September 13, 2018

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Latest News, Rhode Island

DGA Statement on Republican Primary in Rhode Island

Tonight, Democratic Governors Association Executive Director Elisabeth Pearson released the following statement on Allan Fung’s nomination in Rhode Island:

“Allan Fung is a failed candidate with a disastrous record of failures, scandal and embracing Donald Trump’s agenda. Rhode Islanders have already rejected Fung when he ran for governor in 2014, and he’s only become a more damaged candidate since then.

“Rhode Island voters want a leader who will stand up to the dangerous Trump agenda, not one who’ll bring Trump’s disastrous policies into the Ocean State. The Fung-Trump agenda would rip away health care from Rhode Islanders, restrict women’s reproductive rights, and allow guns in the hands of violent criminals.

“While Allan Fung refused to stand up to the Trump agenda, he failed the people of Cranston, underfunding the city’s schools while raising taxes. With several scandals on top of his mismanagement in Cranston, Fung is a deeply flawed candidate facing a steep uphill battle this general election.”

BACKGROUND:

Fung Would Not Stand Up for Rhode Islanders Against the Trump Administration’s Attacks on Health Care Coverage. According to WPRI, “U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced late last week the administration is reversing its legal position in a case challenging the law, often called Obamacare. Rather than continuing the Obama administration’s defense of the law, Sessions’ lawyers will now back Texas and other states in seeking to eliminate the individual mandate as well as the guarantee that insurers sell to individuals with pre-existing conditions. Rhode Island is one of 15 states that have been defending the law after Attorney General Peter Kilmartin joined California in support of it, and Raimondo highlighted her continued backing for its provisions at an event Tuesday morning. {…} Fung’s spokesman has not yet responded to a question about his position regarding the Affordable Care Act lawsuit. He has previously said he does not support the health law.” [WPRI, 6/12/18]

Fung Declined to Comment on the Right for Women in Rhode Island to Make Their Own Health Care Choices. According to the Providence Journal, “Rhode Island gubernatorial candidates were asked Thursday whether they would sign the Reproductive Health Care Act, which would guarantee abortion rights by state law, if it is ever passed by the General Assembly. Candidates who answered no were then asked if they would support a ban on abortion in Rhode Island if the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision is overturned.{…}Cranston mayor and Republican candidate Allan Fung is going to ‘politely decline to comment,’ according to spokesman Andrew Augustus.” [Providence Journal, 6/28/18]

Fung Opposed Gun Safety Measures After Parkland School Shooting. According to WPRI, “Republican gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung said Monday he opposes a state-level ban on “assault weapons” and has concerns about the proposed ‘red flag’ bill to disarm some individuals, offering his first extended comments on guns since the Florida school shooting.” [WPRI, 2/26/18]

School Officials Argued They Needed $3.8 Million More To Meet The Basic Education Plan, But Fung Said $1.7 Million, With $692,000 For Special Needs Education If Needed, Was Enough. The Providence Journal reported, “School officials say they will need $3.8 million more than what is allowed in the current budget just to meet the basics, including mandates and contractual obligations. Mayor Allan W. Fung says $1.7 million — possibly another $692,000 more for special education if and when it s needed — will do, and that a review of the schools books by two experts hired by the city backs that up.” [The Providence Journal, 4/2/11]

Fung Proposed A Budget That Increased Property Taxes By 3.99%. The Providence Journal reported, “Calling it a budget proposal to pay for the uncontrollable sins of the past, Mayor Allan W. Fung presented Thursday a spending plan that eliminates six municipal positions and freezes spending on everything but the bare necessities required to provide the services that our constituents deserve. […] The mayor s budget, which would increase the amount raised in property taxes by 3.99 percent, comes amid continued fiscal turmoil on the school side, pressure from the state to fund pension plans and the mayor s own goal to open a new charter school.” [The Providence Journal, 4/1/11]

In 2015, The Rhode Island State Police Cited Several Instances With The Cranston Police Department In Its Report Blasting “Fung, His Top Aides And Police Brass…For Political Conniving And Mismanagement Of The Department.” The Providence Journal reported, “The Josefson matter is one of the cases cited by the Rhode Island State Police in its stinging 2015 report on the Cranston Police Department, in which it blasted Fung, his top aides and police brass, including Palombo, for political conniving and mismanagement of the department. Josefson complained in his lawsuit that ‘false departmental charges’ were lodged against him that ‘resulted in his un- warranted demotion.’ In its report, the state police alleged that Palombo and others bullied and tricked Josefson into accepting a demotion. Fung, Josefson alleged, knew he was being mistreated and did nothing about it.” [Providence Journal, 7/26/16]

WPRI: “Allan Fung Wound Up Making No Rent Payments for His 2016 Campaign Headquarters.”According to WPRI, “Republican gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung wound up making no rent payments for his 2016 campaign headquarters at Chapel View, and more recently failed to disclose an outstanding bill from the shopping plaza’s powerful owner, according to a Target 12 review of R.I. Board of Elections filings. The Cranston mayor’s political team has been based at Chapel View for the past three election cycles. Two years ago, in 2016, Fung’s office was open from at least mid-July through the November election.” [WPRI, 6/14/18]

Fung Failed to Report Infomercial Hosted by Lobbyist to Promote His Campaign – “The Failure is Likely to Have Violated Campaign Finance Law.” According to the Associated Press, “Rhode Island Republican gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung promoted his candidacy on an hourlong radio infomercial that’s hosted by a lobbyist for the trucking industry, and campaign records reviewed by The Associated Press show he failed to report the donation of radio air time. The failure is likely to have violated campaign finance law, according to the good government group Common Cause.” [Associated Press, 8/22/18]