This was great to see (DFER has long supported Gina, as she’s equally bold in challenging traditional Democratic entrenched interests re. school reform):
It seems preposterous to argue that an obscure primary in a state with a million people could alter the debate inside the Democratic Party — much less to claim that the race could transform the broader national conversation about how to achieve progressive goals in an aging America. But that’s exactly what’s in store after Tuesday’s election in Rhode Island, when state treasurer Gina Raimondo won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination over her union-backed foes.
Raimondo made her name in 2011 when, after taking office, she decided not to punt on the unfunded public pension woes that afflict virtually every state as well as the federal government. Instead, alarmed by the long-term projections, she barnstormed the state with graphs and charts to make a progressive case for reform.
Usually those out to trim future pension costs are cast as evil conservatives bent on decimating a dignified retirement (and sometimes they are). Raimondo reframed the debate from the left. She told Rhode Islanders that if they didn’t come together to tackle these unfunded promises, not only would public employees counting on secure pensions be left high and dry, but before long there also would be no public money available for schools, transportation, job training and other critical investments on which future prosperity depends.