STATEMENT: RhodeMapRI Proponents Show True Color; Again Slander Opponents at House Hearings

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22, 2015
Dozens of Citizens Support Bills to De-Fang Controversial Plan
Consortium Members Once Again Resort to”Racist” Tactics
Center Recognizes Testimony from The Gaspee Project
Providence, RI — Once again, grassroots members of the public expressed their clear opposition to the controversial RhodeMap RI agenda at hearings in the House Finance Committee yesterday that lasted until approximately 9:30 pm.

And once again, liberal activists, who were members of the consortium that designed RhodeMap RI, resorted to underhanded tactics by slandering opponents of the plan as “racists”, this time recorded for all to see on Capitol TV (the two witness after the 94:45 minute mark of part 2 of the 5-21-15 House Finance Committee hearings). This following almost identical smears being levied at a November 2014 consortium meeting.

Virtually all of witnesses, who testified to support the bills that would de-fang certain elements of the top-down RhodeMap RI plan, were individual citizens or leaders of taxpayers groups. Virtually all witnesses opposing the bills – and supporting RhodeMap RI – were state employees, consortium members, or planners themselves.

Overall, testimony from the hearings supported the Center’s original contention that the true agenda behind the RhodeMap RI centralized plan is not economic development for Rhode Island, but, rather, to advance a radical social equity agenda out of Washington, D.C.

“This is a clear case of the government machine imposing its will against the wishes of the people,” said Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity. Also presented at the hearing were copies of various resolutions from over a dozen municipalities, either requesting a halt to the RhodeMap RI process or expressing their desire to opt-out of the burdensome mandates the plan would impose on them. “We will now see if legislative leaders will listen to voice of the people or choose to allow this government boondoggle to proceed unabated,” added Stenhouse.

The most compelling testimony presented, from The Gaspee Project, claimed that supporters of the plan engaged in “systematic deception” over recent years in seeing the plan adopted into the official state guide plan, including:

  • Manipulation of and bypassing the legislative process
  • False claims of the plan’s economic development agenda
  • Claiming RhodeMap RI is a plan for RI, when dozens of other cookie-cutter HUD designed plans exist throughout the nation
  • Bogus claims of public support
  • Utilizing dishonest technical language to hide the true intent of the plan and the involvement of the federal government

A number of bills were heard, dealing with: allowing municipalities to opt out of various mandates in the plan; providing the General Assembly with future oversight of plan revisions; and plugging loopholes to limit overly zealous eminent domain land seizures by the government. All bills were held for further study.

Media Contact:
Mike Stenhouse, CEO
About the Center
The nonpartisan RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is Rhode Island’s premiere free-enterprise think tank. The mission of the 501c3 nonprofit organization is to return government to the people by opposing special-interest politics and advancing proven free-market solutions that can transform lives by restoring economic competitiveness, increasing educational opportunities, and protecting individual freedoms.
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