Rhode Island it is not a matter of electing a dirtbag or not, just a question of which dirtbag. And Rhode Islanders get exactly what they deserve, high taxes, crumbling infrastructure, high school students who can hardly spell their own names and rampant corruption. The General Assembly passes the laws and overspends the money, so just keep voting in the same old bought and paid for GA and their union masters, yeah that will work. RI has the collective IQ of a bag of hair.

  3. Hey Bill, the answer to your question is greed. Can’t wait to see what happens to us when she’s governor. She already has a billionare from texas funding her cause. Remember the state house rotunda video when engage RI was hailing Gina, Gina, Gina. Think back to when you saw a leader addressing people and that persons head was shacking with every word. The eyebrows drawn in tight and pounding the podium with the fist with every word. Power can be a very dangerous thing when placed in the wrong hands. Sometimes I wish I didn’t love this state and it’s people so much. I just see so much good and potential.

    • Hi Jeff,

      I was at the State House that day and witnessed the infamous fist-pump as well as a group of very wealthy businessmen standing beside her throughout. Pretty callous and cruel behavior by an elected official to celebrate with the wealthy after having taken retirees benifits away from them.

      Speaking of EngageRI… I sure would like to know who their cowardly anonymous wealthy backers are, but I don’t suppose we’ll ever know.

  4. What Gina Raimondo would like to say to Ken Block in response:

    “If this person has no relevant experience for running the State of Rhode Island and is there mainly as an exercise in ego then that person shouldn’t be running for Governor in the first place.”

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