Dems angling to succeed Raimondo all back pension deal

The men vying to succeed Gina Raimondo as Rhode Island’s general treasurer are all supporting the proposed settlement she recently announced that would end unions’ legal challenge to the 2011 pension law.

The three Democrats running for treasurer are former Treasurer Frank Caprio, former Internal Auditor Ernie Almonte, and political newcomer Seth Magaziner. No Republican has entered the race so far.

Almonte spoke out Wednesday in a Providence Journal op-ed, describing the settlement as possibly “the best short-term option” while also criticizing how long lawmakers allowed the pension problem to fester.

“This is a worthwhile settlement because it achieves significant savings without costly litigation and uncertainty,” Almonte, who raised red flags about the pension problem as internal auditor, wrote. “But it also highlights the true cost of continuing to delay making difficult decisions that will shape our state’s future.”

Magaziner’s campaign manager, Evan England, offered muted support for the deal in a statement.

“Seth is pleased that both sides were able to reach an agreement that preserves most of the savings of the original reform while easing some of the burden on public employees and retirees,” England told

“Seth is a strong advocate for increasing state aid to the cities and towns, which would help municipalities afford the cost of the settlement,” England continued. “Above all, Seth is frustrated at the decades of failed State House leadership that caused the pension crisis to occur in the first place, and pledges to bring a new type of leadership to the treasurer’s office.”

Caprio – who has criticized Raimondo for investing more than $1 billion of the state’s pension assets in high-fee hedge funds – backed the deal in a brief email sent by his spokeswoman, Patti Doyle.

“Frank is in favor of the litigation being resolved in a way both sides agree to,” Doyle told

No public polls have been released in the Democratic primary for treasurer, but Almonte leads the pack in fundraising. As of Dec. 31, Almonte’s campaign had $216,860 on hand, while Caprio’s had $193,215 and Magaziner’s had $150,145. Former President Bill Clinton will raise money for Magaziner next month.

• Related: Taveras, Raimondo exchange harsh words over pensions (Feb. 25)

9 thoughts on “Dems angling to succeed Raimondo all back pension deal

  1. The problem with the way the issue has been framed is that it suggests there are only two sides to the questions raised by the 2011 law. Whether the plaintiffs or defendants agree in this court ordered mediation ignores the elephant in the room, i.e., the constitutionality of the law itself in the taking away of contractually agreed COLAs for retirees already retired before the law was passed. That part of the 2011 law will require court determination, probably at a higher level than where it currently sits. The wavering comments of all the candidates for Treasurer do not address the constitutionality of the law itself. They seem politically happy to push the controversy aside, reap the benefit of the money saved by the taking away of COLAs , and move on.

    • Yes, John; I agree. And the sad thing is, unless that constitutionality question is answered, they will come after the retirees again and again, and there will be nothing to stop them.

      • And who is going to fight that battle? Gina? Chaffee? Nope! Only one candidate here even responded to the issue. Caprio and seth use middlemen to phone in their half assed answers. If they don’t have the time now to discuss the issue, why do uou think they would do anything to fix it?! Almonte is the only candidate who has the knowledge and experience to fix the problem AND he wrote an article in the providence journal about it. He cares, and knows how to fix this state.

  2. Thanks Caprio for leading us down this road. Maybe if uou spent less time on governor speeches and more time doing your job, you wouldn’t need your advisors to phone in generic responses that say nothing. Seth probably didn’t even write his response or know the answer given, only ernie speaks for himself, not through someone and speaks the truth that it’s a short term fix only. Ted please start paying attention to the real candidate for change ernie almonte

  3. Caprio has previously stated that as Treasurer he would try to roll back hedge fund fees and return more money for Cola’s to retirees.
    So Vote NO on this settlement and wait for your next Treasurer to straighten out Gina’s mess.

  4. A no vote on the settlement would be great. The courts should decide. I can see why the union leaders are pleading with the members to vote for the settlement. National unions are pretty sure they’ll lose and even if they win, there is no money to shore up the unfunded liability. Bankruptcies will follow (cities and towns that lose state aid). Social services will be cut. City and state services will be cut. School funding will be cut. Longer lines at DMV. Taxes will be raised, and those that can afford to, will move. Ahhhh, good times ahead.

    So by all means vote it down and lets find out where we are constitutionally.

  5. Someone will take this issue on and explain exactly what’s happening. This is the biggest manipulation ever. Public sector vs private sector being used to hide what’s really going on. While we are all fighting, those with money behind the scenes are laughing their asses off. We are being used by outside sources as a test case for a national agenda. What’s happening with the pension reform is morally wrong. Wake up Rhode Island, don’t let outside influences control our destiny.


  7. If you are a ERSRI retiree and want to take action to oppose the Settlement Agreement,email me at

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