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Engage RI dangled a free iPad to boost student turnout at its Statehouse rally

November 28, 2011

Engage Rhode Island, the private nonprofit created to help push for the state’s new pension law, dangled the offer of a free iPad to boost college students’ turnout at the group’s October 26 rally in the Statehouse rotunda.

Jesse Towsen, a Brown student who is president of the College Democrats of Rhode Island, says an Engage RI representative came to a meeting of the Brown Democrats prior to the rally.

“In part of her pitch,” Towsen says, “she said the organization would give a free iPad to the volunteer who brought the best poster if the Brown Democrats brought something like 20 volunteers to the Statehouse for that rally.” He identified the Engage RI rep as Jackie Baginski. 

Towsen said some members of the Brown Democrats went to the rally, although he thinks it was fewer than 20. (He says neither the Brown Democrats or the College Democrats took an official stance on the pension overhaul.) 

Baginski didn’t return a call left earlier today at the Engage RI office; I’ll post her response if she gets back to me.

Although it remains unclear if an iPad was awarded, a Facebook notice posted by Brown Democrats to promote the rally says:

[R]emember, make sure to bring your pension reform posters, because the best one will win a FREE IPAD!!!

UPDATE I: Ted Nesi was on this iPad trail back in October.

UPDATE II: Brown Democrats’ head Shawn Patterson says Baginski has told him an iPad will be awarded in connection with the October 26 rally, but this hasn’t yet happened.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Truth permalink
    November 28, 2011 9:06 pm

    Although EngageRI does not have a legal obligation to disclose their contributors, I believe they have a moral obligation to do so. What do they have to hide? It would certainly eliminate the possibility of collusion and conflict of interest. Don’t they owe that to all the state workers, and teachers that they demonized? An interesting link appears when you Google the terms Bank of America and EngageRI. Check it out. It is not difficult to connect the dots.
    The people in this state deserve to know the truth. They won’t get it from mainstream media as EngageRI was a major source of their ad revenue. (especially with Channel 10)
    Money and power trample the working people. Where is the outrage?

  2. tim1999 permalink
    November 28, 2011 9:53 pm

    ha ha ha ha ha …..now this is some impressive reporting Ian.
    I’ve also heard free ice cream cones were promised. True?

    Hey Ian what do you think is promised to get those shut-ins, poverty pimps and homeless to actually show up every election and pull the Democrat master lever?

  3. RightInRi permalink
    November 28, 2011 11:10 pm

    Oh come on Ian….really ?????…I can’t even tweet this….Is the story about the fact that they were giving one away, or that the student hasn’t received it yet…I’m with Tim1999 the above poster on this one.

  4. Mister Guy permalink
    November 29, 2011 8:12 pm

    Ugh…it’s pretty obvious people that the business front-group “Engage RI” was promising an iPad to kids that showed up to their rally, which isn’t an ethical thing to do at all. That they apparently haven’t awarded one yet just shows how “charitable” they really are…what a bunch of phonies…

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