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In switch, Raimondo backs disclosing contributors to EngageRI

December 17, 2012

After a week in which the Wall Street Journal reported on a six-figure contribution to EngageRI by a Houston billionaire, state Treasurer Gina Raimondo is now supporting disclosure about contributors to the pension overhaul advocacy group.

ProJo political columnist Ed Fitzpatrick had the details in his Sunday column yesterday:

Last year, on Channel 12’s “Newsmakers,” Raimondo noted that EngageRI had disclosed its board members and was not required to disclose its donors, and when asked about potential conflicts, she said, “I have no doubt that people funding it have a self-interest in pension reform because everybody does.”

But when asked on Friday whether EngageRI should voluntarily disclose its donors, Raimondo said, “They should. I wish they had.   Because I am a believer in transparency.”

Well, why isn’t the group naming its donors then? “I don’t control EngageRI,” Raimondo replied. “I’m supportive of what they do.” But, she said, “It’s a separate organization.”

While it’s separate, Raimondo encouraged the group’s formation and has made introductions for fundraising purposes. So has she called for EngageRI to identify its donors? “I have called on them to do it, and they are not listening,” she said. “They said, ‘We are  following the law.’ ”

EngageRI spokesman Jon Duffy told Fitzpatrick that the group doesn’t plan to identify its donors: “ ‘EngageRI respects the privacy of its contributors.’ He said, ‘Frankly, the privacy is what allows us to fundraise.’ ”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mister Guy permalink
    December 17, 2012 8:48 pm

    “‘Because I am a believer in transparency.'”

    Liar…the pressure is on…keep it up!

    “‘Frankly, the privacy is what allows us to fundraise’”

    …massive amounts of money from a small number of rich donors that is…

  2. John permalink
    December 17, 2012 9:58 pm

    Will the Treasurer disclose from whom she solicited donations for this outside group? She originally claimed she did not coordinate with EngageRI, the admitted doing so for the one identified major donor, then suggested she may have directed other donations to them. Will these donations match the corporate players she visited while traveling extensively out-of-state? How many are state vendors from whom she would not personally take donations for ethical reasons? How many specifically told her they would donate to EngageRI on her behalf, or at her behest?

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