The Republican Party of Rhode Island will remain without a platform after over 100 voting delegates rejected the proposed platform at the party's meeting on Thursday evening.
The party has been with out a platform for over five years now and the proposed platform was an attempt to outline the party's principle.
Mike Napolitano of the Lincoln Republican Town Committee said that the platform was criticized as "too broad" and "lacking teeth."
He noted that the party has not had a platform for years because not only is it difficult to get everyone to agree but also, "most of the candidates want to have their own platforms."
The platform, which was a page long, stressed "freedom and equality for every individual citizen" and highlighted the party's commitment to the constitution.
It was straightforward on the issue of the role of government towing the Republican line that it should be "limited" and powers should be "defined." It emphasizes "self-government" and preserving human freedom.
When it came to social issues the platform did not directly address same-sexed marriage or abortion but instead defers to the national Republican Party Platform noting social issues should be "fiscally sound policies" but also emphasized that social issues will not "be placed in the forefront" of the party's agenda.
On economic growth the platform highlighted "free-enterprise" and encouraged expansion rather than "attempting to control every element of business." It rejected "excessive taxes, fees, and regulations and mandates."
The platform specifically highlighted equal rights regardless of "race, color sex/gender, age, disability, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation." The platform said the party "condemns injecting class, race, sex/gender, and religious prejudice into public and political matters."
This particular statement is interesting. Does it mean that Republicans against abortion and gay marriage on the ground of religion would no longer be allowed to use that argument as a basis of opposition? Is this possibly why the platform was rejected?
On environmental issues the platform said the party with protect the environment while "utilizing those resources available for energy development, food production, housing and recreation."
The proposed mission statement was:
"The Mission of the Rhode Island Republican Party is to win elections to change policy within the state. Operate an effective headquarters. Identify, recruit, vet, train, and support Republican candidates for the RI General Assembly. Promote and educate the voters about our party through outreach. Conduct aggressive voter registration drives and recruit Volunteers."
A lot of the stuff included in the platform is nothing new for the RI GOP. They have been promoting self-reliance for years and for the past two election cycles the Chairman has made it clear that getting people elected to the General Assembly is the ultimate goal, although they have not been successful. The statement was broad but noting that the party couldn't make a decisive decision on a leader broad might be the way they need to go. For now the party remains without a platform.
The party's platform.. or lack there of is not the only thing that needs an update.. Have you logged onto the GOP website recently? They are still introducing us to Senate Candidate Barry Hinckley.. By the way Barry Hinckley lost… in November 2012. And did you know there is a debate coming up… on October 23, 2012?
A lot of Republicans hoping to begin rebuilding the party left frustrated yesterday as not only did the platform get rejected, once again leaving the party without a clear direction.. but a new chairman was not selected.
After ten days the party will meet again in hopes of selecting a leader who will hopefully be able to provide direction to a party that seems to be moving in several different directions at once.
Dee DeQuattro is the assignment desk manager and digital news coordinator for ABC6. She studied politics and communications and holds a master's degree from Providence College. Follow her on twitter @deedequattro and log on to ABC6 .com for her latest in depth coverage of politics and news.