Earlier this month, you may have seen my analysis of the GOP Chairmanship election. That election is this Saturday. After meeting all of the candidates, I would like to share with you my preference for Chair and why this selection matters.
I encourage Gaspee Project supporters to root for Sue Cienki, and I encourage all GOP delegates to give Sue Cienki serious consideration as their next chair.
As Gaspee Project Chair, why am I weighing in on this? When I was in college, our state budget crossed the $1 billion mark. At the time, that seemed quite high. Now, we are spending 1000% more - yes, one THOUSAND percent! The entrenched special interests are like junkies. They are no longer living on the high of government spending; they are trying to avoid the crash of cutting programs and facing unhappy constituents. Their kick-the-can down the road, let’s plug-this-budget-hole-with-a-tax-of-the-week approach continues.
In their calculus, the political class have completely discounted the pain they continue to inflict to the business community and citizens of Rhode Island through their “revenue enhancements” and “investments.” They pitch these as small increases, but theses increases have contributed to a $9 billion increase in spending per year. This rate of increased spending is not only unsustainable, it does not include the out-year bills that will come due from all of the unmeetable pension promises that have been made.
Sue Cienki understands this problem. She fought these same battles at the local level.
When she failed at the ballot box in November, she turned it into her battle cry: Failure is my fuel. I believe her… she has won in the past.
She has led, and she has learned the political lessons from an East Greenwich-wide loss of conservatives. I appreciate that these lessons were not about evolving her positions on issues. Sue is a consistent and reliable conservative.
The Gaspee Project promotes free markets, private property rights, and school choice. Our supporters value liberty, and are part of a broader “leave us alone” coalition that supports limited government. These are traditional, mainstream, American values. Sue understands that we need build a broad center-right coalition by advocating and articulating a conservative message that reflects these values. The Rhode Island GOP needs to play an important role in driving Rhode Island back to the political center.
Yes, it will be hard. Yes, it will take many years. To realize this impossible dream, we need an authentic true-believer. After all, who would really “march into hell,” as the song says, unless it is for a “heavenly cause.”
I believe that Sue Cienki will fight the fights that matter.
-Clay Johnson, Chairman of The Gaspee Project
P.S. Catch the latest on the horse race here: http://oceanstatecurrent.com/investigative-report/chairman-showdown-at-providence-gop-meeting/