YR’s looks forward to the 2018 Election Cycle


March 6th, 2018 – The Rhode Island Young Republicans just held their election for the 2018 executive officers. We are very excited about the organization’s new leadership and direction. We are having a March Membership Drive as our first order of business on Friday, March 23rd at Patrick’s Pub in Providence, RI. 

As we start to look forward to the 2018 election cycle we would like to take a minute to thank the previous board members that dedicated many hours to building the RI Young Republican’s and putting us in a position to have a direct effect on the upcoming campaigns. We would also like to wish them all the best in their future endeavors and hope that they will be available for advice and guidance as we move forward.

A large portion of the board has remained intact including Membership Liaison Lacey Sheldon, National Committeeman Robert Ensign, Providence County Chairman Aaron Wilcox, Washington County Chairman Ed Tarnowski, Washington County Vice Chair Mariah McDonald, Newport/Bristol County Chairman Will Grapentine, and Communications Cory Pacheco.

Newly elected officers include Chairman Jonathan Keith, Vice Chairman Luis Vargas, Treasurer Stefan Cox, Secretary Annie-Lorie Hogan, National Committeewoman Kalasia Richer, and Communications James Piccolino.

Starting this week, our board will be contacting our membership to prepare for the next steps in making Rhode Island a state focused on limited government, fiscal responsibility, and personal freedom. We are positioning ourselves in stark contrast to the Progressive Democratic agenda. We believe that the majority of Rhode Island does not want to live in a socialistic environment. 

We will be setting up meetings with many political candidates, local business, as well as other community organization to discuss their needs and how we can help bring them to fruition. 

The Rhode Island Young Republicans understand the importance of this election and believe that it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to correct a lot of the things we, as an organization, see as failures within our state.


Why Has Rhode Island Forgotten Its History of Rebellion – and What Can We Do About It?

By Will Grapentine

By many measures, Rhode Island has always been a proud and patriotic state. Coming from Bristol – deemed “Most Patriotic Town” by travel websites and publications alike – Patriotism and American pride has always swelled through the state . Particularly the East Bay and Aquidneck regions, with such institutions as our longstanding Naval base in Newport underscoring our proud military history in the Ocean State. But before one celebrates national pride and patriotism, there is a great challenge many voters seem to forget: rebellion against the status quo.

As Young Republicans, conservatives or those generally right-of- center, it is easy to understand what being a rebel is about. But to some Rhode Islanders, there is a disconnect between our state’s proud history with fighting the system and applying it to modern issues today. Take State founder Roger Williams. Oftentimes ransacked by the political left for an atheistic agenda, History.com cites him as a man not only known for wanting to protect individual liberty, but being against pre-constitutional government confiscation of land. Furthermore, although deemed “radical” in his Christian views, his promotion of religious liberty helped pave the way for what made it a Constitutional protection in our Bill of Rights. With religious liberty always at the forefront of state and local issues, Williams was a prime example that freedom of religion is not freedom FROM religion – and that people have a right to express it.

Another key moment in R.I. history is that of the of the Gaspee Affair. Taking place on June 9 th 1772, after Lieutenant William Dudingston sailed HMS Gaspee into Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay to enforce customs collection and force mandatory inspection of cargo, resulting in increasingly aggressive searches, boardings, and seizures of Rhode Islander’s ships. But the anti-tax group The Sons of Liberty (led by R.I.’s own John Brown) rowed out to confront the ship’s crew until the vessel was burned to the waterline. This uprising against unfair taxation pushed by the British Crown (the then-governing body of Rhode Island) was seen as the fire that stoked the American Revolution, and is looked at as Rhode Island’s version of The Boston Tea Party (celebrated in Warwick every year with Gaspee Days).

Lastly there is the Dorr Rebellion. Taking place in 1841 – 58 years after the U.S. Revolution and 20 years before the Civil War – the Dorr Rebellion has an odd place in history but underscores R.I.’s fighting spirit. Although lasting only two months, not a single battle being fought, and the whole affair resulted in a single death—an innocent civilian shot by mistake, the purpose of the Rebellion was because Rhode Island did not have a state Constitution, instead keeping it’s old pre-Revolutionary charter. This encouraged a group of like-minded rebels to hold a constitutional convention and pass what came to be known as the “People’s Constitution” This was something not officiated by the then-government and left a “People’s Government” (lead by Thomas Dorr). Dorr organized around 300 men in Providence and began his campaign by robbing a small militia post of supplies. Eventually going into hiding, the Rebellion disbanded. Dorr, captured in 1843 and sentenced to life in prison for treason against Rhode Island, proved too popular to jail. As for Rhode Island? Rhode Island finally passed a new constitution in November 1842 and a strong fight against Rhode Island elites was won.

Now where are we today? Where are the Roger Williams? The John Browns ? The James Dorrs? True, although each of these past figures championed for very different issues than what Rhode Islanders face today, they all fought against the system. Regardless of party, institution, or personality, they struggled for things that were against the tide. Judging by voters today, it seems the only mantra is “More Government”. From a General Assembly that has had one-party dominance since the Great Depression, a continued history of taxing-and- spending its citizens, and many stories of corruption and incompetence (UHIP anyone?) you would think more voters could channel the founders of this state when they make it to the voting booth.

As the famous saying goes: “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” As we continue to rightfully celebrate our state’s past accomplishments with parades, holidays, and patriotic exercises, let’s try and connect that thinking to voters and taxpayers today. Only by going against business as usual leaders do “We The People” apply the values R.I. was based on to a freer and more prosperous state tomorrow.

The Case Against a Single Payer System in RI

Written by Cory Pacheco – RIYR Chief of Staff

Last week, Representative Aaron Regunberg, the Providence Democrat running for lieutenant governor sponsored a push for publicly-subsidized health insurance for all Rhode Island residents, paid for by a 10% payroll tax, a 4% increase on the current payroll tax. Although healthcare under the Affordable Care act hasn’t been ideal, universal, government controlled healthcare is a terrible option to improve the care for residents of Rhode Island.

Prior to the Affordable Care Act, the average wait for an appointment with a doctor for an average American was 20.5 days, which was seen as unacceptable and was the catalyst for President Obama’s healthcare reform. In Canada, a country that has a publicly subsidized healthcare system, the average time waiting for a doctor’s appointment is 9.4 weeks, followed by a 10.6 weeks wait for a specialist and then a 20 weeks wait to begin treatment. In other words, a person could tear their ACL and wait over 4.5 months to begin treatment on the injury.

Elsewhere, publicly subsidized healthcare leaves 362,000 citizens of England waiting for hospital treatment for over 18 weeks, a 64,000-person increase from the preceding year. Perhaps more shockingly, out of the percentage of people in Canada’s single payer system diagnosed for urgent treatment, 19% wait over two months while 17% wait over four months. The expected wait time for neurosurgery in Canada is a staggering 46.9 weeks, while the wait for orthopedic surgery was equated to the same amount of time fertilization to human life takes (38 weeks) according to Scott Atlas of CNN.

Universal healthcare’s massive price tag has caused states like Vermont that tried to implement it to back down because it’s not feasible for a slight tax increase to cover the massive costs of the program. Additionally, the quality of care in the United States will decline due to the decline in compensation for healthcare professionals, a problem that plagues Canada’s healthcare system as well. In Canada, the decline in pay for doctors and nurses lead to a shortage of them, represented by the ratio of 1 doctor to 1000 patients in the Canadian healthcare system in 2017.

It’s no secret healthcare must be worked on in the United States right now, as our nation has the highest costs for healthcare out of any nation, but these costs lie in the pages of regulations of the benefits that the United States require private insurers to cover. Loosening up regulations and required benefits would open up the private insurers to lower prices. Although this would limit coverage of specialties like dental, oral, and retinal care, Canada’s current publicly subsidized system offers at most limited coverage for these areas, along with the costs of prescription drugs, alcoholism and infertility.

Opening up the healthcare market for citizens to be able to purchase interstate policies will create competition and defray the costs of healthcare in America, as well as save the American public money in tax dollars. Rhode Island is one of the least friendly business climates in the United States, and adding another payroll tax is not the answer to move Rhode Island in the right direction.