Community hate needs to end!
A few days before the Nov. 6 election, a postcard was mailed to residents of Jamestown that had derogatory and misleading comments regarding the two independent candidates for Town Council. Unfortunately, there was no possible way to respond to the charges because of the last minute timing of the mailing.
The return address was that of Dennis Webster, later identified as the official Treasurer of a newly formed Political Action Committee (www.elections.ri.gov) called the Jamestown Voter Information.
Dennis is a known anti- Taylor Point supporter and it was no surprise that the language of the mailing was an obvious attempt to link the candidates to the hate that is held toward the North End Concerned Citizens.
Perhaps they believed that if the candidates mentioned were elected, their continued efforts to stop the barn would be at risk. It's no secret that the anti-Taylor Point group supported Council candidates, Democrats and Republican, who are on the record as being against the voter's decision to build the barn at Taylor Point.
Their group has once before successfully elected a Council that allowed them to stop the barn and to build a case against Taylor Point by demanding excessive, expensive design requirements that raised the cost far above what voters would approve.
It's unfortunate that they continue to promote hateful feelings among our citizens to achieve their objectives when the future challenges ahead for our community will need island-wide cooperation and solidarity.
One of the most disturbing things in their mailing was the inference that my campaign was "funded by generous contributions," from two North End residents who they consistently vilify in their hate campaign.
So, for those who were persuaded to vote against me based on their information, here are the facts…
I ran my own independent campaign, designed my own ads and my own mailings. I took directions from no one person or group. I ran a positive campaign and did not attack any other candidate.
My campaign fund totaled $4,055, of which $2,000 came from my personal account. The remainder was in contributions from 19 different households.
By state law, a two-person household can contribute up to $2,000 per candidate. The largest donation received from any household was $300 and the smallest $25. The average donation was $105.
The inference in the mailing that my judgment and leadership could be swayed by financial contributions is childish slander and old school dirty politics.
Finally, I'd like to remind Dennis that several years ago after the voters rejected lower Taylor Point, even though I was on the opposite side of the issue, I bought him lunch in payment for a friendly wager on the outcome.
It is terribly disappointing that when the issue was reversed, as payback, he decided to get involved in an effort to tarnish my reputation and ruin my chances for election. I may have lost anyway, but now we will never know if his group's last minute mailing was the deciding blow.
I can't believe that another election may have been decided by the barn. This petty hate between fellow islanders just because of where they live or how much financial success they have needs to end once and for all.
As a community we must move on to bigger, more pressing challenges and that's exactly what I will be doing from now on.