Can You Buy A State Senate Seat for $75K?

Sen. Gayle Goldin, D - Providence (via Gayle Goldin)
Sen. Gayle Goldin, D – Providence (via Gayle Goldin)

At the request of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors (or as they seem to prefer it, REALTORS®), the National Association of Realtors Fund is making a $75,000 independent expenditure in my home senate district, District 3. District 3 is currently held by Gayle Goldin. Her opponent is Chris Wall, a — wait for it — REALTOR(®).

How does Wall describe the situation to RIPR’s Ian Donnis who broke the story? Thusly:

…if my sister and brother Realtors, with their record of advocating on behalf of middle class taxpayers, homeowners, renters, affordable housing and homelessness issues and green construction has chosen to support my candidacy, I would welcome their support…

Wow, the REALTORS® sound so amazing though, don’t they? They sure do… until you drill down on their actual stances on issues, stances so ridiculous you’d think they were drafted by a committee staffed by Snidely Whiplash and Goofus. Straight from their website, in the 2014 legislative session they opposed:

  • Cleaning up cesspools
  • Regulations looking to cut carbon emissions
  • Funding for subsidized housing to end homelessness
  • Lead abatement and funding for lead mitigation
  • Service dogs

What did they support?

  • The estate tax cut

So if you’re keeping tabs at home, that means that the realtors advocated against renters, the environment/green construction, the homeless & affordable housing; and also fought in support of the wealthiest Rhode Islanders to the detriment of middle class taxpayers. It’s weird that a guy who sat on the Rhode Island Association of Realtors’ board got their stances on issues so wrong, isn’t it?

I’m sure Wall is a nice enough guy, though his campaign has mostly consisted of insinuating that Goldin is somehow corrupt. To give you an idea of how much money a $75,000 expenditure is in this race, Wall would have to serve for roughly 5 years to earn that same amount of money from his time in the Senate.

Goldin is most famous for helping to win an expansion of temporary disability insurance (TDI) so that workers can use it to take care of a sick relative or give birth to a child – and while the TDI program was under attack.


  1. Just remember that a RI pol’s campaign “chest” becomes a retirement fund after losing or retiring. Check out Paiva-Weed’s stash some time.

  2. Richard, check your facts. After leaving office money left in campaign accounts is not available as a “retirement fund”. Money left an account can be used to donate to other candidates campaigns or for charitable donations.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s