2014-10-30 / Opinion

Don’t Sit This One Out—Vote!


The doorbells will soon stop ringing. The signs are probably all up—and will come down soon enough. The flyers that have filled home mailboxes are all but history.

All that’s left to do is vote on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Locally, as election years go, this has been another lively one. Not for the first time, casino expansion in Newport has been front and center.

From what we’ve seen around the city over the past few weeks, if outdoor signs rather than votes could win the day, table game proponents would be outnumbered. But, of course, political history is replete with races that seemed to be headed in one direction, only to see the results go down a different path.

When we look at the local “races” for General Assembly, it's hard not to notice that Republicans did not step forward to run for three House seats and one Senate seat. Democrats in those districts will sail into the 2015 legislative session, having been unopposed in the general election. Like the casino debate, this sounds like the same old song. But non-election elections are not pretty music.

With that as a backdrop, we offer kudos to Republican Michael Smith, who has made the best of his last-minute decision to challenge powerful Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed. Taking on Paiva Weed is no small task. Political “experts” have given Smith only a slim chance prevailing. Baseball experts said that about the Red Sox in 2013, didn’t they?

Someone has to dream the impossible dream. In sports, they say that’s why they play the games. In politics, that’s why we hold elections.

If you've yet to pay attention to the statewide and local bond questions, it’s not too late. Look closely at statewide Question 5, because tucked into the $35 million for “creative and cultural” projects is $4.2 million to improve the Newport Performing Arts Center, also known as the Opera House. Funds would also be earmarked for historic preservation. Worthy causes, we believe.

On the local ballot, Question 8 would authorize the City of Newport to issue $6 million in bonds to address public buildings needing repairs. These include City Hall, Rogers High School, Toppa Field, Newport Public Library and Edward King House. The simple truth is that we can’t go forever without investing in our public facilities.

Don’t sit this one out—VOTE!

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