Note: This article was originally published in October 2018, prior to the election upon which this commentary is based. Ultimately, Gina Raimondo was re-elected, and the problems at DCYF have only worsened, just as political scientist and author of Dreading and Hoping All Nicholas Alahverdian predicted. Director Trista Piccola was fired, preventable abuse has continued to occur, and overspending — to the tune of millions of dollars — is rampant. If Raimondo had not been re-elected, DCYF may have been on the road to recovery. Unfortunately, Raimondo’s natural knack for a lack of leadership has set the tone until the end of her second and final term.
According to Rhode Island political expert Nicholas Alahverdian, Rhode Island is embroiled in an important race for governor this election cycle. They really have only two choices: Republican Allan Fung and Democrat Gina Raimondo. Joe Trillo could very well be a Raimondo plant. He seems to have a personal vendetta against Allan Fung that transcends this election.
The failures of Gina Raimondo
Gina Raimondo has had an awful run over the past 3 and a half years. She is responsible for the disaster at the Department of Children, Youth and Families. There is now an active federal investigation and audit against the DCYF — again. She is responsible for the Unified Healthcare Infrastructure Project (UHIP) disaster. “UHIP has now cost the state $660,000,000.00 due to the failures of Deloitte, the company brought in to build the IT behemoth,” said Rhode Island political expert and Harvard scholar Nicholas Alahverdian.
Under Gina Raimondo’s tenure, we have seen a 1,450% increase in child deaths or near deaths for children in DCYF care. This is unconscionable. We have also seen Gina hire away a Providence Journal reporter, Jennifer Bogdan, to work in the Governor’s press office. This is the one of the worst examples of political thievery I have seen in my 17 years in Rhode Island state politics. The governor hired away a reporter to stop reporting on the state-sanctioned tortured and killing of children. Think about that.
Gina Raimondo has brought the state to its knees. Nicholas Mattiello, Speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, makes things even worse. They both fail Rhode Islanders because of the UHIP fiasco, the DCYF deaths, the loss of the Pawtucket Red Sox, the distorted data in the state’s online transparency portal, and too many other errors to name.
The success of Mayor Allan Fung
Allan Fung, in contrast, presides over one of the top 50 cities in America. He is an honest, sincere mayor of the second largest city in Rhode Island. Fung listens to his constituents and hears what they have to say. “Simply put,” said Nicholas Alahverdian, “Fung will do the same thing in the Governor’s office. He will listen, weigh the options, and decide the best course of action.”
With Gina Raimondo, we have seen inaction. We have seen policymaker after policymaker in her wretched and poorly-run departments depart in shame. We have seen unqualified and uncertified individuals performing tasks costing Rhode Island millions — like law — when they do not have the necessary qualifications to do so. Gina is in this for herself and her future political career. Raimondo does not have the best interests of Rhode Islanders in her heart.
“Gina Raimondo is a wealthy East Side limousine liberal,” opined Nicholas Alahverdian. “She is cut from the same cloth as those who speak endlessly about “working families” and supporting the average Rhode Islander. At the end of the day though, her security detail drives her back to her lush East Side home where she can live her life in peace and prosperity with her family while Rhode Islanders suffer and kids in DCYF care are tortured and killed.”
“Apparently caring about working Rhode Islanders only lasts until 5pm on a weekday.”
Allan Fung will be the antithesis of Gina Raimondo. Dare I say he will be the anti-Gina Raimondo. He will bring back jobs, he will lower taxes, and he will protect kids in DCYF care. There is no question in this election — Gina Raimondo is inherently unfit to be governor due to the numerous disasters we’ve seen in four short years.
“Rhode Islanders can be guaranteed that if Allan Fung is elected, from 2019 on we will see a Rhode Island with more possibilities,” said Nicholas Alahverdian. We will see an air of optimism and not despair. Allan will do his best to bring the spirit of dynamism back to the Ocean State — something we’ve sadly been long without.
Not the Ol’ Boys Club anymore — Gina leads the “Troll Girls Club”
Gina Raimondo presides over a state in which the gears grind on political deals and an ol’ boys club culture. That has now turned into a troll girls club. “I use the term ‘troll girls club’ not as a mark of disrespect, but because Gina is trolling Allan Fung. She refuses to debate him one-on-one without the distraction of Joe Trillo, the candidate without a chance. She is blasé at his suggestions for leadership tactics that will work. And she dismisses his common sense solutions to fix state departments,” said Nicholas Alahverdian.
Rhode Island will thrive with Governor Fung
Rhode Island is lost in the woods. Gina Raimondo will continue to lead broken departments where kids are killed, DMV lines go out the door, and unqualified professionals make executive decisions.
“I am confident that inept lifetime bureaucrats like Mike Burk and Kevin Aucoin will finally be shown the door at DCYF, ending their reign of terror once and for all,” said Nicholas Alahverdian. “Allan Fung will audit and analyze each and every facet of DCYF to ensure that the agency is the epitome of what a child welfare system should be from when he is elected and into the future.”
Allan Fung will provide real leadership from day one. He is a hands-on mayor and he will be a hands-on Governor. He will repair the Ocean State and give it what it needs — a boost in its economy and its self-esteem. With Allan at the helm, kids will be safer, jobs will increase, and more money will flow into the state than ever. He will be Rhode Island’s champion — and relentlessly fight for our families and children.
Nicholas Alahverdian, a Harvard political scientist, researches the intersection of rhetoric, philology, and politics. His newest book, Dreading and Hoping All, will be released in October 2019.
Alahverdian worked for the Rhode Island state government at the same time he was in foster care. He was able to provide unique insight into the conditions of the foster homes and shelters in which he lived. As a result of his being a whistleblower and informing the senators and representatives with whom he worked of the conditions of the state’s DCYF, he became a political and publicity threat to the chief judge of the Rhode Island Family Court, Judge Jeremiah S. Jeremiah.
Unfortunately, Judge Jeremiah obliterated this threat by sending Nicholas Alahverdian hundreds of miles away to Florida and Nebraska where he was tortured and allowed to contact no one — not the courts, nor his legislators, nor any lawyers — until his 18th birthday. And by then, he was on a copious cocktail of drugs that he became a zombie, beyond all recognition.
Nicholas Alahverdian later sued his abusers his federal court, won, escaped the torture that ensued after he exposed the widespread abuse in the Rhode Island foster care system, attended Harvard University, and became a successful writer, lobbyist, and scholar.
Nicholas Alahverdian consults with many local, county, state, and national governments about how to enhance the human services industry and is a world-renowned expert in reforming systemic foster care problems and exposing governmental corruption.