The battle of press releases over 38 Studios continues between Representative Lauren Carson (D. – Dist. 75, Newport) and her opponent, Mike Smith.
On September 20th, the Independent Candidate released a statement titled Smith Hits Carson on 38 Studios Flip Flop, in which he said “he was astounded that Carson would try to such an egregious act of deceit on the voters of District 75.”
Representative Carson responds to that statement and the comments made within, below;
My opponent has accused me of attempting to pull the wool over the eyes of Newport voters since I called for the full release of the 38 Studios documents. He accuses me of not demanding these documents sooner and has blasted me for voting against a bill that would have created an independent investigation of the 38 Studios.
In June 2016, at the time of the House vote on a budget amendment to create a special investigation, there were several criminal and civil lawsuits pending under the leadership of the Rhode Island Attorney General and the State Police. I voted my conscience against an additional investigation in June. I believed that the two judicial tracks, at the taxpayers’ expense, should be allowed to play out. And they have. Taxpayers have successfully recovered over half of the 38 Studios investment money through these legal actions.
At this time, one law suit remains: against Wells Fargo. It is time to release the remaining documents so that Rhode Island can see the rest of the facts. That’s why I have called upon the Attorney General to release the documents now.
I was not in office when the 38 Studios deal was approved – so I share the frustration of so many other Rhode Islanders when they feel cheated, duped and lied to; I was among you.
Upon my election two years ago, I requested to be on the House Oversight Committee. As a freshman member of that committee, I sat through hours of testimony and read though hundreds of pages of documents to gain a thorough understanding of the legal and political issues surrounding 38 Studios.
I can report that the House Oversight Committee was making progress this spring. We had approached the point where we began to develop sound policy proposals to ensure that this type of state transaction would never occur again. Then our Committee Chair abruptly resigned and left the Democratic Party to join the Republican Party. That was a great disservice to the committee process, to the taxpayers of Rhode Island and brought an abrupt halt to the development of state policy in this session. In essence, it ended the House activity on 38 Studios. And since her actions occurred so late in the session, we could not maintain momentum under a new chair. I have asked the new Oversight Chair, Chairwoman Patricia Serpa, to continue our committee investigation so that the House may conclude its job in a full examination of legislation remedies.
So let’s be clear; it is my opponent who is pulling the wool over the eyes of Newport voters. He was an unsuccessful Republican candidate in 2014 that has decided to run as an “unaffiliated” candidate to cajole voters into thinking that he is independent. My opponent is barking the Republican rhetoric and accusing me of hypocrisy. That could not be further from the truth.
I urge the release of the 38 Studios documents. Let’s see what’s left and leave no stone unturned. The legal cases are nearing completion and it’s time to take one last look at the documents.
Representative Lauren H. Carson
RI House District 75 – Newport