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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Beware of false independents

A check of 'independent' candidates' backing
Letter to the Editor
By Suzanne Ferrio

In-de-pend-dent - not dependent: as not subject to control by others, not affiliated with a larger controlling unit, not requiring or relying on something else, not looking to others for one's opinions or for guidance in conduct, not bound by or committed to a political party (Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

In the upcoming Charlestown local election, there are nine candidates on the ballot who will be listed as Independent. There is only one candidate who fits the definition as stated above: Craig Louzon, who is running his campaign with his own opinions and financing.

The claim by Charlestown Citizens Alliance that their candidates are true "independent candidates" is questionable and misleading when you consider the following:
  • They are all endorsed by one political group - Charlestown Citizens Alliance 
  • They campaign under a unified platform - Charlestown Citizens Alliance 
  • They campaign as united candidates - Charlestown Citizens Alliance 
  • 100 percent campaign financing by one entity - Charlestown Citizens Alliance 
  • 60 percent out-of-state financing - Charlestown Citizens Alliance 
Charlestown Citizens Alliance is not an officially-recognized political party; they are a registered Political Action Committee or PAC whose sole purpose, by definition, is to raise money for special interest groups. 

If their candidates are truly independent, why is it not a single one has offered their own platform, sent out their own campaign material or secured any individual funding?

With Charlestown Citizens Alliance providing everything for their campaign, how can their candidates claim to be independent? More importantly, can they be trusted to be "independent" if elected?

Your vote is important. Vote on Nov. 4 and please support Paula Andersen, Brandon Cleary, and Ron Russo for Town Council, Henry Walsh for Town Moderator and Craig Louzon for School Committee.
This Letter to the Editor was submitted to The Westerly Sun, The Chariho Times and Progressive Charlestown.