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Newberry: Gordon’s arrest won’t hurt effort to elect more Republicans

September 19, 2011

House Minority Leader Brian Newberry says he was unaware of Representative Dan Gordon’s legal issues when the House GOP caucus voted September 6 to expel Gordon from its ranks. Newberry nonetheless points to that timing in contending that Gordon’s woes won’t hinder efforts to build Republican ranks on Smith Hill:

It really shouldn’t. I mean, we made it very clear a few weeks ago, for entirely different reasons, that whatever title Dan Gordon chooses to apply to himself, he’s not a member of the Republican Party in Rhode Island.

Speaking after his expulsion, Gordon said he would continue to identify himself as a Republican.

WPRI-TV’s Tim White, meanwhile, reports that Gordon has been jailed three times in Masschusetts.

With the arrest earlier this year of Representative Robert Watson, Newberry’s predecessor as House minority leader, 20 percent of the 10-member House Republican presence has gotten jammed up this year. Democrat Leo Medina rounds out the trio of arrested reps.

Long-time observers can’t recall a similar hat trick of legislative arrests in one year.

These charges — unrelated to the reps’ legislative work — pale in comparison to corruption cases featuring the likes of Gerry Martineau and John Celona. Yet they hardly bolster the public reputation of the General Assembly.

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