Thursday, May 29, 2014

Oh Great Scott, Why Can't Ray McKay Run?

Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian (City of Warkick)
Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian
Warwick, Rhode Island Tech Administrator Raymond McKay wants to run for US Senate against long-term incumbent Jack Reed.

There are a couple of problems, at least to the politicos on the outside looking.

First he is a conservative Republican, not a RINO who runs on the label, but runs from the party's values. He is the President of the Rhode Island Republican Assembly, which critics and supporters have called "The Republican branch of the Rhode Island Republican Party."

The biggest roadblock against his run comes not from his values, nor from his leadership, but from his job. An obscure workplace statute in the Warwick Municipal code lists that a classified employee must resign if he chooses to run for office.

McKay is included in that 15% category of classified employees. Who is not included in that number? Teachers, firefighters, and police officers i.e. union officials.

On its face, this ordinance is unconstitutional. Since when should a man have to give up his job to run for office? Violation of the First Amendment. The statute is also arbitrary, since it discriminates against one minority at the expense of 85% of the workforce.

What gives? That's a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

So, in order to run for office, I have to join a union? Or I have to beg my city council to let me run for office on my own time?

Undeterred despite the legal difficulties, McKay reached out to city leaders to get the law repealed. Arguing that the statute unfairly discriminates against him, McKay was unable to move city leaders to remove that code.

He has been to court to seek a temporary injunction, which was denied. Oral arguments to have the statute repealed will continue this Friday (May 30).

Not just the unwillingness of the City Council is disconcerting, but the Republican Mayor, Scott Avedisian, has said nothing and done even less to remedy this situation.

Rumblings from local residents and political leaders argue that Avedisian has deliberately refused to do anything to assist McKay because the mayor is close friends with Democratic US Senator Jack Reed and will do anything to make sure that his political confidant faces no challenges to his reelection run for US Senate.

And now the mayor wants to raise property taxes and dip into the city savings just to balance the city's budget next year, too.

Warwick Tech Administrator Raymond McKay - Why Won't Avedisian let him run?

Maybe someone should have stopped him from running for office in 2000. Is he a classified employee, too?

Well, if Mayor Avedisian has nothing to say about McKay running, then maybe I should throw my hat in the ring and run for office.

Or do I have to ask the Great Scott for his permission to do that, too?

*Oh Great Scott -- May I run for office?*

(What is the world coming to, when a man has to beg just to have a chance to represent his community? Oh brother!)

This ordinance is wrong, McKay should be able to run without losing his job, and Avedisian should give up trying to balance city budgets on residents' backs.

But let me return to the more pertinent question:

Oh Great Scott: Why can't Ray McKay run for US Senate?

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