With the lawyer for the Rhode Island Board of Elections (BOE) all but admitting that the state has not been in compliance with federal law since the BOE adopted a controversial 2008 regulation, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity calls for the immediate removal of any BOE official that was involved with that unlawful 2008 decision.

Center Calls for Four RI Board Of Elections Officials to Step Down as Violation of Federal Election Law Now Clear

BOE Officials Involved in Unlawful 2008 Rules Change Should Step Down or Be Removed

Renewed calls for independent investigation,
House & Senate Oversight hearings

Providence, RI – With the lawyer for the RI Board of Elections (BOE) all but admitting that the state has not been in compliance with federal law since the BOE adopted a controversial 2008 regulation, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity calls for the immediate removal of any BOE official that was involved with that unlawful 2008 decision.

At its Monday meeting, the BOE board directed its lawyer to propose fixes to the loophole created in 2008, which no longer required proper identification for those registering, in person, to vote … as required by 2003 federal law.

The Center asserts that current BOE attorney, Raymond Marcaccio (BOE legal council in 2008), current BOE commissioner, Richard Pierce (BOE commissioner in 2008), and current BOE Executive Director, Robert Rapoza (BOE director of elections in 2008) have demonstrated incompetence in allowing Rhode Island’s voter registration process to fail to comply with federal law … and therefore should no longer maintain their positions of responsibility.

The Center also calls on current BOE commissioner Steve Erickson to be removed, given his publicly stated reluctance to bringing the RI BOE into compliance with federal law.

“Despite baseless attacks against Ken Block, it turns out that his research was accurate,” commented Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. “Now that we know federal law was effectively bypassed in 2008, justice is demanded by holding accountable those people responsible. It is now more obvious than ever that formal inquiries need to be launched.”

The core question raised in recent months by Ken Block, and the subject of a complaint he filed with the US Department of Justice, is whether or not the State of Rhode Island has been in compliance with federal election law (HAVA). That answer, as confirmed by the BOE attorney himself, now appears to be YES … however the status of any federal investigation is unknown.

Given these developments, the Center again renews its call for an independent investigation be initiated by the Governor and for the House and Senate Oversight Committees to hold emergency fall hearings to look into potential unlawful registration and voting guidelines and practices.

“No longer can state officials stick their heads in the sand and pretend that serious malfeasance at the BOE has not occurred. Executive and legislative branch leaders should immediately move to have responsible parties relieved of their positions,” continued Stenhouse. “In further demanding accountability, I challenge the Governor, our US Congressional delegation, and all candidates for such offices to demand that investigations be initiated so that Rhode Islanders can know who else may have been complicit, and why.”

The Center also demands that the damage inflicted by this evasion of federal law be remedied by proactively and verifiably backfilling missing voter registration information. The related announcement made yesterday by Secretary Of State, Nellie Gorbea, appears to be an inadequate approach.

Earlier this fall, The Ocean State Current (The Current) published an analysis of a 2008 BOE rules change that removed an important section on the state’s application form for voter registration.

The Center has recommended additional items be investigated and that further potential actions be taken, with regard to the state’s overall election process:

  • Review of Rhode Island’s “Motor Voter” and automatic registration policies to determine if they comply with federal law
  • Review of state’s absentee mail ballot, emergency voting, and voter ID laws to ensure they comport with the reformed voter registration process
  • Consider a constitutional amendment to codify appropriate reforms so as to ensure election integrity for future generations
  • State or Federal lawsuit on behalf of potentially disenfranchised voters, in order to assure prompt and clear action to cure any legal defects in advance of the next election cycle
In September, Block released 2016 voting research showing that every Rhode Island city and town had registered voters with missing personally identifying information, as required by federal law, in addition to his complaint to the Justice Department – both can be viewed here.
According to Block’s research, results from the 2016 General Election show that in every city and town in the Ocean State … at least 20% of all votes cast last November, were by individuals without such personally identifying information (PII) on record. In five towns, over 40% of voters had no listed PII.
By Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47943348

Statement on President Trump’s Tax Reform Plan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 2, 2017

Ocean Staters, Families, and Businesses To Benefit

Promise of Tax Cuts and Opportunities for Bigger Paychecks Superior to State’s Current Corporate Welfare Strategy

Providence, RI – The Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity praises the tax reform plan released today by the US House of Representatives as one that will benefit Rhode Islanders in multiple ways.

With every Ocean Stater to receive a tax cut – about $1200 for middle-income families and more for those with higher earnings – and with businesses to be similarly less burdened so that they can grow and produce more and better paying jobs … Rhode Islander and their families should benefit in two ways. First, by keeping more of their current paychecks in their own pockets. Second, via future increased wages and better job opportunities as the tax cuts stimulate economic growth.

“Our state’s partisan political class will no doubt trot out their standard, mindless, and divisive class warfare mantras, but having attended two national seminars to learn details of the President’s tax reform plan, I can assure the people of Rhode Island that this sweeping reform plan is indeed designed to mostly benefit the middle-class,” commented Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. “It is disappointing that our state’s political leaders would choose to deny Rhode Islanders the chance to keep and make more money just because they are hung-up on an anti-jobs, tax-the-rich platform.”

The Center has regularly maintained that if more Rhode Islanders are to have more opportunities to work in better-paying jobs, then more and better businesses must be free to grow when more disposable personal and corporate income becomes available to re-invest in business enterprises.

The White House announcement today – that semi-conductor giant, Broadcom, will be investing tens of billion of dollars in research and manufacturing in the United States, creating tens of thousands of new high-paying jobs, because of the improved business climate as a result of the proposed federal tax reforms – is proof of what can happen in Rhode Island and all states.

“This free-market approach to economic development benefits far more people and creates far more growth than our state’s existing crony-socialism approach,” concluded Stenhouse.

Despite these positive aspects of the proposed national tax reforms, the Center is concerned that federal budget spending may not see deep enough cuts to pay for the individual and corporate tax cuts.

Failing to answer the question, SoS Nellie Gorbea's misleading statement serves to deepen concerns about a cover-up of RI's federal voter law compliance.

Secretary of State’s Comments on Election Integrity Misleading and Inadequate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 1, 2017

Secretary Of State Gorbea Ignores Core Question

Multiple Fabrications Serve to Deepen Concerns About a Cover-up

Providence, RI – By failing to addresses the core question, by making false assertions, and by citing irrelevant data, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity called yesterday’s statement by Secretary Of State (SOS), Nellie Gorbea, misleading and inadequate.

The core question raised in recent months by Ken Block, and the subject of a complaint he filed with the US Department of Justice, is whether or not the State of Rhode Island is currently complying with federal election law (HAVA).

The statement (below), obtained by the Center, that was issued via email by Gorbea to State Senators and to other legislative officials yesterday, fails to address this important question. The Center has repeatedly called on the SOS office and the Board Of Elections (BOE) to issue a clear and definitive statement as to whether or not the state is in compliance with federal law.

To date, no such statement has been issued by either governmental agency. Instead yesterday’s SOS statement appears to be a purposeful effort to distract from this central question.

The statement also contains other fabricated, misleading, and false allegations, all of which only enhance the perception that election officials are looking to cover-up misdeeds from the public:

  • Neither Ken Block, nor the Center, has ever alleged that any voter or vote cast was “illegitimate”
  • Ken Block did indeed “approach” people in the RI government with his “concerns” before making public statements; but such officials did not respond
  • It is a proven fact that tens of thousands of RI voters were not lawfully registered after the 2003 HAVA federal statute, and that the BOE and SOS have systematically implemented rules changes that served to bypass federal election law

As such, the Center renews its call for an independent investigation and for the House and Senate Oversight Committees to hold emergency fall hearings to look into potential illegal registration and voting guidelines and practices. Last month, The Ocean State Current (The Current) published an analysis of a 2008 BOE rules change that removed an important section on the state’s application form for voter registration. Also last month, Ken Block published research about another questionable BOE rules change in 2012 that effectively exempts anyone who votes via mail ballot or via emergency voting from state voter ID requirements.

The Center further recommends additional items be investigated and that potential actions be taken, with regard to the state’s overall election process:
  • Executive order or legislation requiring Rhode Island’s Secretary of State to backfill PII information for the hundreds of thousands of voter registrations that are missing this information.
  • Review of Rhode Island’s “Motor Voter” and automatic registration policies to determine if they comply with federal law
  • Review of state’s absentee mail ballot, emergency voting, and voter ID laws to ensure they comport with the reformed voter registration process
  • Consider a constitutional amendment to codify appropriate reforms so as to ensure election integrity for future generations
  • State or Federal lawsuit on behalf of potentially disenfranchised voters, in order to assure prompt and clear action to cure any legal defects in advance of the next election cycle

In September, Block released 2016 voting research showing that every Rhode Island city and town had registered voters with missing personally identifying information, as required by federal law, in addition to his complaint to the Justice Department – both can be viewed here.

According to Block’s research, results from the 2016 General Election show that in every city and town in the Ocean State … at least 20% of all votes cast last November, were by individuals without such personally identifying information (PII) on record. In five towns, over 40% of voters had no listed PII.

 

By failing to addresses the core question, by making false assertions, and by citing irrelevant data, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity called the statement by Secretary Of State (SOS), Nellie Gorbea, misleading and inadequate on irregularities in Rhode Island's voter registration process.

Will the proposed K-12 Transgender Mandate from the Rhode Island Board of Education excluded parents from the process while excluding scientific principals?

Statement on R.I.D.E. Mandate on Transgender Protections

Center Urges Broader, Science-based Discussion on proposed K-12 Transgender Mandate

2016 Guidance Document Extends Far Beyond Discussion of Bullying and Rights

Providence, RI – Ostensibly professing to protect students from bullying and to respect all students, if the the RI Department of Education (RIDE) submits draft regulations this evening anywhere close to its June 2016 “guidance” document on transgender rights, RIDE itself will be seeking to bully local school districts into conformity, openly flaunting its disrespect of of other students and of parental rights. This according to the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity (Center).

The transgender issue extends far beyond bathroom or locker-room rights. The 2016 guidance accepts that the gender confusion of the student is a biological condition, and sets those students on a transitional path, virtually without any questions asked and, in some circumstances, with parents excluded from the process.

Combined with legislation passed earlier this year that prohibits 3rd party counseling from many religious-based counselors and other child psychologists, the State of Rhode Island would be in a position to take control of the lives of students who may express gender confusion.


Rhode Islanders need a credible alternative to the status quo and its destructive progressive ideas. You can help.

Click here to find out more >>>

The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!

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In turning a blind-eye to compelling scientific research, and in perpetuating a disturbing trend of ‘government by political correctness’, RIDE is looking to impose a one-size-fits-all mandate that may actually work against the physical and emotional health of the students in questions. Further, the terms of the proposed mandate may not be compatible with the morals held by many public school families.

“We are talking about a serious issue here – the well-being of our children. There is ample research to suggest that RIDE’s proposed mandate is ill-informed,” said Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. “To automatically place psychologically-challenged students on an uncertain path that may cause them irreparable harm, is misguided and irresponsible.”

The open and blatant disrespect (page-9, paragraph-2) for the comfort level of the majority of students, in favor of the comfort of a tiny minority of students, along with the disdain for the rights of parents and the sanctity of the family (page-7, paragraph-2), is particularly alarming.

Further, the repeated emphasis in the 2016 document on laws dealing with “discrimination” can only be seen as a heavy-handed threat to local school districts by elitist bureaucrats who believe they know what’s in Rhode Island families’ best interests.

The Center maintains that no statewide or federal dictate can possibly satisfy the varying sentiments among Rhode Island’s diverse array of local communities. The Center recommends that a broader discussion and a rigorous analysis of national research be conducted before rushing into implementation of a politically-correct-driven agenda.


The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!

With the revelation of two suspicious RI BOE rules changes, we call on the House Oversight Committee to hold emergency fall hearings.

Unlawful BOE Rules Changes? Center Calls for Oversight Hearings, in Addition to Independent Investigation, to Look Into Rhode Island Election Irregularities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 9, 2017

Board of Election Rules Changes Designed to Lessen Election Integrity in Rhode Island?

In RI, possible to apply, be registered, and vote without ever providing legally required personally identifying information?

Center adds call for House Oversight hearings, in addition to Independent Investigation, re. apparent election irregularities

Providence, RI – The revelation today of two past cases of suspicious RI Board of Elections (BOE) rules changes prompted the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity to call on the House Oversight Committee to hold emergency fall hearings to look into potential illegal registration and voting guidelines. This, in addition to the Center’s previous call on the Governor and/or the Attorney General to initiate an independent investigation.

The Ocean State Current (The Current) published today an analysis of a 2008 BOE rules change that removed an important section on the state’s application form for voter registration. Prior to 2008 and after new federal law in 2003, an applicant had to check a box … stating that no drivers license or social security number had (ever) been issued to the person by the state or federal government … as reason to accept alternative (less conclusive) identification credentials. Since 2008 this section and checkbox no longer appears on the form (lessening legal risk to disingenuous applicants?). Comparative images of the altered forms can be found in the article on The Current, which is the Center’s own journalism and blog website.


Rhode Islanders need a credible alternative to the status quo and its destructive progressive ideas. You can help.

Click here to find out more >>>

The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!

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Also today, Ken Block published new research about another questionable BOE rules change in 2012. This promulgated rule effectively exempts anyone who votes via mail ballot or via emergency voting from state voter ID requirements. According to Block, over 40,000 such votes were cast in 2016 by voters who have been improperly exempted from providing voter identification as required by Rhode Island’s voter ID law, RI General Law 17-19-24.2. This improper exemption may have also led to violations of federal voting law, specifically the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) which requires that voters who do not supply personally identifying information when they register, must submit that information the first time that they vote.

“In addition to the Governor and Attorney General, it is the responsibility of Chairwoman Serpa to call her committee into session to determine if the State of Rhode Island is violating state and federal elections law,” said the Center’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse. “In Rhode Island, it appears that the BOE and the Secretary of State’s office, over the years, have purposely left the door open for individuals to register to vote … and cast a vote … without ever providing personally identifying information as required by state and federal law. As I previously commented, the magnitude of these findings potentially shake the very foundation of our state’s democracy … and must be officially investigated.”

The Center has also demanded a public statement from the Office of the Secretary of State and from the Board Of Elections ,s which meets this Wednesday to consider these claims, to specifically declare whether or not current voter registration practices are in compliance with federal law.

The Center further recommends additional items be investigated and that potential actions be taken, with regard to the state’s overall election process:

  • Executive order or legislation requiring Rhode Island’s Secretary of State to backfill PII information for the hundreds of thousands of voter registrations that are missing this information.
  • Review of Rhode Island’s “Motor Voter” and automatic registration policies to determine if they comply with federal law
  • Review of state’s absentee mail ballot, emergency voting, and voter ID laws to ensure they comport with the reformed voter registration process
  • Consider a constitutional amendment to codify appropriate reforms so as to ensure election integrity for future generations
  • State or Federal lawsuit on behalf of potentially disenfranchised voters, in order to assure prompt and clear action to cure any legal defects in advance of the next election cycle

Last month Block previously released research of 2016 election voting research showing that every RI city and town had registered voters with missing personally identifying information, as required by federal law. Block also sent a letter of complaint to the US Justice Department, along with detailed city-by-city and district-by-district charts – both can be viewed here.

According to Block’s research, results from the 2016 General Election show that more than thirty percent (over 143,000 votes) of the total votes cast were from voters who did not have a validating drivers license or social security number on file in Rhode Island’s voter registration system. In every city and town in the Ocean State at least 20% of all votes cast last November, were by individuals without such personally identifying information (PII) on record. In five towns, over 40% of voters had no listed PII.


The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!

On the Center's August Jobs & Opportunity Index, Rhode Island falls to 49th place in the country while New Hampshire remained in first place.

Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI), August 2017: Rhode Island Squeezes the Distance from Last Place

With all but one of the 12 datapoints used for the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI) updated, the Ocean State has lost its long-held grip on 48th in the country and slipped to 49th. The formula for JOI ranked Rhode Island 42nd in 2005, with a slide to 48th in 2012, where the state sat for five years.


Rhode Islanders need a credible alternative to the status quo and its destructive progressive ideas. You can help.

Click here to find out more >>>

The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!

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Federal taxes collected in Rhode Island were the only metric not updated since the June report. Employment was down 592 from the previously recorded number (for June), while labor force fell 123. However, RI-based jobs increased by 3,100. Medicaid added another 4,837 Rhode Islanders, although SNAP (food stamps) shed 3,826 and TANF (welfare) decreased by 1,728. Long-term unemployment and the number of marginally attached workers fell (by 600 and 100, respectively), but those working part-time because they can’t find full-time work increased by 800.

Perhaps most significantly, Rhode Islanders’ annualized personal income (wages and investments) fell by 1.5%, or $679 million. At the same time, state and local taxes edged up by $20 million. The Ocean State remained in 47th place for the income-to-taxes, which is JOI’s Prosperity Factor.

The chart at right shows Rhode Island still in the last position in New England, 49th in the country, while New Hampshire remained 1st. Maine moved ahead of Vermont, although both improved by several places, to 17th and 18th, respectively. Massachusetts and Connecticut both stayed put, at 31st and 36th.

The second chart shows the gap between RI and New England and the U.S. on JOI. In both cases, RI’s gap worsened. Switching to the official unemployment rate, RI’s gap slimmed slightly.

Results for the three underlying JOI factors were:

  • Job Outlook Factor (optimism that adequate work is available): RI fell seven places, to 33rd.
  • Freedom Factor (the level of work against reliance on welfare programs): RI remained 41st.
  • Prosperity Factor (the financial motivation of income versus taxes): RI remained 47th.

Click here For Our Center's Press Release >>>

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 6, 2017

Ocean State drops to 49th, nationally

Broader JOI metric undercuts boastful claims by state’s political leaders

Providence, RI – Recent boasts by state leaders about unemployment rate declines were once again undercut by a broader measure of worker prosperity. Compilation of federal government data into the national Jobs & Opprotunity Index (JOI) for August 2017 by the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, showed that Rhode Island now ranks second-worst in the country (49th), dropping one spot from the most recent JOI report.

“The very narrow unemployment rate calculation doesn’t care how few hours a person works, how much they earn, how much they have to depend on government assistance, or how much in taxes they pay. The broader JOI metric takes all these factors into consideration,” said the Center’s research director, Justin Katz. “State leaders are misleading the public when they cherry pick an inadequate metric for political grandstanding.”

Among New England states, Rhode Island remained last, far behind perennial first-place New Hampshire.

The most alarming news for Rhode Islanders is that their annualized personal incomes actually fell by 1.5% while, at the same time, taxes paid increased.

Additional charts and details of each of JOI’s three sub-factors can be viewed here.

Rhode Island’s JOI rankings are also more in line with other broader national indexes, such as the Family Prosperity Index and CNBC’s Business Climate Index, where the Ocean State has consistently ranked in the bottom-five. “Most likely, our state’s misleading unemployment rate ranking means that many Ocean Staters are working in low-paying or part-time jobs, and are simultaneously burdened by excessive state and local taxes,” concluded Katz.

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The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!

High profile organizations & individuals in Rhode Island offer a bizarre response to voter registration controversy. Center renews calls for investigation.

STATEMENT: Bizarre & Inadequate Response to Voter Registration Controversy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

High Profile Orgs & Individuals Defend Broken Status Quo Even After Admission of Wrongdoing by S.O.S.

Renews Call for Governor to Appoint an Independent Investigator

Providence, RI – Even after a statement from Rhode Island’s Secretary of State acknowledging that the research released yesterday by Ken Block exposed a problem that needs fixing, supporters of the state’s status quo quickly and dutifully fell in line to cast inaccurate accusations about the message and the messenger.

Conversely, the Governor and the Secretary of State remained silent with regard to the calls to action issued by the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity yesterday. Bold action and clear statements from political leaders would help comfort the voters of Rhode Island that the state’s election process is being conducted legally and with proper integrity.

“The responses so far are both inadequate and bizarre. While one might expect the state’s Democrat Party to blindly defend the practices of its own, I did not expect a commissioner of the Board of Elections and Common Cause to run to the defense of a purposely broken voter registration system,” said the Center’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse. “Attacks on the messenger are usually designed to deflect attention from the truth of the core issue.”


Rhode Islanders need a credible alternative to the status quo and its destructive progressive ideas. You can help.

Click here to find out more >>>

The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!

show less


Inadequate … in that the Governor, who refused to fulfill her campaign promise to appoint an independent investigation into the 38 Studios debacle, has not responded to Center’s call for such an investigation after clear evidence was presented that our state’s voter registration process may violate federal law, potentially opening the door to illegitimate votes being cast.

Further, the Secretary of State similarly has yet to issue a clear and unequivocal statement declaring whether or not Rhode Island’s current voter registration practices are in compliance with federal law, as the Center also demanded.

Bizarre … in that the statement from the Democrat Party directly contradicts the statement from the Secretary of State; and also improperly attacks the messenger by falsely claiming that Block’s research, that has brought these voter registration problems to light, is an assault on voting rights.

Similarly odd is that the good-government group, Common Cause RI, departed so wildly from its normally measured, policy-oriented approach. Instead, it launched a highly personal and unsubstantiated attack on Block, by claiming his research insinuated that fraudulent votes have been cast. Block did not make such a claim.

Perhaps most bizarre was the unhinged reaction from a sitting Commissioner of the Board of Elections, Steve Erickson, who on social media and on radio all but admitted voter registration problems. Erickson also seemed to advocate that the potential illegalities be swept under the rug, with problems instead addressed in a non public manner, behind the scenes. He also accused Block and the Center of engaging in in partisan politics.

“This is not a partisan issue, Steve, this is an American democracy issue,” replied Stenhouse from his Twitter account.

The Center’s full statement yesterday highlighted bi-partisan support for its call for an independent investigation and put forth additional recommended action items.

Earlier this week, Stenhouse, as guest-host for the award winning public affairs television program, State of the State, interviewed Ken Block about his research and the surprisingly dismissive reaction from the Secretary Of State. The 30-minute interview can be watched here.


The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!

Following the voter registration research by Ken Block, Center Calls for independent investigation Into potential illegal voter registration practices.

Center Calls for Independent Investigation to Look Into Rhode Island Voter Registration Irregularities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 

Center Calls on Governor, Attorney General to Initiate Independent Investigation Into Potential Illegal Voter Registration Practices

Resignations In Order?

Bi-Partisan Support for Investigation and Comprehensive Election Reform Analysis

 

Providence, RI – Following the release today of city-by-city and district-by-district voter registration and 2016 election voting research by Ken Block, via his Simpatico Software Systems data analysis company, the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity calls on the Governor and/or the Attorney General to initiate an independent investigation.

“Claims that the State of Rhode Island is violating federal elections law, specifically the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), must be formally investigated and addressed,” urged the Center’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse.“This shocking data means our current registration practices may need to be amended, with individuals appropriately held accountable, if voters are to maintain confidence in our State’s elections integrity. Today, our Center calls on the Governor to publicly respond. The magnitude of these findings potentially shake the very foundation of our state’s democracy.”

The Center also demands a public statement from the Office of the Secretary of State and from the Board Of Elections, specifically declaring whether or not current voter registration practices are in compliance with federal law.

According to Block’s research, results from the 2016 General Election show that more than thirty percent (over 143,000 votes) of the total votes cast were from voters who did not have a validating drivers license or social security number on file in Rhode Island’s voter registration system. In every city and town in the Ocean State at least 20% of all votes cast last November, were by individuals without such personally identifying information (PII) on record. In five towns, over 40% of voters had no listed PII.


Rhode Islanders need a credible alternative to the status quo and its destructive progressive ideas. You can help.

Click here to find out more >>>

The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!

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“That the voter registration process in Rhode Island may have been corrupted is a very serious issue. Whether or not this has led to actual voter fraud is one of the reasons a thorough and nonpartisan investigation is required,” continued Stenhouse. “For starters, any public official knowingly involved in any unlawful registration process, should resign immediately.”

Given the apparent disinterest in this issue by Secretary Of State, Nellie Gorbea, the Center argues that this issue cannot be adequately self-policed, therefore its call for an independent investigation. Earlier this week, Stenhouse, as guest-host for the award winning public affairs television program, State of the State, interviewed Ken Block about his research and the surprisingly dismissive reaction from the Secretary Of State. The 30-minute interview can be watched here.

The Center has already received bi-partisan support for its call for an independent investigation and for potential future legislative action. State Representatives Jared Nunes (D, Coventry) and Blake Fillippi (R, Block Island) have pledged to support and work with the Center, and other concerned parties, on these calls to action.

The Center further recommends additional actions regarding reforms to the state’s overall election process:

  • Executive order or legislation requiring Rhode Island’s Secretary of State to backfill PII information for the hundreds of thousands of voter registrations that are missing this information.
  • Review of Rhode Island’s “Motor Voter” and automatic registration policies to determine if they comply with federal law
    Review of state’s absentee mail ballot, emergency voting, and voter ID laws to ensure they comport with the reformed voter registration process
  • Consider a constitutional amendment to codify appropriate reforms so as to ensure election integrity for future generations
  • State or Federal lawsuit on behalf of potentially disenfranchised voters, in order to assure prompt and clear action to cure any legal defects in advance of the next election cycle

Contents of Block’s letter of complaint to the US Justice Department, along with detailed city-by-city and district-by-district charts can be viewed here.


The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!

This ordinance drips with typical elitist RhodeMapRI arrogance, where town planners believe they know what's best for town farmers.

Statement on Exeter’s Mini RhodeMapRI Proposed Ordinance; Public Hearing Tonight

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 26, 2017

Exeter Planners Plan to Restrict Property Rights?

Farmland Sustainability Cannot be Achieved via Regulation

Providence, RI – Tonight, residents and farmers in the town of Exeter will once again turn out en masse to speak out against a proposed new ordinance that would restrict property rights for landowners. According to the nonpartisan Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity, the Ocean State’s leading pro-family, pro-business research and advocacy organization, the ordinance comes directly out of the RhodeMap RI playbook.

“This ordinance drips with typical elitist RhodeMapRI arrogance, where town planners believe they know what’s best for town farmers,” said Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center, which years ago led the public protest against the anti property-rights statewide scheme. “The planners’ radical vision for a sustainable and bucolic environment directly countermands the rights and freedom that farmers need to operate a sustainable business.”


Rhode Islanders need a credible alternative to the status quo and its destructive progressive ideas. You can help.

Click here to find out more >>>

The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!

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The ominously named ordinance, the Exeter Farm and Forest Accessory Business Overlay, would arbitrarily restrict normal business activities of farmers and could lead to future property-rights infringements on other property owners, and could create a precedent that might spread to other cities and towns.

While the Center believes that land-use decisions should be made locally, as opposed to via state or federal mandates, it is also important that residents and policymakers understand that ordinances such as these are part of a larger, anti-business, anti-family radical green agenda.

The Center encourages property rights advocates to attend this evening’s 7:00 p.m. public hearing at the Metcalf School cafeteria, located at 30 Nooseneck Hill Road in Exeter.

Earlier this month, this same ordinance was temporarily pulled after hundreds of concerned citizens over-flowed the town council chambers in opposition. But the town-planners apparently were not to be deterred: As former President Ronald Reagan famously said, “The more the plans fail, the more the planners plan.”


The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!

As the Center recommended over summer 2017, Rhode Island families and businesses would have been better off had the General Assembly not reconvened this year, after prematurely shutting down in June.

Statement on General Assembly Special Session: Negatives Outweigh Positives

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 20, 2017

Negative Measures Outweigh Positive Steps

State Would Have Been Better Off Had Lawmakers Stayed Home

Providence, RI – Capitulation to the harmful progressive-Democrat agenda was enough to turn what might have been a positive special fall session of the state’s General Assembly into a net negative. This according to the nonpartisan Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity, the Ocean State’s leading pro-family, pro-business research and advocacy organization.

While the package of Justice Reinvestment bills that the Center backed are now heading to the Governor, and while evergreen contracts for government workers and invasive tracking-cameras on highways were temporarily defeated, other negative measures, advanced by the state’s union-progressive wing, far outweighed these positives.


Rhode Islanders need a credible alternative to the status quo and its destructive progressive ideas. You can help.

Click here to find out more >>>

The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!

show less


“Many Rhode Island families and business will suffer from the intrusive new free-time-off mandates imposed last evening on employers,” said Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. “Another hit to our state’s already dismal business climate, along with fewer good paying job opportunities, will be the result.”

Also according to the Center, in a step backward for constitutional rights, legally exercising one’s first-amendment rights can now lead to termination of one’s second-amendment rights. Further, local property taxes will increase under overly-generous new pension disability guidelines, offsetting the local automobile property tax relief enacted earlier this year.

As the Center recommended over the summer, Rhode Island families and businesses would have been better off had the General Assembly not reconvened this year, after prematurely shutting down in June.

In June, the Center published a full analysis of the 2018 budget, which additionally discusses:

  • The Center’s call for the state to fulfill its promise to cut the sales tax rate to 6.5%
  • How major portions of the progressive agenda are advanced in this budget
  • Per capita spending comparison with our better performing New England neighbors
  • Other deceptive patterns observed in the budget process, including “scooping”
  • Other positive and negative provisions in the budget and impressions of the overall 2017 legislative session

The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!