Letter to the Editor: Giarrusso – Not Our King or Our Leader

by | Oct 29, 2020

Above: In November 2017, the Town Council had to hold a meeting on the fate of then-Town Manager Gayle Corrigan in the auditorium at EGHS because of the amount of public interest following Superior Court Judge McGuirl’s ruling that Corrigan’s original appointment was “null and void.”

Submitted by Brian Franklin

Four years ago, when our town was highly divided about the appointment of Gail Corrigan as town manager, I reached out to then-Rep. Anthony Giarrusso asking him to provide some comments, opinions or even guidance on the situation. I realized that Giarrusso couldn’t actually influence town-level policy, but I hoped his position as our elected state representative and his vested interest in our town could provide valuable leadership on the subject and perhaps help bring the town together. I was wrong.

In his response to me, Giarrusso stated, “I have been extremely busy doing my job as I was elected to do. My role is to represent the people of Rhode Island and my district and has nothing to do with town level politics. I am not the king of District 30, so please don’t confuse my elected position as one that can in any way affect any decisions by the town councils or school committees of the towns in my district.”

This response is all we need to know about Anthony Giarrusso this election. Of course, he was not our king, but at the same time, an opportunity was missed when he chose to stay on the sidelines as he does so often on important and divisive issues. It’s no wonder why you don’t hear him talk that much about his unwavering support of President Trump.

Great leaders take risks, and as author John Maxwell said, a good leader “knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” Unfortunately, Anthony Giarrusso hasn’t displayed these critical leadership traits during his tenure as representative or during this campaign.

A good leader let alone a Republican does not claim to be the voice of change and part of the solution in our State House, only to vote twice for Representative Mattiello to be speaker of the house. In this era of #MeToo, one who is supposed to lead by example does not boast of skipping a sexual harassment training, thinking he didn’t need it and was too busy. A leader does not use the excuse that he “grew up with blacks” or has black friends to immunize him from a lack of understanding of the critical issues around equality that African American communities are facing.

I could go on, but the bottom line is that when it matters most, Anthony Giarrusso has not been a leader nor has he demonstrated leadership characteristics that we expect from our elected officials. Anthony was not our king, and he should not be our state representative.  

Brian Franklin lives in East Greenwich.

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Carey Jeffrey
Carey Jeffrey
October 29, 2020 8:27 pm

This is laughable because meanwhile Justine Caldwell has utterly failed to uphold her oath of office. Why? During a pandemic, voters need leadership more than ever. Yet we have not heard one word from her about reconvening the General Assembly. Children can go to school but the RI House of Representatives and Senate cannot figure out a way to use zoom. Most other state governments have figured out a way to do this. But what makes Caldwell’s lack of leadership more tragic is all the elderly folks stuck in health facilities without family members or friends to visit. This is real suffering that could be easily solved by passing a designated persons law. You like the sound of silence? At least you got a response.

Janet Giarrusso
Janet Giarrusso
October 29, 2020 10:22 pm

I have a Question elizabeth, why do you only post letters to the editor that are against Giarrusso?
Not very non – partisan🤷🏻‍♀️

Our campaign has received numerous messages from people saying they’ve sent you letters to the editor weeks ago, you’ve never posted.

Elizabeth McNamara
October 29, 2020 10:26 pm

Thanks for asking, Janet. I’ve posted every letter I’ve received up until today, the cut off for LTEs supportive of any candidate. If you can send me the names of those who said they had submitted letters that we did not post, I’d appreciate it. That was certainly not our intent. Either leave the senders’ names here or send them to me via email: [email protected].

Janet Giarrusso
Janet Giarrusso
October 29, 2020 10:40 pm

Okay I will look them up and send them to you.

October 30, 2020 4:48 am

Former Rep. Anthony Giarrusso was very supportive, and I believe instrumental, in getting full-time kindergarten for all implemented (East Greenwich, which was only a handful of Towns that didn’t have it refused to do it to spite overwhelming public support). I will be forever grateful to him for helping to find a way to get this accomplished. I was raised as a democrat. My father, an immigrant green card holder, got his citizenship papers in the 1990’s after what he perceived as his party ( the Democrats) needed his vote because the Republicans swept the US Congress. As I got older I disaffiliated and always voted on the issues instead of party lines. I will be proud to cast my vote for former Rep. Anthony Giarrusso on Election Day and I hope he will return to the General Assembly as it has been my experience that he will represent all of us Democrat, Republican or unaffiliated alike.


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