Statement on Raimondo’s Cabinet Nomination

A Downgrade for America is an Upgrade for R.I.

Gina Raimondo’s Nomination for US Commerce Secretary Could Lead to Major Economic Consequences

Providence, RI – The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity today issued a statement regarding the nomination of Rhode Island Governor, Gina Raimondo to serve as Commerce Secretary for the pending Biden administration: “What will be a downgrade for the United States economy, should be an upgrade for our Ocean State economy.” 

The Center first broke the story of Raimondo’s nomination, based on its DC sources, way back on November 17 on its popular In The Dugout video blog show (25:15 mark), hosted by CEO, Mike Stenhouse. During the show, Stenhouse described the stark downgrade a Secretary Gina Raimondo would be for America, when compared to current Cabinet Secretary, Wilbur Ross, who from 2017-2020 led America to the greatest economic performance of any country in the history of the world. 

With limited experience in the private sector as a venture capitalist, Gina Raimondo has virtually no “hands on” experience in running a market-based business, as most of her career has been in government and politics, where she has become known as a Democrat hyper-partisan.

Conversely, the nonpartisan current Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross earned the reputation as a Wall Street icon. Ross is the former Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer of WL Ross & Co. LLC and has over 55 years of investment banking and private equity experience. He has restructured over $400 billion of assets in the airline, apparel, auto parts, banking, beverage, chemical, credit card, electric utility, food service, furniture, gypsum, homebuilding, insurance, marine transport, mortgage origination and servicing, oil and gas, railcar manufacturing and leasing, real estate, restaurant, shipyard, steel, textile and trucking industries.  Secretary Ross has been chairman or lead director of more than 100 companies operating in more than 20 different countries. Named by Bloomberg Markets as one of the 50 most influential people in global finance, Ross was previously an adviser to New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani on privatization, and was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the board of The U.S. Russia Investment Fund. 

As Rhode Island suffers from some of the most severe economic consequences and lack of population growth among all states in the nation, Raimondo’s economic and management track record over the past six years has led to a long-trail of wreckage in the Ocean State:

  • Under Raimondo, Rhode Island has regularly been ranked as having the “worst business climate” in America
  • Raimondo unilaterally destroyed tens of thousands of Rhode Island jobs and thousands of businesses via long-standing, unjustified, and ineffective “shut-down” mandates during the pandemic
  • Raimondo failed to adequately distribute federal CARES Act Covid-19 relief funds intended for the struggling small businesses community, instead, choosing to appropriate much of the funding to plug massive state budget gaps, a persistent problem during her tenure
  • Raimondo failed to reform the Providence public school system, which, during her tenure as Governor was called an “education horror show” by the Wall Street Journal, in the aftermath of a devastating report by the prestigious Johns Hopkins Institute
  • Raimondo has overtly supported multiple anti-jobs climate change initiatives, most recently including being one of only three states to sign-on to the radical Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) that seeks to punish businesses and families for driving their vehicles for work or pleasure
  • Raimondo’s catastrophic and failed rollout of Rhode Island’s public services database, UHIP (Unified Health Infrastructure Project), against the recommendation of the federal government, led to innumerable Ocean Stater not receiving their benefits 
  • Raimondo successfully led efforts to impose oppressive minimum wage mandates, unfair trucker-tolls that violate America’s sacred Dormant Commerce Clause of the US Constitution, 
  • Raimondo handed-out countless taxpayer-funded subsidies to insider corporate cronies, at the expense of small businesses
  • Raimondo partnered with SEIU in a scheme to destroy the private home care industry
  • Raimondo failed to reform the Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF), resulting in the death of many children under state-care

“With Rhode Island expected to lose one of its two prized US House Congressional seats when the results of the 2020 US Census are released, under Governor Gina Raimondo, our state has clearly become a less desirable place to raise a family, receive an education, and build a career,” commented Stenhouse. “If and when current Lieutenant Governor Daniel McKee becomes Governor, at least Rhode Island will have a chief executive who has made attempts to regularly engage the small business community and hear-out their concerns.”

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