The Roosevelt Society is a 501c4 dedicated to political education and civic participation. We have a Board of Directors which guides the activities of the organization.
Our goal is to increase and further political discussion from a center right perspective and amplify and disseminate information on current political topics and policy choices.
Rhode Island has been dominated by Democrat politicians for 70 years. In an effort to bring more political dialogue and creative tension to the legislative process by electing Republicans and center right Independents, we have begun a project called the Rhode Island Response.
Rhode Island Response
In 2005 Republicans dominated the Colorado political environment. Two election cycles later, in 2008 the opposite was true. Using a reliable source of funding, outside liberal groups formed to create a sustainable campaign infrastructure that defeated incumbents with hard hitting, bare-knuckled election strategies. Their tactics were incredibly successful. This effort is intended to reproduce the plan.
The Goal is to achieve veto power by 2018. The most important legislation in a session is the budget. It is, in fact, the document which controls priorities and policy through spending decisions. From day one the Speaker is focused on capturing the necessary number of votes to guarantee its passage. As a result, many favors are asked and given, whether they are beneficial to the State or not. Twenty-six votes are needed to defeat the budget in the House or thirteen are needed in the Senate. One Chamber can alone defeat the budget.
We are committed to a multi-year effort to achieve our power move policy decisions.
2014- The Power to Influence
2016- The Power to Stop the Budget
2018- The Power to Move Our Policy Priorities
The goal for 2014 was to double our numbers in the House in order to have more influence in the Chamber. We were successful. We had hoped to increase the Senate by 40%. A few existing Senators retired, which meant we faced the task of defending those open seats. Luckily, we were able to maintain our numbers.
The Goal in 2016 is to double our numbers again. If successful, this will bring us to 24 members in the House, which is sufficient to allow the caucus to greatly influence the choice of Speaker and stop the budget from passage without our strong input.
We partnered with the Roosevelt Society in the 2014 election. An approved 501c4 their mission is to provide political education and roundtables on various political topics. Until the 2014 campaign season, they had not participated in electioneering, but welcomed the opportunity. Electioneering allows the Society to directly illuminate the consequences of specific elected official's tenures, their policy choices and actions.
As mentioned, The Roosevelt Society is a 501c4, which makes it a non-profit organization. However, contributions are not tax deductible. In contradiction to federal law, Rhode Island requires that the top five contributors’ names be disclosed. We worked in the past campaign to keep donors below the threshold ($5000) which would have made their involvement public. That will remain our objective going forward.
Because it is a non-profit, The Roosevelt Society is prohibited from coordinating with individual campaigns. As a result, the Society manages its own activities. Candidates do not have input or the ability to direct the funds. There are no contributions to candidates. The Society's staff chooses the topics, design the postcards and send them to the voters that they feel will most benefit from the information.
Rhode Island is a small state and we do not use television ads at the General Assembly level. We feel that large format postcards at frequent intervals delivered to voters during the last 5 weeks of the campaign are sufficient to influence the electorate. We design, produce and mail large format postcards into the chosen districts weekly during the month of October. This has proven successful for labor unions and other special interests in Rhode Island and has gone unanswered by Republicans and center right independents. We intend to change that.
The postcards will exploit the wedge issues that are evident in Rhode Island today:
1. Legislative Record: Out of Touch
They are responsible for conditions today. Leaf Bill, Dog Bill, Firefighters OT bill, Disability Pension Abuse, etc.
2. Big Votes Record: The Toll Law: RhodeWorks, 38 Studios, Providence Stadium, Fiscal Stability Act
3. Culture of Corruption: Political Insiders
4. Comparison: How Far Can We Fall?
In 2014 starting late, we received $24,000 from our supporters. As a result, we were able to participate in 7 elections. Four of our candidates won.
In 2016, the Roosevelt Society funded radio ads on the Governor’s RhodeWorks plan. It raised public awareness and fueled a strong opposition. Public opinion ran 65-70% against the plan. Legislators received hundreds of voter contacts and now, because they ignored their constituents, incumbents who voted for the toll law are vulnerable.
We are currently recruiting top tier candidates, vetting them and dependent on resources will help the best win their elections.
We can succeed with your generous and thoughtful donations.
Daniel S. Harrop, MD
Donations may be made payable to:
The Roosevelt Society RI
P.O. Box 8216
Cranston, RI 02920