Are Ken Block’s 15 minutes of master lever fame up yet? Block, founder of the Moderate Party, losing 2010 gubernatorial candidate, computer genius and self-appointed political gadfly, has been campaigning relentlessly for an end to the master lever in Rhode Island elections.
Block has advanced a plethora of reasons, many of them simple good-government ideas that likely resonate with a large slice of voters. He also pushes the yahoo side, weaving in corruption, the state’s economy and shadowy State House dealings by pols elected due to voter ignorance/master lever machinations.
The leader of efforts to kill straight-ticket voting, Moderate Party founder Ken Block, says opponents of the master lever plan to raise their focus on winning support from House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed.
“It’s up to the speaker and the Senate president to bring those bills up for a vote in committee to get them to the floor, and now the public pressure begins to mount on both of those offices to do that," Block says. "We’ll be pushing on that very hard over the next month, month and a half.”
Two bills getting a lot of attention this legislative session will go under the microscope at committee hearings Tuesday. Lawmakers will be discussing legislation abolishing straight-ticket voting and restricting payday lenders.
Moderate Party founder Ken Block is leading an effort to do away with straight ticket voting, a practice also known as using the master lever. Block says the master lever sows confusion and gives an advantage to the ruling Democrats in the General Assembly.
State Senator Stephen Archambault (D-Smithfield) joins us to talk about the outlook on same-sex marriage; the effectiveness of the General Assembly; whether the master lever should be abolished; and whether Ethics Commission oversight of lawmakers should be restored, among other issues.
Moderate Party founder Ken Block, who's had a winning week in the news cycle, says he's still thinking about a possible gubernatorial run in 2014. He got 6.5 percent of vote in a four-way field in 2010.
"I'm just trying to figure it all out," Block said during a taping of RIPR's Bonus Q+A.
The full segment -- covering his fraud and waste report, the master lever, and why more businessmen don't become politically active, among other topics -- airs Friday at 6:40 and 8:40 a.m.
Block says he's still in assessment mode on a future campaign: