bestnom1000x50

Liberal Groups Send Letter to Raimondo on Manhattan Institute

The Phoenix has obtained a copy of a letter, written on the letterhead of progressive coalition Ocean State Action, that a series of liberal advocacy groups penned to Treasurer Gina Raimondo Wednesday.

The groups are mystified by her acceptance of an award from the conservative Manhattan Institute:

January 11, 2011

Hon. Gina Raimondo, General Treasurer
State House, Room 102
Providence, RI 02903

Dear Treasurer Raimondo,

On behalf of a broad range of civil rights and community organizations, we respectfully write to you regarding your recent affiliation with the Manhattan Institute - an extremist right wing group that promotes offensive, ignorant and hurtful positions towards the LGBTQI community, women, minorities and our environment.

Last week you traveled to New York to stand with and be publicly recognized by The Manhattan Institute, where you accepted their “Urban Innovator Award” for your work to alter Rhode Island’s pension system. Your work regarding the pension system has certainly been the subject of significant debate, and our purpose today is not to reexamine the merits of those legislative efforts. Rather, we seek to call your attention to a series of troubling articles and position papers that we sincerely hope do not reflect your own personal or political positions.

· In “Gay Marriage vs American Marriage”, the Manhattan Institute comes alarmingly close to some of the more common anti-equality rants espoused by the so-called National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and the Family Research Council, by claiming that marriage equality (same-gender marriage) is not the same as “American Marriage”. Furthermore, in “Redefining Marriage Away”, the Manhattan Institute claims that the reason to fear marriage equality is that gay and lesbian couples do not value fidelity, that their asserted lack of monogamy is immoral and dangerous. As if these articles aren’t offensive enough, they publish and reference anti-equality articles and books written by former NOM president Maggie Gallagher including “Why Marriage is Good For You”.

· Ms. Hymowitz writes about how “Women Prefer the Mommy Track,” widespread rape on college campuses is a myth, and claims that feminism as a whole is “not so much dead as obsolete.”

· The Manhattan Institute called claims of racial profiling by police “ACLU misinformation,” “promoting racial paranoia,” and “ivory-tower posturing” and compared being charged with racism to being charged as a witch: to be without any conceivable defense.


· The Manhattan Institute rails against President Obama’s green jobs initiative, stands in opposition to wind power, and sees fracking as an alternative energy solution.


Madame Treasurer, the aforementioned articles are just a sample of what is readily available on the Manhattan Institute’s website. We must ask if you or anyone in your office were aware that this organization published such venomous, racially-charged, anti-gay, anti-environment and anti-women positions before you agreed to be honored by them in New York. We are willing to accept that you were not, but that acceptance must accompany a proactive effort by you. Return the Manhattan Institute’s Urban Innovator Award and publicly condemn these harmful writings at your earliest convenience, preferably within the next 48 hours.

We recognize that the purpose of your visit to the Manhattan Institute was to receive an accolade for your pension work and not to discuss the important issues we have brought to your attention. It is simply unacceptable to us as a coalition, or your constituents as a whole, for you to stand with or accept an award from a narrow-minded and hurtful organization. To do so would be seen as nothing less than an implicit condoning of their bigotry.

Thank you for your time and thoughtful consideration, we look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.

Sincerely,
Clean Water Action Rhode Island
Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island
Hope United
Marriage Equality Rhode Island
National Association of Social Workers Rhode Island Chapter

Ocean State Action

Sierra Club Rhode Island Chapter

Raimondo is a popular politician at the moment and it is difficult to know if this controversy will linger. But alienating these groups can't help much if you want to win a Democratic primary for higher office.

Raimondo's spokeswoman Joy Fox says the treasurer has received the letter and her office is working on a response to be issued early next week.

| More


ADVERTISEMENT
 Friends' Activity   Popular 
All Blogs
Follow the Phoenix
  • newsletter
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • youtube
  • rss
ADVERTISEMENT
Latest Comments
ADVERTISEMENT
Search Blogs
 
Not For Nothing Archives