Super-liberal Rhode Island? Not so much
Rhode Island might rank among the most bluest states, but you wouldn’t know it from the General Assembly:
— The Ocean State last year became a rare example of when a Democratic legislature backed a Voter ID law;
— Speaker Fox and Senate President Paiva Weed seem in tune with Chamber of Commerce types in opposing income tax increases;
And now, Bob Plain of RI’s Future reports on how state Representative Jon Brien of Woonsocket, who has a leadership role with the American Legislative Exchange Council, has signed up a bunch of fellow lawmakers:
Brien said since becoming the state co-chair of ALEC he has signed up some 10 new members from the legislature. He named Reps. Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, Dan Reilly, Doreen Costa, Lisa Tomasso, and Samuel Azzinaro. He said he hopes many of them join him at the annual meeting this August in Salt Lake City.
At that meeting, he will appoint Rhode Island legislators to ALEC task forces. The task forces, he said, pairs legislative members with corporate sponsors to hammer out new model legislation.
Plain reports separately that more than one-fifth of the General Assembly is involved with ALEC.
As the RI GOP continues to struggle, Brien offers one clear example of how conservative elected officials can raise their profile. (You can hear Brien talking about his politics and why he’s a Democrat, in this conversation I recorded with him last year.)