Rhode Island State House
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Gorbea wins union, EG Democratic Committee endorsements

Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, who is among five Democrats running for governor, has been endorsed by the Carpenters Local Union 30 and East Greenwich Democratic Town Committee.

On its Facebook Page, the East Greenwich Town Committee announced its endorsement of Gorbea, its first endorsement in the 2022 campaign.

“For our first endorsement of the 2022 campaign season, we are happy to announce that we voted to endorse Nellie Gorbea for Governor. Some of our members have worked with Secretary Gorbea as far back as 2011 on affordable housing issues. The Committee also commends her work to make voting more accessible especially during the pandemic. The committee and Secretary Gorbea share the vision that people are the most important part of government. As Secretary of State, Nellie has transformed the Secretary of State’s office and we look forward to supporting her campaign for Governor.”

Michael Holmes of Carpenters Local Union 330 praised Gorbea for knowing “the issues that matter to our union members…We know we can always rely on Nellie to fight for good paying union jobs, workplace safety, and prevailing wages. Nellie has a track record of standing up for issues that matter to us, and that’s why we are proud to give her our endorsement for governor.”

Gorbea previously was endorsed by the United Steelworkers Local 12431 out of District 4, the Rhode Island Association of Democratic City and Town Chairs, and the Barrington Democratic Town Committee.

Former U.S. Representative Kennedy backs Foulkes

In an opinion piece in the Valley Breeze, former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), who was lead author of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and is a former member of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, said gubernatorial candidate Helena Foulkes understands the urgency of issues related to addiction.

In the opinion piece, Kennedy said:Foulkes is prepared to lead Rhode Island through this crisis on day one. Critically, she knows that mental health cannot be addressed in a vacuum but must be a key factor in all policy decisions, from housing to education to workforce training. She understands the urgency of this work and has already called for historic investments in school psychologists and counselors that would ensure every single public school in the state has resources to support its students at an appropriate ratio. 

Kalus says RI gun laws strong enough

Appearing earlier this week on WBLQ radio’s “It’s Your Business,” hosted by Frank Prosnitz, Rhode Island gubernatorial candidate Ashley Kalus said that Rhode Island has among the strongest gun laws in the country and she sees no need to pass additional measures.

Kalus reiterated arguments made nationally by some Republicans that the focus should be on more secure schools and mental health.

Meanwhile, most Democratic candidates for governor have called for strengthening Rhode Island gun laws, particular a ban on assault style weapons and large capacity magazines.

The Gifford Law Center said Rhode Island has among the strongest gun laws in the country, resulting in 2020, it said, of the “fourth-lowest gun death rate among states and sixth lowest crime gun export rate.”

It said Rhode Island does well with:  

  • Universal background checks
  • Partial gun owner licensing
  • Extreme risk protection orders
  • Certain domestic violence gun laws
  • Waiting periods
  • Strong concealed carry law
  • Certain open carry regulations
  • Child access prevention laws
  • Community violence intervention funding
  • Lost & stolen firearm reporting

But the Gifford Center also said Rhode Island still must address “assault weapon restrictions” and a “large capacity magazine ban.”

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Frank Prosnitz

Frank Prosnitz brings to WhatsUpNewp several years in journalism, including 10 as editor of the Providence (RI) Business News and 14 years as a reporter and bureau manager at the Providence (RI) Journal. Prosnitz began his journalism career as a sportswriter at the Asbury Park (NJ) Press, moving to The News Tribune (Woodbridge, NJ), before joining the Providence Journal. Prosnitz hosts the Morning Show on WLBQ radio (Westerly), 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, and It’s Your Business, also on WBLQ, Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Prosnitz has twice won Best in Business Awards from the national Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW), twice was named Media Advocate of the Year by the Small Business Administration, won an investigative reporter’s award from the New England Press Association, and newswriting award from the Rhode Island Press Association.