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Sen. Pagliarini represented trucking firm while opposing toll
I am writing to express my concern over my opponent's voting record as our senator this past session. Sen. John Pagliarini boasts in his political ads that he “voted 'no' 109 times,” but doesn't say what it was he was voting against. Let me provide some detail on several of the more significant measures he voted “no” on:
◆ Prohibiting sale of powdered caffeine to minors. It's very toxic, easy to overdose, will kill you, and is available on the internet (S2056).
◆ On-line voter registration (S2513).
◆ Expansion/extension of renewable/alternative energy use (S2152, S2450, S2181, S2185).
◆ Requiring insurance carriers to cover online doctor's appointments (S2756), and to expand prescription drug coverage for life-threatening disease (S2499).
◆ School policy to establish internet filtering processes to protect school children (S2172).
◆ Improve speeding enforcement in school zones using automated systems (S2254).
◆ Prohibit advertising of unhealthy food and beverage products in our schools (S2015).
◆ Establish a domestic violence prevention fund (S2900).
There are numerous other examples of good, commonsense legislation that help people. He voted against them as well, as he boasts. Fortunately, all of these measures passed overwhelmingly.
There is one Pagliarini “no” vote I agree with - the toll on trucks - but for different reasons. I believe there's a better answer in how we allocate and scale fuel fees for large vehicles. Sen. Pagliarinisimply asserts “never tolls” and “cars will be next.” He has never suggested an alternativeplan. One other important point on this issue: Sen. Pagliarini would likely not be able to take any other position because he represents a major trucking-industry client in western Rhode Island, and has for several years - throughout the entire toll debate over the past year, including the Senate session where he voted against S2246A. How do I know? It's public record posted online in West Greenwich Planning Board meeting minutes.
I participated in the candidate forums, attended the Senate hearings and never once heard him disclose this fact.
I'm not a lawyer, but I believe he should have told someone he represents a client with potentially much at stake over this issue. Was this a conflict of interest? I don't know, but I urge everyone to vote “yes” on Question 2 and restore Ethics Commission oversight on the General Assembly.
The Senate District 11 voters have a clear choice on Nov. 8. I believe in representing the interests of our hardworking families, to try to give them a voice in the process.
And I will always act with full transparency in everything.
I don't know who Sen. Pagliarini thinks he's representing, but it isn't us back here in the East Bay.
Jim Seveney, Portsmouth Town Council vice president
The writer is a Democratic candidate for Senate District 11.