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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Has the CCA endorsed Tina Jackson for state representative?

Sure looks that way
Tina Jackson- the CCA's choice?
By Will Collette

The Charlestown Citizens Alliance has never really liked State Representative Donna Walsh (District 36). 

In the CCA’s first electoral campaign in 2008, the CCA endorsed former Democratic state representative Matt McHugh, the guy Donna beat to win her current House seat. Donna beat him largely because McHugh was a classic DINO[1].

In 2008, McHugh ran as a CCA-endorsed independent who vowed to continue his long crusade to win voting rights for nonresident property owners in local elections and supported the rest of the CCA’s regressive platform. Donna cleaned McHugh’s clock, even beating him in his home precinct.

In 2010, the CCA didn’t endorse either Donna or her Moderate Party opponent Tom Browning, even though CCA President Dan Slattery was serving as state treasurer for the Moderate Party. Donna cleaned Browning’s clock, too, winning every precinct in the 36th District including Browning’s own.

In 2012, the CCA seems to be giving a wink-and-nod endorsement to Donna’s Republican opponent, Tina B. Jackson. The CCA has posted a laudatory piece that ran in the Block Island Times about Jackson but pointedly ignored the companion piece the Times ran on Donna. So much for being “nonpartisan.”

So will the CCA make it official? Do they have the guts?

Tina Jackson is, on many levels, their kind of politician. She mounts nasty personal and often untrue attacks, like her slander against Donna over 38 Studios, claiming Donna was somehow to blame even though the Providence Journal and even Republican Gov. Donald Carcieri admit that rank-and-file state legislators were kept in the dark. Click here to read some of Jackson’s rambles.

The weird thing about Jackson's support for cesspools
is the harm they do to salt ponds where the fish her
constituents rely on breed
Jackson attacks Donna for her legislation to eliminate cesspools that pollute our salt ponds, saying that Donna had done nothing to help homeowners make the conversion – in direct contradiction of the fact that Donna pulled concessions from DEM with a set of pliers that now offer homeowners a broader array of less expensive options.

Jackson attacks wind power, and in particular the Deepwater wind farm in the waters off Block Island, using as her sole source a discredited expert who holds no degrees or science background, and who has claimed to be a faculty member of Portland State University, which does not list him on their faculty roster.

Jackson also wants to protect the wealthy from additional taxes – a favorite issue for the CCA. She stormed into a hearing on Rep. Larry Valencia’s bill to raise income taxes on the very richest Rhode Islanders, taking the position that this bill would hurt her fishermen constituents. She made her statement and zoomed out as Larry tried to ask her the obvious question – how many of her fishermen members have taxable personal income of over $250,000? But no, Tina made her stand for the rich and then breezed away.

Jackson also rails against unfair business taxes and specifically zeros in on the boiler inspection fee, apparently not knowing that Governor Lincoln Chafee had ordered an end to that fee two years ago when he took office. Chafee made a point of mentioning that when he spoke at the economic forum held here in Charlestown on October 11th.

Yes, so far, Tina Jackson seems like the perfect CCA candidate. She wants to protect the rich. She makes up facts. She cites phony authorities. She ignores the truth. She takes contradictory, hypocritical positions. And she is relentlessly vicious about it.

Ironically, the CCA seems willing to overlook the contradiction between Jackson’s position on cesspools (she apparently likes them) while the CCA is attempting to impose septic system standards on most Charlestown households that are far stricter than the state’s.

The CCA also seems willing to overlook the centerpiece of Tina Jackson’s campaign. Jackson, a lobbyist for some of the state’s commercial fishermen, wants Rhode Island to allow totally unregulated fishing within the three-mile limit offshore. Click on the link to hear Jackson talk about her idea during her debate with Donna Walsh.

In a previous article, I detailed the significant legal problems with this idea, such as the US Constitution (Article I, Section 8). But I guess the CCA is flexible about fishermen practicing the marine equivalent of forest clear-cutting just off our shoreline when it comes to defeating a Democrat like Donna Walsh.

Let’s hear it, CCA. Don’t just dance around the pole supporting Tina Jackson by posting puff pieces in your recommended reading list. Sing it loud and sing it proud. In so many ways, she’s just what you’ve been looking for.

[1] DINO – “Democrat in Name Only.” In addition to being the RI Statewide Coalition’s champion for voting rights for nonresidents, McHugh’s other great crusades included allowing restaurant patrons to leave with any wine left in a bottle they ordered with their meal and another to punish AAA if they were late in responding to a call for road service. McHugh hated unions in particular and most constituencies that normally support Democrats. He was right at home hanging with the CCA.