WARWICK, RI – Today, Matthew Hanrahan, spokesman for Ashley Kalus’ campaign for governor, released the below statement following The Providence Journal’s report, which highlighted the countless campaign contributions Dan McKee has taken from insiders, lobbyists, and special interests.
Hanrahan said, “Dan McKee represents the very worst of government. His campaign finance disclosure form is riddled with donations from insiders who have benefited from multi-million dollar state contracts. He is blatantly using the governor’s office to facilitate a pay-to-play scheme at the expense of taxpayers. He has spent more than $100 million of state money to reward those who have donated to his campaign. Dan McKee is profiting off the backs of hardworking Rhode Islanders by using their tax dollars to line the bank accounts of his donors. The people of our state deserve better than a blatantly corrupt governor who cares more about winning an election than doing what’s right. To begin rebuilding the trust of Rhode Islanders, Dan McKee should immediately return the thousands upon thousands of dollars his campaign has accepted from insiders, lobbyists, and special interests who have benefited from state contracts and or are in the process of bidding on one. Dan McKee’s repeated use of taxpayer dollars for political gain should be of grave concern to voters. His actions are shameful.”
An excerpt from The Providence Journal’s report can be found below.
Those giving McKee money in the 20 months since he catapulted into the governor’s office include the lead developer of the high-controversy Tidewater Landing/Pawtucket soccer stadium project and the lobbyists that work for his firm.
They include: Brett Johnson, the founder and principal at the company promoting the soccer stadium – Fortuitous Partners: who gave him $1,000 in two $500 dollops, the last on March 13, 2022.
Fortuitous lobbyists Nicholas Hemond, Zachary Darrow and Peter Baptista co-hosted a fundraiser for the governor on March 15. The Fortuitous team – which included former House Speaker William J. Murphy – has contributed a total of $8,992 to McKee since he became governor.
For the record, McKee’s tie-breaking vote – as the chairman of the state’s economic development agency – to provide up to $60 million in public financing to the soccer stadium came on July 25.
Hemond has a long list of other lobbying clients, including High Rock Development, owner of the vacant Art Deco landmark known as the Superman building that is in line for $21 million in state incentives towards an extensive renovation.
In addition to the insider dealings reported by The Providence Journal, Dan McKee has also accepted nearly $23,000 from Adler Pollock & Sheehan PC – the same law firm McKee has paid $8.4 million in taxpayer money to defend the state in the unconstitutional truck toll lawsuit.