Mark Binder is pleased to formally announce his candidacy for the position of State Representative from District 4 in Providence RI.
“I am tired of the blunders and the perception of corruption that surrounds the State Government,” Binder explained. “For Rhode Island to thrive in the twenty-first century, we need a government that will be honest and smart.”
Running as a liberal and progressive Independent, Binder cites the need to create partnerships and coalitions to improve the state, rather than simply protect their own special interests.
Binder sites some of his goals as:
- Build a coalition and break down barriers to enable the Legislature and the Governor, unions and the local communities to work together – rather than fight for their share of the pot of money and power
- Immediately improve public education by eliminating the use of high stakes testing to determine funding and teacher evaluations1.
- Improve public education by decreasing class sizes and re-funding programs including high school trades, business prep, consumer education, sports, and the arts2.
- Increase government funding and support of arts projects2.
- Encourage business relocations to Rhode Island by reducing the red tape and perception of corruption in government.
- Support a myriad of small and medium sized businesses with on-ground infrastructure and achievable goals, rather than placing all the eggs in a fragile basket, like 38 Studios3.
- Uphold Roe v. Wade. Encourage education and family planning.
- Restructure the funding for RIPTA to create a superior 21st Century transportation system4.
- Find ways to ensure that tax dollars are spent producing results, not payoffs and under the table profits.
- Improve energy efficiency and diverse cost-effective local production of energy.
- Pass legislation for marriage equality.
- Lead the country in discovering new ways for unemployed individuals to add value to their communities.
- And make people smile about state government — but in a good way.
Calls for Investigation on Ethics Violations, Pay for Play and 38 Studios
Additionally, Mark Binder is calling for an accounting and investigation into the allegations, appearance, and admissions by Gordon Fox regarding ethical violations around his fundraising relationship with Michael Corso and the eventual authorization of funding for 38 Studios.
“Gordon Fox himself admits that he violated campaign finance ethics five years ago,” Binder said. “He just acknowledged a previously unreported campaign contribution by sending a check for $648 to cover a $20 per person tab for 30 people at a $100 a head fundraiser. According to the reports I’ve heard, this fundraiser netted about $10,000, had an open bar and shrimp. This fundraiser was sponsored by Michael Corso, who later arranged a meeting between Mr. Fox and Curt Schilling. Not long afterwards, an EDC bill that had languished for years suddenly appeared on the floor with a $75 million add on for 38 Studios. I am asking the state and Federal governments to investigate this matter more completely.
“At the same time, even if there was no direct pay-to-play hand greasing, I have to wonder at Speaker Fox’s fuzzy mathematics, and convenient timing. A hundred people at $100 a person just doesn’t add up to the $10,000 that I’ve heard reported. And $20 a person for an open bar with a shrimp buffet? Really? Where can I get that deal? Oh wait! I can’t. I don’t know the right people.
“Hidden costs, insider benefits and poor accounting? It reminds me a lot of the 38 Studios disaster.”
“I have known financial hardship,” Binder said. “I know what it’s like to be unemployed. I know what it’s like to build a business, and have been successful in my business for more than a decade. It’s time to take our government back, and put it to work for us all, not just for the insiders and special interests. On November 6, please Mark your Ballot for Mark Binder.”
Mark Binder is an award-winning author, storyteller and educator. He has written more than a dozen books and recorded half a dozen albums. He tours the United States, sharing his stories with children, families and adults. In 2004, he ran against Patrick Kennedy in a Congressional primary, losing by fewer than 9,000 votes. He is a graduate of Columbia University, Rhode Island College and the Trinity Rep Conservatory. His more formal jobs have included administrative and management positions at Travelers Aid, the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless, and the Rhode Island Jewish Voice and Herald. He has been an adjunct faculty member at the Rhode Island School of Design. He lives in Providence with his wife and their five children.
1Mark’s wife is a teacher and a union member. He will not vote on any issue that involves her salary or benefits. He will, however, support the improvement of public education for all students.
2Mark makes his living as a writer and a storyteller. Much of his work is in public schools and could be considered “arts” funded. He will work with the state Ethics commission and be very public about any “gigs” that he takes, and will neither vote on nor directly profit from state funding during his term.
3Mark is a small businessman, sympathetic to small business issues.
4Mark and his family frequently ride the bus. We wish we could do it more frequently, and will work hard to make public transportation more effective and accessible for Rhode Islanders.