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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Filippi tries to cover up his extremist views and connections

Violates ethics disclosure law
Filippi left out a pretty important one. I guess he tried to nullify
the state Ethics law when it comes to full disclosure for himself.
By Will Collette

Providence lawyer and bogus Block Island resident Blake Filippi is working overtime to try to defend the new, but false, image he has created for himself in his campaign to unseat Rep. Donna Walsh. 

First, he uses every defense except perhaps “I am not a crook” to defend against Rep. Walsh’s formal complaint that he misrepresented himself as a Block Island resident when a wide array of public records show that he actually lives in Lincoln, which is way outside the district.

Filippi also has ties with the milita group, the Oath Keepers
Then Filippi stages a media stunt to pretend he supports the struggle of the victims of the Copar quarry for relief from the daily pain they suffer. He tells the desperate victims that he will push for new state laws to tightly regulate Copar and other mining operations around the state.

What he doesn't tell them is that he is a hard-core Tea Partier who doesn’t believe in government regulation of businesses, expecting that the free market will handle such problems.

At his Copar side show, he was backed up by a chorus of Town Council candidates running on the CCA Party ticket, even though the CCA Party controlled Town Council has failed to take any meaningful actions to control mining in Charlestown. I guess this moves the CCA Party another step closer to formally aligning with Filippi.
Sources: Providence Journal, 4/11/2007 and 11/30/07. Also click here.
For the state court case, click here. Ballard's also hires large numbers

of immigrant workers under various visa problems (e.g. H2B). Visa
workers are less likely to complain. These workers are indentured to 
their "sponsor" and are easily deported.
In Filippi's campaign literature, he claims to be a "jobs creator." 
Right.

Filippi also attempted to blot out his past by failing to disclose his directorship of his own organization, the RI Liberty Coalition

Filippi set up this group as the platform to campaign for “nullification” which is the discredited legal theory that governments and even individuals can disobey laws they don’t believe in, such as gun control, traffic lights or in Charlestown’s case, affordable housing.

Filippi was required by law to list the RI Liberty Coalition on his financial disclosure report filed with the RI Ethics Commission (click here for his report). Here’s a full-sized view of the graphic shown above - a screenshot showing how he handled the disclosure:





No listing for the RI Liberty Coalition. 


Filippi's bizarre answers

So far, Filippi's main defense is that the RI Liberty Coalition wasn't a real organization. I'm not making this up. Here's how the Westerly Sun reported it: "he said he did not include it on his financial statement because it is not a legal entity and he is its sole member." 

I should note that Filippi has responded to Rep. Donna Walsh's complaint to the Board of Elections of election and voter fraud with a string of what lawyers call "non-denial denials." He does not talk about the records that were presented with Rep. Walsh's complaint that show him as a Lincoln, but instead offers other documents that show him as a Block Island resident.

Actually - that's the whole point of Rep. Walsh's complaint. Why is the record so filled with contradictions. Why can't Filippi answer a simple question like "where do you live?" with a consistent answer? If he really does live in Block Island, he has to explain why he broke election law 12 times by listing Lincoln as his home. Or why his Massachusetts bar license lists Lincoln as his home. 

The Internet Is Forever, Blake

Filippi also tried to wipe the RI Liberty Coalition from the internet. If you go to the web address for RILC, you get an article with advice for Best Men on how to write a good wedding toast.

But the internet neither forgets nor forgives. You can still find it on Archive.org. Using this handy researcher’s tool, you can see that at least up until January 3, 2014, Filippi maintained all the radical nullification content. 

On August 3, 2014, Archive.org shows the content of the website was changed, wiping out the embarrassing radical stuff and replacing it with advice on wedding speeches.

Archive.org also shows that Filippi’s website was amended several times during 2013 with the addition of new content about his nullification fight. 

Because the Ethics Commission disclosure report was supposed to include Filippi’s 2013 activities and affiliations – and he left out this key piece of information – I have filed a formal complaint against Filippi with the Ethics Commission. Click here to read the complaint.

Filippi also has no control over the extensive number of articles you can find on his extremist past simply by conducting a Google search.


Why Filippi's extremism matters

Filippi is also closely tied to the Tenth Amendment Center and has been often identified as their “Legal Analyst.” He has their endorsement.

The Tenth Amendment Center believes in a discredited view that the Tenth Amendment of the US Constitution prohibits the federal government from exercising any power that is not specifically granted to it in the Constitution.

The Tenth Amendment Center is monitored by the Anti-Defamation League and by Southern Poverty Law Ceneter's hate group watch for its ties to the "Patriot" Movement, neo-Confederate groups, and militias

Under the “Tenther” view of the Constitution, Social Security, Medicare, the Veterans Administration, all environmental protection laws (take note - Copar victims), and nearly all other federal activities aside from national defense are illegal. Further, the states have the right to “nullify” any federal law that doesn’t meet their “Tenther” test. Filippi has also taken the position that municipalities can nullify state laws they don’t like.

“Nullification” has been discredited by two hundred years’ worth of Supreme Court decisions. The Southern States nullification of federal efforts to end slavery led directly to their secession from the Union and the country’s bloodiest war, the US Civil War. Rhode Island sent 25,286 men to fight in the Civil War and 1,685 didn’t come back.

Mix the First Amendment with the Second Amendment and the Tenth
Amendment. Then add a cup of wingnuts and this is what you get.
Westerly Sun reporter Ellyn Santiago managed to squeeze some of Filippi’s radical views out of him in her profile on the 36th District race, noting Filippi’s Tenther connections and also his ties to the radical militia group, the Oathkeepers

The Oathkeepers recruits primarily present and former military and law enforcement personnel and has them take an oath to refuse to obey any order they consider to be unlawful or unconstitutional.

To be clear, each Oathkeeper pledges to serve as a de facto Supreme Court of one and evaluate every order they receive to decide whether it is lawful and constitutional—regardless of whether they have any training whatsoever in constitutional law—and to disobey that order if they decide it is not.

The Oathkeepers are quite a bunch – they recently condemned the search for Eric Frein who allegedly shot and two Pennsylvania State Troopers, killing one of the troopers, as a “police state overplay.” Coincidentally, Frein was captured today.

If I had Blake Filippi’s history, I suppose I’d want to run away from it, too. But as much as he’s tried to deny it, fail to disclose it, talk the opposite of what he used to believe in and sanitize the internet, that record still exists.