Taveras and Raimondo spar over "People's Pledge" proposal - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Taveras and Raimondo spar over "People's Pledge" proposal

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Dee DeQuattro

ddequattro@abc6.com

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras is calling on Democratic candidates for Governor to sign the "People's Pledge" and promise not to accept money from Super PAC's and other Independent sources.

Taveras makes the announcement as he trails far behind his likely Democratic Opponent Gina Raimondo in fundraising. Raimondo currently has over $2 million in her political war chest compared to Taveras's $700,000.

Taveras said the pledge is modeled after similar pledges taken by Massachusetts Senate candidates where each agrees to give fifty percent of what outside groups spend on their behalf to charities.

"It is one thing to opt out of the voluntary public financing system," said Taveras. "It is another thing to allow Super PAC activity on one's behalf after so many good Democrats worked hard for campaign finance reform in Rhode Island.

Taveras said Democrats have led the way for campaign finance report and that's why he is asking candidates to make the pledge.

However, Collin Berglund, the spokesperson for Gina Raimondo's campaign, criticized Taveras saying the proposal is not a "good faith offer."

"Union leaders and special interests are already funding personal attacks against Gina Raimondo. We won't even consider this sort of pledge until we see a full accounting of how much Ted Siedle has been paid by AFSCME Local 94 as well as by their allies in Washington, DC, and the Mayor's campaign donates that amount to Crossroads RI on behalf of Gina Raimondo," said Berglund in a statement.

Berglund continued by attacking this moce as a "smear tactic by local unions. "The union leaders and special interests who opposed pension reform deny the state was in crisis. They would have let more cities and towns go bankrupt and have taxpayers pick up the bill. Their well-funded efforts to smear Gina Raimondo is politics at its worst, and it's hypocritical of Mayor Taveras to try to reap the benefits of those attacks while offering this charade of a pledge," said Berglund.

(C) WLNE-TV 2013

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