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Thursday, May 16, 2024

MAGA-Lomaniac Justin Price wants his seat back

First, he needs to answer for what he did at Trump’s January 6 insurrection

By Will Collette

Ex state rep. Justin Price wants to win back his House District 39 seat from Megan Cotter (D) who beat him in 2022.

Price served 8 years in the State House and accomplished nothing. Seriously, nothing – and go look it up if you want to prove me wrong.

What Price did manage to do was embarrass himself, his district and the state of Rhode Island with his radical, Q-Anon style rantings about guns, conspiracies and just about every other far-right meme and cliché. And he was an active participant in the January 6 insurrection.

District 39 encompasses Richmond, Hopkinton and Exeter. It tends to be slightly more conservative than the rest of Rhode Island. Price thinks this is why he should run, telling WPRI I think it [District 39] should be represented by someone that’s conservative.

Further, he told WPRI “after watching my opponent [incumbent Megan Cotter] that ultimately won with a close margin, watching her, and what she’s doing while she’s up there and who she’s aligned with up there.”

What Megan is “doing up there” in the State House is working hard for the 39th District with a special emphasis on protecting the land and people of her district.

In her announcement for re-election, Megan highlighted funding for a van for Wood River Health, increasing access to affordable health care, bringing legislative grants in for non-profits in her district, and creating a Forest Management Commission, which she chairs.

That commission is addressing problems like the sharp uptick in wildfires in South County and clear-cutting woods for commercial-sized solar installations, rather than using more appropriate locations.

According to the official state Legislative Tracker, Megan worked on 130 bills and resolutions this year.

Justin Price’s crowning achievement in his 8 years was to create a special legislative commission to study “chem-trails.” That’s a right-wing conspiracy theory that some nefarious villains are putting mind-altering chemicals into jet contrails. I could find no record of this commission actually meeting or issuing any findings.

Nonetheless, Price told WPRI his priorities would be to focus on “representing my district” and “Focus on bringing the issues from my district up to the State House.” Except he did none of that in his prior eight years in office.

Use the Legislative Tracker to look up Price’s “achievements.” The last legislation he worked on as a minor (5th) co-sponsor was a resolution congratulating Charlestown’s former state rep. Blake “Flip” Filippi on his “service.”

Incidentally, state Republicans gave Price the second-highest vote total in the April 2 Presidential preference primary sending him to the Republican National Convention as a delegate for Trump.

Unanswered questions about his role in Jan. 6 insurrection

Price got himself into the history books by being one of a handful of elected state officials to take part in the January 6, 2021 insurrection directed by Donald Trump.

Price admitted he was there along with what he claimed were “the other 1 million people” though the official estimate is less than 15,000 on the Capitol grounds of whom 2,000 actually stormed the building.

Price claimed he did not enter the Capitol, though he has not disclosed his actual location. However, just being on the Capitol grounds that day means that Price admits to breaching police security lines set back a block or more from the actual Capitol grounds. That is a federal crime.

Price has not – at least not yet – drawn enough attention from the FBI to join the more than 1,200 who have been charged, though there’s still time. Around 900 of Price’s fellow insurrectionists have either been convicted or pleaded guilty. Only two were judged “not guilty.”

Price claims he was close enough to see it was Antifa attacking the building, not Trump supporters. That claim alone raises lots of questions including how he was able to identify them.

There is no actual Antifa organization and no uniforms, logos or other identifying marks – unlike the Oathkeepers, Proud Boys and other insurrectionists we all saw with our own eyes storming the capital, using chemical sprays, clubs, rocks and even American flags to beat Capitol and DC Police. The MAGA myths about who stormed the Capitol have been thoroughly debunked.

Then there’s a problem of simple logic: why would people that Price identified as Antifa want to storm the Capitol to block the election of Joe Biden?

More importantly, Price needs to reconcile his repeated oaths to “defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic” with what he did on January 6. He took that oath as a United States Marine and again as a Rhode Island State legislator.

The US Constitution, 14th Amendment, Section 3 states in whole:

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

It was clearly a violation of his oaths for Price to have crossed police lines to join in the storming of the Capitol.

I hope RI Secretary of State Greg Amore will bar Price from running when by his own admission, he committed acts on January 6 that exactly fit the kind of person the 14th Amendment is intended to disbar.

Further, if we are to believe his claim that he saw Antifa mounting the attack, WTF did he do about it? Are we to believe that he simply watched “Antifa” beating the police and then smashing into the Capitol and did nothing?

Why didn't he help the DC and Capitol Police as his oath to “protect and defend” required? Well, either he lied when he claimed he saw Antifa attack the Capitol, or he was simply afraid of getting hurt.

Either way, there's nothing to be proud of. Unless your name is Justin Price and your political legacy amounts to nothing, and you want to be consistent. Mission accomplished.