Anthony Gemma Reacts to, Analyzes WPRI-TV Poll
Lincoln, RI – Anthony Gemma, the Lincoln, Rhode Island-based philanthropist and entrepreneur who finished a strong second in the 2010 Democratic Primary for Congress from the RI 1st, today issued the following statement.
While I understand that polls are indeed ‘snapshots in time,’ the results of the survey conducted by WPRI-TV and released on February 27 are consistent with other recent polls, with conventional political wisdom, and with anecdotal evidence derived from the public.
The numbers are unambiguous. David Cicilline cannot win in the General Election against Brendan Doherty. If Cicilline is the Democratic nominee, he will lose the district to the Republican Party.
However, it is abundantly clear that Mr. Doherty does significantly worse against me than he does against Cicilline – securing 49% of the vote against Cicilline, but only 41% against me – and I have not yet declared my candidacy, while Mr. Doherty has been running for a year.
The key numbers are the totals for the undecideds – voters who have not yet made up their minds. It is inconceivable that the vast majority of these voters are undecided about David Cicilline. They know enough about him. And they’ve had enough of him. They know that David Cicilline broke his trust with the people of Providence when he drove their city to the brink of bankruptcy and then lied about it. They know that David Cicilline broke his trust with the people of the RI 1st Congressional District when he lied to them during the last election. They know that David Cicilline continues to break his trust with the people of Rhode Island by doing nothing for them in Congress, and by lying about it.
The undecideds are at 16% in a Cicilline-Doherty contest, but their number rises dramatically and tellingly to 27% when I am matched against the Republican. My sense is that the undecideds need to know that, as in 2010, I stand for their best interests. They need to know that I remain committed to reinventing the office of congressman, finding new ways around congressional gridlock, and bringing jobs to Rhode Island and America. If I run, all the people will know where I stand and that I put people before party.
When candidates put people before party, the people become the party. Historically, this has been the Democratic way.
The theme of the 2012 election must not be “Divide and Conquer,” but rather “Unite and Prosper.” That is a theme that all Democrats can embrace as a distillation of our Party’s values – indeed, that all Americans can and must embrace if we are to survive these most trying of times.
I am a Democrat. I embrace and to the best of my ability attempt to embody the values of my Party as they were embodied by FDR, JFK, RFK, John Pastore, Claiborne Pell, and John Fogarty, among other great Americans. With every lie he tells, with every incompetent move he makes, David Cicilline repudiates those values.
During the 2010 campaign I promised to “reinvent and reinvigorate public service.” My “Congressional 21st Century Jobs Plan” demonstrates in detail how we can avoid Washington gridlock and find new ways to create 10,000 jobs in Rhode Island over the next five years. My “Executive Board” concept in which Rhode Island’s high-level elected and appointed public officials meet regularly and work together to find new ways to reinvent and reinvigorate how we do the people’s business demonstrates that I am the only candidate in the 1st Congressional District race willing and able to effect change for the better.
David Cicilline cannot win in November. If he is our Party’s nominee, the GOP will add another seat to its majority in the House of Representatives. Any Democrat who supports or otherwise enables Cicilline will have to bear a significant share of the responsibility for that loss and, more importantly, for its disastrous impact on the lives of every man, woman, and child in our state and our nation.
I shall make my decision regarding a 2012 run in the very near future. Within a week you will be hearing about a major initiative in which I am intimately involved – one that will bring considerable jobs and other forms of economic relief to Rhode Island. All along I have said that I will make the best use of my talents and energy on behalf of the people.
Soon I shall share with the people just how I will live up to my promise to work on their behalf, be it in the private sector or as their congressman.
During and since the 2010 election cycle, I alone have held David Cicilline accountable for his lies and for his incompetence. Now it is clear that the people see what I see and know what I know. And if I run again, they will look to me not just for leadership, but also for the truth. And they will get it.