Letter to the Editor: Support New Policies, Support Giarrusso

by | Oct 18, 2020

Submitted by Stephen J. DiGianfilippo

As of August, Rhode Island had the second-highest unemployment rate in the U.S.: A whopping 12.8 percent [editor’s note: R.I.’s unemployment rate in September was 10.5 percent]. According to U.S. News and World Report, Rhode Island ranks in the bottom half in their recent “Best States” ranking. In particular, R.I.’s education ranking is in the bottom 10, our Infrastructure is ranked #45 out of 50 and our Fiscal Stability and Opportunity come in at #31 out of 50. This low “Opportunity” ranking does not bode well for our children’s future in RI; like many of us, I would love to see my daughter live and work in our great state. For this to happen, however, R.I. needs new policies, and this begins with having a diversity of opinion in the House of Representatives.

Anthony Giarrusso is running to represent West Greenwich and East Greenwich in the House. He will bring a fresh, jobs-for-Rhode Islanders viewpoint to the State House. Anthony is not a politician, has created hundreds of jobs here in R.I. and has no need or desire to enrich himself through his service. In sum, he is the rare candidate who is truly running to benefit the people he hopes to serve.

And Anthony already has a proven record of being an independent voice who will help diversify policy discussions: in his prior terms as our representative, he always challenged the House leadership and the special interests in favor of the people, while his opponent, Justine Caldwell, voted with the speaker almost 100 percent of the time. In one case, Ms. Caldwell ignored the East and West Greenwich Town Administrators and voted for the evergreen contract which ties our hands fiscally. Ms. Caldwell’s lock-step voting record delivers the dismal results outlined above. It is time for a change back to independent representation. I respectfully urge you to vote for Anthony Giarrusso to represent District 30.

Stephen J. DiGianfilippo lives in East Greenwich.


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  1. Judi Zimmer

    New policies? Did you say new? If I recall correctly, Mr. Giarrusso (who is far from independent) was rejected by the voters of his district just two years ago. He hasn’t changed, his politics haven’t changed; he is still a Trump Republican who, by the way, is no friend to women.


    Sir, four years ago you wrote a letter to the ProJo complaining about their endorsement of Hillary Clinton. It concluded with the implication that Donald Trump was the candidate far less beholden to corrupting financial influence. Many voters followed this line of reasoning, assuming that a successful businessman would make a fine leader and be his own man. Your endorsement of Mr. Giarrusso echos this same theme: a wealthy businessman running for office will be both less corruptible and more for the people, because why else would he do it? Voters who approve of our current president may find that Mr. Giarrusso is just the man for the job. Everyone else may wonder if the answer is really another wealthy businessman campaigning on vague trickle-down plans to fix the economy while ignoring or undermining other critical issues.

  3. cjf

    The Evergreen Bill is just common decency. Towns oppose it because it directly impacts them in negotiations, but I find it telling that even with this disagreement, the Town Council heartily endorses Ms. Caldwell for re-election. Mr. Giarrusso was absent from town politics during his previous tenure, when EG desperately needed leadership at all levels. Unforgivable from a public servant, and not someone who will fight for all of us.

  4. Bob Quattrocchi

    It isn’t often that State Representatives come out to publicly endorse other candidates, especially while involved in their own campaigns for re-election. Anthony Giarrusso is most worthy of this exception. After winning the people’s House seat 41 in 2016, I was assigned to the House Finance Committee which, then Representative Giarrusso had already sat on for some time. For me to remain silent in letting his constituents know the true treasure that they had in his representation, would be a disservice to the whole state of RI. Mr. Giarrusso and his family are successful, self made business people in our very business challenging state, creating hundreds of jobs for RIers. I can assure you, his knowledge of finance, experience, demeanor and keen wit are sorely missed on the House Finance Committee, not only by party but by all, from Chairpeople to clerks. The good people of East and West Greenwich were very fortunate to have Anthony Giarrusso represent their best interests and even more fortunate that he decided to run again. He is a family man, businessman, gentleman and a man of honor and integrity, traits lacking in many politicians. We are in perilous financial times as a state. We need Anthony back.

    Representative Bob Quattrocchi
    District 41

    • Stephen J. DiGianfilippo

      Thank you For that insight Representative Quattrocchii. With respect to my prior editorial concerning Clinton/Trump, I did not imply Trump would be immune from corrupting influences. I simply stated that unlike Clinton he had not yet betrayed the public trust. Finally the Council is from the same party as Ms. Caldwell so I would expect them to endorse her despite backing Evergreen. The more neutral party is the town administrator who I understand opposes it

  5. Judi Zimmer

    So let me get this straight: Clinton betrayed the public trust by having consensual adult sex but Trump didn’t? Clinton betrayed the public trust by having consensual adult sex, but Trump didn’t betray the public trust by being dishonest about COVID-19? Clinton betrayed the public trust by having consensual adult sex, but Trump didn’t betray the public trust by multiple instances of dubious, if not downright illegal, tax return information? Clinton betrayed the public trust by having consensual adult sex, but Trump didn’t when, on more than several occasions, he refused to condemn racism or white supremacy? OK, I got it. No, actually I don’t get it at all.

    • Stephen j. Digianfilippo

      Dear Ms. Zimmer : While I do not agree with all of your points, I believe you misunderstood my comment. I was replying to a specific comment which referenced a prior editorial I had written. In that editorial, I posited that while candidate Trump was no angel as a private sector businessman, unlike Hillary Clinton (who as a presidential candidate had already served in public offices) he had not yet betrayed the public trust while in my view she had behaved unethically while Secretary of State. My comment had nothing to do with Bill Clinton or with President Trump’s conduct in office.

      • Judi Zimmer

        I appreciate the clarification. As far as Secretary Clinton, your view is your view, your opinion is your opinion.Years of investigation including 11 straight hours of grilling came up with nothing. To this day, no allegations have come to fruition about her actions in any office.

        • Carey Jeffrey

          As usual, Caldwell and her supporters try to make this all about Trump. But the bottom line is do voters want someone who will represent them in the Statehouse or someone who is so devoted to her agenda that it DOES NOT MATTER what is best for her district.
          The Evergreen law is case in point. It’s not common decency to vote for a law that requires cities and towns to sue to prove its illegitimacy. It is not common decency to testify in support of an extreme abortion bill.

  6. Judi Zimmer

    Regardless of the deliberately inflammatory rhetoric and outright lies, the Reproductive Protection Act is simply the codification of Roe v. Wade. I proudly testified at least 8 times in favor of it, in front of both House and Senate committees and find ‘common decency’ a meaningless expression when we are talking about how the two political parties differ on the decency of affordable health care for all Americans, how best to deal with the pandemic and something as indecent as 545 little children ripped from their parents’ arms who now have parents who cannot be located. Accountability starts at the top, and Mr. Giarrusso has shown his allegiance to the head of his party. EG voters threw out EVERY Republican who represented them, whether on the Town Council or at the State House, in 2018. At that time, voters made it crystal clear who they wanted to represent them at the State House and it most certainly was NOT Giarrusso.

    • Stephen J. DigianFilippo

      Dear Ms. Zimmer: I respectfully disagree with your views concerning Mrs. Clinton’s culpability. For an example, look into her role in approving the sale of uranium to a Russian company and the ensuing donations to her Foundation by the Canadian businessman who profited on the sale. With respect to Mr. Giarrusso, I feel many who voted against him may have been voting against the Trump persona and not against Anthony’ policies per se.


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