Raimondo's retort to pension critics: Send her campaign cash

Oct 21, 2013

So here is State General Treasurer Gina Raimondo’s response to criticism of her state pension investment strategy: Send campaign cash!

In an e-mail message, Raimondo denounces critics of her pension investments as partisans. ``You might haved seen the latest round of attacks against me by a `pension expert’ who was paid tens of thousands of dollars by a Rhode Island special interest group to criticize our work stabilizing our state’s failing pension system. Make no mistake: These attacks were personal, recycled an an attempt to take down pension reform.’’

The ``special interest group’’ Raimondo refers to is Council 94 of AFMCSE, the largest union representing RI state employees. The union sponsored a study of pension overhaul and the investment strategy of Raimondo that was critical of the general treasurer.

Raimondo used familiar arguments in her message to slam her critics. She mentioned the need to change investment strategy to protect the fund from a future tank in stock prices, as happened during the banking mess of 2008. And she talked again of her roots and modest upbringing, referring to her father as an employee of the Bulova Watch Company, which one had a factory in Providence.

``My father worked at Bulova Watch factory…for more than 20 years. When I was in middle school, they announced it was closing and moving the jobs overseas. That was a hard time for my family and it was a time when I had to learn about stretching a dollar.’’

Raimondo’s dad, Joseph Raimondo, was a chemist at Bulova, according to the New York Times account of Gina Raimondo’s 2001 wedding to Andrew Moffit.

One critic she didn't mention was Gretchen Morgenson, the Pulitzer-winning New York Times columnist who criticized Raimondo's hedge-fund heavy investment strategy.

Raimondo concludes the retort by asking for money for her campaign. She has already raised more than $2 million, far more than anyone else seriously considering make the race.