2016-09-29 / Election News



Candidate Statement

To the Editor:

My name is Rebecca Schiff and I am seeking election to the House District 74 seat representing Jamestown and Middletown. My message is simple: Make government work for the people. As I have walked door to door, many voters have asked me how exactly will I make change happen.

Rhode Islanders are searching for transparency and accountability from their elected leaders, only to find their voices ignored for the sake of politics and political self-interest. I believe in the power of a well-informed public to effect change in our state. Before I am even elected, I will start by bringing the issues straight to you. When in office, I will listen to the people of my district. They will no longer be forgotten. Your voice will be my guidance. I am a local business owner, educator, first-generation American, the daughter of immigrant parents. Both taught me the value of education, hard work, and giving back to the community.

I have a doctorate in political science and lecture on national security matters around the globe. I am actively involved in Rhode Island and founded the Jamestown Town Speakers Series. To learn more, visit rebeccaschiff.com or on Facebook, Rebecca Schiff RI.

Rebecca Schiff
Candidate for Rhode Island
District 74 Jamestown

Editor’s Note: Full election announcements from numerous candidates can be read on the NTW website, newportthisweek.com, under the “Election News” button at the far right of the tool bar.

Paiva Weed Stands with Special Interests

To the Editor:

I was very disturbed to discover that Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed accepted accelerated campaign contributions from the shareholders and employees of a 38 Studios defendant, while the firm was being sued by the state for their role in failing to protect the best interests of the state.

In November 2012, the State of Rhode Island filed a lawsuit against a number of defendants over the $89 million loss arising from the collapse of 38 Studios. Among those named was the law firm of Adler, Pollock & Sheehan. In August of 2015, the state settled with several firms, including Adler, Pollock & Sheehan.

During the 33 months that the lawsuit was active and ongoing, Paiva Weed accepted $5,550 in contributions from shareholders and employees of Adler, Pollock & Sheehan. Their combined total represents a noticeable spike in contributions from people associated with the firm.

Because state law requires each contributor to indicate their place of employment with any donation, there is no way the senator or her staff would not know who and where the money was coming from.

My research into the campaign filings on the Board of Election’s website turned up other state leaders who also cashed in on the practice, including Gov. Raimondo ($41,675); Treasurer Magaziner ($10,150); Speaker Mattiello ($5,450); Secretary of State Gorbea ($4,475); and Attorney General Kilmartin ($3,150).

Paiva Weed goes back the longest with Adler, Pollack & Sheehan. Starting in 2004 they gave her campaign $175. Then in 2005, when she was the Senate majority leader, their total contributions went up to $1,650.

Unfortunately, 2006, 2007 and 2008 were not as lucrative at $900, $750 and $1,050, respectively. Then in 2009, as Senate president, things started to pick up a bit with a total of $1,900 and then up a bit more in 2010 to $2,100.

In 2011, things got a little better with a total of $2,350, but then in 2012, the year the lawsuit was about to go into high gear, she took in $4,769. That included in-kind contributions totaling $872 for “food and room rental” because they hosting a fundraiser for her.

During the years of the lawsuit, rather than declining contributions from the firm’s shareholders and management, she continued to accept funds that totaled $5,550, clearly representing an uptick in contributions for her as well.

On the one hand, Rhode Island was suing a law firm saying that they had failed the state and taxpayers, but on the other, my opponent, along with other state leaders, was accepting increased contributions from them.

How can she reconcile her actions here? Who does she stand with, the taxpayers or a special interest who the state contends had a role in exposing taxpayers to an avoidable $89 million loss?

Enough is enough! The voters of District 13 deserve to be represented by someone who they know is squarely on their side.

The entire data file of contributions by Adler, Pollock & Sheehan is available for download at my website, savforsenate.org.

Sav Rebecchi
Independent Candidate
Senate District 13

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