Warwick, RI – Recently, Governor Gina Raimondo’s re-election campaign entered into a secret agreement of mutual support with the Providence Democratic City Committee, which at the time was led by Patrick Ward, who was recently hired as a state employee by the Raimondo Administration. The Rhode Island Republican Party has filed a complaint with the Rhode Island Ethics Commission against Governor Raimondo regarding this financial transaction with a subordinate state employee, which appears to violate Regulation 36-14-5011.
R.I. Republican Party Chairman Brandon Bell commented: “The secret agreement entered into between Raimondo’s campaign and Ward’s Providence Democratic City Committee is a financial transaction under Regulation 36-14-5011. Regulation 36-14-5011 prohibits Raimondo from entering into a financial transaction, including giving or receiving political contributions, with a subordinate. Governor Raimondo’s decision to enter into an agreement with a local party committee, whose chairman is a subordinate state employee, and was approved under secretive circumstances, is unusual. We anticipate that the facts when they are exposed will reveal that a sophisticated political operative on behalf of Raimondo proposed this scheme to Ward. The Ethics Commission should initiate an investigation and gather evidence in order to determine if Raimondo, either directly or through her agents, violated Regulation 36-14-5011.”
Bell concluded: “After three years as Governor with her approval rating still at 40 percent, Raimondo has become desperate. She knows her only real advantage in this gubernatorial campaign is her ability to raise millions from wealthy out of state individuals. Raimondo will do whatever it takes to use this advantage. However, we cannot accept her use of taxpayer money to further her own political career. Hiring a local party leader as a state employee and then entering into a secret fundraising agreement with this subordinate goes too far and crosses an ethical line.”