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PigpenMcKernan t1_jc18132 wrote

Why should he stay if he can’t have the impact he wants? The seat is unlikely to go to Fung (though he may move or use his wife’s property to run) or another conservative, so why not give a younger progressive a shot at the seat?

I get that at first glance this looks like a loss or Cicilline pulling a money grab but I don’t see it that way. He has a real chance to affect political and social policy as well as philanthropy in RI for the next 20 years. Given his track record, I think that’s a good thing and he can probably cherry pick his successor in the house. And like I said before, there’s a good chance that person would be on the younger side and lean more progressive.

TLDR why would you want to be a congressman if you thought you could have an equal or greater impact on the issues that matter most to you by taking a different job (and be relatively confident that your seat won’t immediately flip to the other side)?


Leif_Erikson1 t1_jc1l0tk wrote

Thank you for taking the time to put such a thoughtful response together.


Proof-Variation7005 t1_jc32g4r wrote

>The seat is unlikely to go to Fung (though he may move or use his wife’s property to run) or another conservative

Fung has no chance. He just got blown out in CD-2 which has the larger chunk of the state's rural and suburban voters. CD-1 is like a +20 democratic district. It'd take an extraordinarily bad Democratic candidate and an extraordinarily good Republican one to have a snowball's chance in hell of even making this a close election.

The state GOP is in shambles and has no real good options to prop up, if they even try running someone for this seat.


[deleted] t1_jc1vl1o wrote

That was an excellent explanation. Thank you.


Coincel_pro t1_jc1xsbh wrote

You have a valid argument, but also the counter is that:

  1. He could do more for RI in DC than at the RI Foundation.
  2. The last RI Foundation leaders salary paid about 5x more than what Cicilline gets paid in congress.

We will probably never know the actual truth on this, but I've generally always believed that anyone who seeks power and money will do more to achieve those ends than simple altruism.

I have a strong distrust for authority in general so that does color my argument (and disbelief that Cicilline is doing this for noble purposes).


lavendergrowing101 t1_jc1xb1p wrote

He has not "cherry picked" a successor though, he's left the seat open in what's now looking like a very chaotic primary. A no, running a non-profit that largely gives out scholarships does not have the same impact as serving in congress where he can enact real policy. I'm sure he'll get to keep having fancy dinners with important people, but he will not have his hands on the levers of power like before. I for one and pretty disappointed in his decision.


Yelling_Jellyfish t1_jc291ql wrote

How much policy do you think a member of the House's minority caucus gets to influence?

It's fine to be disappointed. I am too. He seemed like an effective communicator and a big positive for the Democratic Party, such as it is, but if not up, then out.

Why sit for two more years out of power just to get blocked again when the new House convenes in 2024?


lavendergrowing101 t1_jc2qrmx wrote

Actually you can have an enormous amount of influence, far more than as a head of a non-profit. Particularly via his work on the judiciary committee where a lot of the anti-trust and anti-big tech stuff has some bipartisan support. And you know there are elections every two years, right?


Yelling_Jellyfish t1_jc2xi7w wrote

Yes- see above "when the new House convenes in 2024".

Clearly he feels like there isn't a path forward in the House, or at least not one as attractive as the RI Foundation. Why keep eating crow when there's a major opportunity sitting there?


listen_youse t1_jc4pa02 wrote

Because elected officials are so determined to avoid responsibility over troublesome issues, the Rhode Island Foundation is actually who we have to thank for setting local policies on education and homelessness. Nicest thing I can say about them is some policy is better than no policy. I have no idea what Cicilline intends to change if anything.