Raimondo: Happy Thanksgiving, send me campaign money

Nov 27, 2013

A window into just how relentless campaign fund-raising has become: Democrat  Gina Raimondo’s latest email wishing Rhode Islanders a Happy Thanksgiving.

The Internet missive contains a photo of the state treasurer with her husband Andy and children Tommy and Ceci. ``At Thanksgiving…I think about everything we are grateful for. We live in an amazing state with so much potential, we are surrounded by family and friends who care about us, and living up to our Italian traditions, we are preparing and eating way too much food.’’

Raimondo has a link to her Facebook page so folks can ``join us in the Thanksgiving spirit and share what you are thankful for this year.’’

Then of course there is the inevitable troll for campaign contributions to her putative campaign for governor. Raising campaign money never takes a holiday.

Other Rhode Island pols took different postures than Raimondo. Republican Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, Democratic Atty. Gen Peter Kilmartin and Seth Magaziner, a Democratic general treasurer aspirant, all used their holiday greetings to solicit support for social service organizations that help those in need.

Magaziner took this tack in his Thanksgiving email blast:  ``There’s going to be a number of times during this campaign when I ask you to support our effort to bring fundamental change to the State House, but today I’m asking you to step up and help Rhode Islanders in need. The Rhode Island Community Food Bank is hosting a holiday meal drive open house on Saturday, December 7, and I hope you can stop by to drop off a non-perishable food product and see for yourself tha incredible work that keeps this operation moving forward. I will be there and I hope you will too. Have a warm and safe Thanksgiving.’’

There are two money asks here. One click and the link is to giving to the Food Bank. Yet if one clicks the other message, it leads to Magaziner’s campaign video and a place where you can give to his campaign.

Kilmartin asked Rhode Islanders to contribute to the Food Bank and linked to a RI Public Radio story reporting that the Food Bank is having difficulty keeping its shelves stacked.

``Please remember those who aren't as fortunate - this year many Rhode Islanders are struggling,'' stated Kilmartin. The attorney general did not ask for campaign funds.

Neither did Fung, who is vying for the GOP gubernatorial nomination against Ken Block. Fung also cited the work done by the Food Bank and other organizations that help the poor.

``With the federal budget sequestration causing substantial reductions in programs for nutrition and home heating assistance, local, state and private organizations must find ways to do more with even less,'' said Fung. The Cranston mayor did not solicit campaign donations.

Here is what happens when a politician is NOT running for reelection. Gov. Lincoln Chafee's holiday greeting cites Rhode Island's history of tolerance,  freedom and compassion.

``From the Thanksgiving holiday derives the very essence of the American character, the story of our escape from religious persecution and of our aspirations for a civil society with newborn liberties,'' writes Chafee. ``In their relationship with the Native Americans who inhabited Rhode Island long before the arrival of the English, the first settlers initially forged a path of unity and mutual respect''

Chafee goes on: ``On this Thanksgiving let us show our gratitude to past generations of Rhode Islanders for their vision of civility, freedom and tolerance toward all. From the State House in Providence, I wish you and your families a lovely Thanksgiving holiday in the warmth of your homes across our state and country.''

At no point does Chafee ask for money.