The Scoop: Dad of Taveras Spokesman Donated $3K to Raimondo; More
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Ernest Baptista's Past Support of Gina Raimondo
Ernest P. Baptista, father of Peter Baptista, who is the finance director and acting spokesman for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, has donated $3,250 to Taveras' likely opponent State Treasurer Gina Raimondo, according to the Rhode Island Board of Elections.
Baptista, a Principal of the Gencorp Insurance Group, made four contributions to Raimondo from 2009 through 2012.
The contribution details are as follows:
- $250.00 on 12/31/2009
- $1,000 on 3/26/2010
- $1,000 on 8/12/2011
- $1,000 on 3/28/2012
In regard to the contributions, Baptista told GoLocal, "Gina's been a friend for 15 years," but did not say whether he'd be supporting her in the upcoming election. Baptista added that he knows all the potential 2014 Democratic gubernatorial contenders personally, including Clay Pell, grandson of the late six-term Senator Claiborne Pell.
Interestingly, GoLocal reported on Tuesday that Nicholas L. Pell, a New York investment banker and cousin of potential gubernatorial candidate Pell, has donated $2,250.00 to Raimondo over the last four years.
Baptista's son Peter, who is the co-founder of the Hamilton Group consulting firm, joined the Taveras campaign team in January. Prior to joining Taveras, Baptista served as deputy campaign manager and finance director for Frank Caprio's 2010 run for governor.
2014 Governor's Race
Raimondo has not formally announced whether she will run for governor, but has stated that she will make her decision before the end of the year. Taveras formally announced his candidacy on Monday—becoming the first major Democrat to do so.
The Democratic field also includes declared candidate Todd Giroux, who previously ran for governor in 2010, and Pell, who GoLocal first reported earlier this month is considering a run for governor.
Moderate Party founder Ken Block, who GoLocal reported on Monday would run as a Republican in the 2014 Rhode Island Governor's race, is the only official candidate on the Republican side. Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, is expected to officially announce his candidacy on Monday, Nov. 4.
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Reed's Jobs Plan
Reed calls for Congress to focus on manufacturing jobs.
In an effort to get Congress to refocus on manufacturing jobs, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) has joined a group of 21 U.S. senators in launching the “Manufacturing Jobs for America” initiative, which seeks to build bipartisan support for legislation that will help create jobs, modernize America’s manufacturing sector, and improve workforce training. A key piece of the initiative is Reed’s Adult Education and Economic Growth Act (S. 1400), which will reform and increase investment in job training and adult education and help connect adult learners with opportunities for jobs.
Specifically, the Adult Education and Economic Growth Act would:
- Encourage employers to invest in lower skilled working adults by providing a tax credit for employers who invest in their employee's education;
- Increase funding for adult education to provide additional support for state and local authorities to ensure collaboration between adult education and workforce needs; and
- Expand access to adult education services through the use of technology.
“The best way to keep our economy moving forward is to get people back to work, and the best resource for our economy is an educated and skilled workforce. We need to invest in human capital,” said Reed. “The “Manufacturing Jobs in America” agenda shows there is a broad range of things Congress should be doing to help create jobs. One of the initiatives I have put forward as part of this effort is the Adult Education and Economic Growth Act, which creates and supports avenues for adults to continue their education and build their career skills. By better aligning education and workforce training programs to the jobs that are available we can help people get the jobs of today and prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.”
Despite high unemployment levels, a recent Deloitte and Manufacturing Institute online survey found there are an estimated 600,000 unfilled U.S. manufacturing jobs due to a lack of workers with the right skills.
According to Reed, 150,000 Rhode Islanders could benefit from some form of job-skills training or adult education right now. But today there’s only enough financing to help 6,500 (4.3%).
“Adult education can help bridge the skills gap that separates people seeking work from those who are offering good paying jobs. We need to effectively prepare our workers to meet the demands of a shifting economy. Investing in adult education programs helps American workers learn new skills and improve their lives. It gives them a platform for upward mobility both professionally and personally. It can help lift individuals, communities, and businesses together because the more skilled workers out there earning a paycheck, the more demand there is for the goods and services our businesses offer,” said Reed.
According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST), Rhode Island has an estimated 1,500 manufacturers, and 95 percent have fewer than 100 employees. In 2011, these manufacturers employed 40,349 workers.
To help local manufacturers, Reed has secured federal funding for the Rhode Island Manufacturing Extension Services (RIMES), a nonprofit funded jointly by the federal and private investments. RIMES has a strong record of helping local small and medium-sized manufacturers in the state with improving operations and increasing efficiency.
Earlier this year, Reed helped secure $750,000 in federal Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) funding for the University of Rhode Island Research Foundation to help local manufacturers accelerate development and adoption of cutting edge manufacturing technologies. Reed also helped the state land a $100,000 first round “Investing in Manufacturing Community Partnership” (IMCP) grant to help the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) and its collaborative partners enact long-term economic development strategies intended to create a business environment that leads to well-paying, sustainable manufacturing jobs.
“Our nation has learned an important lesson: we have to put people on the shop floor because it’s not only the ability of the United States to create and innovate, it is a competitive global marketplace out there. Unless you are actually manufacturing these products, you don’t have the advantage of learning how to do it better, how to improve it, how to be more competitive. Think of all the things, the manufacturing products we’ve invented. But then we’ve lost the ability to reproduce them and as a result we’ve lost the jobs. So this whole effort is designed to rekindle that spirit of giving people the skills, the incentives, and the encouragement to go back and manufacture. The greatest phrase we have been hearing is Made in America, so let’s make it in America,” concluded Reed.
Whitehouse urges savings
Sen. Whitehouse urges health care savings, closing tax loopholes to balance spending cuts.
Earlier today, House and Senate negotiators held the first formal meeting of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Conference Committee, tasked with merging the budget plans passed earlier this year by each chamber. In his opening remarks, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse urged his fellow conferees to support a responsible blueprint that will spur job creation and avoid further damage to the American economy from indiscriminate across-the-board spending cuts.
“The sequester was designed to be stupid and painful, and has filled the bill,” said Whitehouse. “In poll after poll, Americans have been clear that the most urgent issue facing our nation is the weak economy and lack of jobs. Unfortunately, federal budget policy in recent years has been dragged toward the dangerous ‘austerity’ path, and largely ignored the role that infrastructure, research, and energy efficiency investments can play in supporting job growth.”
Whitehouse noted that the budget resolution passed by the Senate generates $975 billion over ten years from closing loopholes in the tax code, such as those that benefit corporations that ship American jobs overseas or allow billionaires to pay a lower income tax rate than many middle-income workers.
Your Vote Counts Event
Candidates for Central Falls City Council to meet with voters.
YWCA of Rhode Island will hold the "Your Vote Counts" event tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Central Falls High School located at 24 Summer Street in an effort to educate voters on where the candidates stand on the issues most important to Central Falls.
YWCA of RI has invited all of the candidates for Central Falls City Council to take part in the discussion—including Robert "Bob" Ferri, Hugo Figueroa, Stephanie Gonzalez, Tammi Johnson, Shelby Maldonado, Ann Racquier, and Tia Ristaino-Siegel.
This event will highlight key issues regarding education, jobs and the welfare of our community. Citizens will have the opportunity have a voice in the city’s leadership. Pawtucket Times Editor Bianca Pavoncello will serve as the moderator and select questions from the audience.
RSVP by calling (401) 769-7450 or clicking here.
Election Day in Central Falls is Tuesday, November 5 and the polls are open from 7:00am to 8:00pm.
Cicilline House Vote
Cicilline helps force House vote on consideration of Make it in America Manufacturing Act.
On Tuesday, U.S. Congressman David Cicilline helped force a vote in the House of Representatives on whether to consider the Make it in America Manufacturing Act, the lawmaker’s signature proposal designed to jumpstart American manufacturing and provide small to medium-sized manufacturers with targeted resources to retrain workers and retrofit facilities to compete in a global economy.
“I am proud that we were able to force a vote related to the Make it in America Manufacturing Act in the House of Representatives. Growing manufacturing jobs shouldn’t be a partisan issue, it should be a national priority,” said Cicilline. “No matter who controls the House of Representatives, I am going to continue fighting for commonsense proposals that will put Rhode Island families back to work, strengthen our middle class, and reinvigorate our manufacturing sector.”
In the end, House Republicans defeated Cicilline’s proposal to defeat the previous question and consider the Make it in America Manufacturing Act.
Landmark Med. Center Sale
Rep. Baldelli Hunt applauds approval of Landmark sale.
Rep. Lisa Baldelli Hunt is applauding the final state approval of the sale of Landmark Medical Center by Prime Healthcare Services, calling it a “huge win” for the people of Woonsocket.
“I am thrilled that the state approvals are all in place,” said Baldelli Hunt (D-Dist. 49, Woonsocket). “This is a big win for the people of our city, who can have peace of mind that first-rate health care will still be available without traveling to Providence, especially in an emergency where every minute is critical. It is also very gratifying that the city’s second-largest employer, with 1,100 workers, will remain vibrant and continue to offer good-paying jobs for the many city residents who are employed at Landmark and its rehabilitation facility.”
Legislation enacted in 2012 amended the Hospital Conversions Act to make it less burdensome on for-profit companies, like Prime Healthcare, when applying to purchase a hospital. The Senate version of that legislation (2012-S 2180B) was sponsored by Sen. Roger A. Picard (D-Dist. 20, Woonsocket, Cumberland), and Baldelli Hunt voted in favor of the House version (2012-H 7283A).
“Senator Picard deserves a great deal of credit for his dedication to fighting on behalf of Landmark,” Baldelli Hunt said. “He has been our point person on behalf of the entire Woonsocket delegation on this issue.”
Baldelli Hunt pointed out that once Prime becomes the owner, as a for-profit operation it will be required to pay real estate taxes to the city on property currently assessed at $27.3 million.
“At a time when our city is suffering severe financial hardships, the taxes that will be paid by Prime will be extremely beneficial,” she stated. “Prime will not only be paying significant taxes, but it has pledged to be a good community citizen and provide charitable care at a time when our city needs important partners. Prime’s pledge to invest $30 million to upgrade the facilities will add to the property’s taxable value.”
Pending the final sale expected to close before the end of 2013, Prime will be the first for-profit hospital ownership in Rhode Island. The sale will end 5 and one-half years of bankruptcy for the hospital.
Baldelli Hunt offered testimony to both the Department of Health and Attorney General in favor of the sale. At a Health Department subcommittee hearing in Providence on Sept. 17, she was the only elected official to testify, and she also spoke at a public hearing held at Woonsocket High School on Sept. 30.
On May 9, Representatives Baldelli Hunt, Robert D. Phillips (D-Dist. 51, Woonsocket, Cumberland) and Stephen M. Casey (D-Dist. 50, Woonsocket) invited House Speaker Gordon D. Fox to a meeting at Landmark with hospital president Richard Charest. Speaker Fox offered his full support for the hospital on behalf of the state.