Raimondo & Taveras Spar on Point Judith Disclosure Issue

Mar 13, 2014

Democratic gubernatorial candidates Gina Raimondo and Angel Taveras continue to scrap over the unwillingness of Point Judith Capital, the venture capital firm Raimondo founded, to disclose details of a limited partnership agreement it made with the City of Providence.

Raimondo is defending Point Judith's stance and asserting Taveras should turn his attention to Providence's pension system, which, she said, "is about 30 percent funded and is often compared to Detroit. So I think what the mayor should do is focus on fixing that and making sure people's pensions are secure."

Taveras' campaign fired back by calling Raimondo's commitment to transparency insufficient. "Mayor Taveras believes the city and the state should not be entering into any private agreements that are shielded from public view," says Danny Kedem, Taveras' campaign manager. "The mayor wants to comply with the Providence Journal's request to see the Point Judith contract, and the city has asked the attorney general for guidance on what the law enables it to share."

As the Providence Journal reported Monday, Taveras's administration has been pushing for the disclosure of the city's $1 million investment agreement with Point Judith Capital. That began after the ProJo itself began looking into the agreement last November.

Asked during a taping Thursday of RIPR's Bonus Q+A whether she supports the disclosure of Point Judith's limited partnership agreement with Providence, Raimondo said, "There are bits of these contracts which contain confidential information and I do think it’s important to respect the terms of contracts that you’ve signed.”

“I’m sure some of it [the limited partnership agreement] can be disclosed," Raimondo added. "But again when you sign a confidentiality agreement, you ought to respect that agreement. So I agree with the mayor. I think what the mayor has said, we want to disclose more, I think we should always disclose all that we’re allowed to disclose, which is what I’ve done."

During an investors' forum in Providence last year, Raimondo praised the pension overhaul made by Taveras and other city officials. According to a report in the ProJo, she said, "Great credit goes to the mayor of Providence and the City Council. … They did it the right way."

Raimondo helped found Point Judith Capital in the years before she ran for state treasurer in 2010. The company later moved from Rhode Island to Boston.

Raimondo touted her overall record on transparency. "Under my tenure as treasurer, first-time ever," she says, "we‘ve put all of our fees online, we’ve put our documents online, we’ve gone above and beyond with respect to transparency, so much so that the Rhode Island state pension system is one of the most transparent in the country, because of the steps I’ve taken.”

Bonus Q+A airs Friday at 6:40 and 8:40 am, and will be posted at 4 am on the RIPR Web site. Raimondo was also the guest for RIPR's Political Roundtable, airing at 5:40 and 7:40 am Friday.