We will all be very glad when Election Day is passed. This election season has been too long, too divisive and too destructive. The worst parts of our society have reared its head; sexism, racism, dishonesty and manipulation.

I am writing to set the record straight. Thousands of out of district dollars have poured into my re-election campaign from donors who do not care about the pedestrian crossings on Memorial Blvd, flooding in the Fifth Ward or kids playing in the street in Kerry Hill.

This money has paid for multiple mailings to voters that have twisted my record and criticized my character. People who know me continue to ask me “who are these people and why are they saying these things about you?”

Dark money in elections is dangerous and a disservice to local voters. The Gaspee Project and the Roosevelt Society paid for these negative mailings and they have little interest in Newport except flipping a district that is represented by a determined and hard working woman.

My opponent has engaged me in a campaign of character assassination. I refuse to take my campaign in that direction. The voters of House District 75 deserve much better than that. I have focused my race on my real record and our real issues.

My opponent has criticized my voting record and I want to set the record straight. I have voted my conscience and for the values of the people of Newport. I have voted for legislation which has reduced corporate, utility and disability taxes for businesses, reduced taxes on Social Security, public and private pensions, and fully supported ethics, campaign finance and lobbying reforms.

I am a champion of environmental issues, winning an A+ rating from the Environment Council of Rhode Island and the endorsement of the Sierra Club and Clean Water Action. I have simultaneously served 5 years on the Newport Energy and Environment Commission and no other candidate’s environmental record can compare with mine on issues of street flooding, sea rise, waste and plastic reduction, climate change and renewable energy. That is why dark money wants me stopped.

I have successfully stopped bad bills from coming to a vote, such as ones that would have overdeveloped Goat Island, increased mooring fees and expanded state control of the management of the Newport harbor. I have supported two state budgets that benefit Newport, including last year’s budget that was approved unanimously. These budgets have increased funding to Newport, including $300,000 for local tourism marketing, and more money for PILOT reimbursement and educational aid.

I voted to give municipalities more say over the approval of local charter schools and froze tuition costs at CCRI, RIC and URI. I strongly supported a proposal to transfer the Twin River operation at Newport Grant to a new facility in Tiverton, awaiting approval by the voters.

I am not a lifelong politician but I have been a lifelong activist. I have always fought for issues that I believe in – from environmental quality to sustainable economic development. I have kept my campaign promises of 2014: I promised to make government work again, to advocate for Newport and maintain our integrity. I believe that balancing quality of life, environmental quality and sustainable economic investment can move Newport in the right direction.

Despite the tension and rhetoric of this election season, I have loved walking in the city talking to voters. It is probably one of the best parts of the job. Newport voters are smart and I trust their judgement.

Representative Lauren Carson – Democrat

House District 75 – Newport

The above Letter To The Editor was submitted by Representative Lauren Carson, the views and opinions expressed within are not necessarily those of What’sUpNewp, our readers or our advertisers.

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).