Independent House District 75 candidate Mike Smith has called upon Rep. Lauren Carson to withdraw her support for Speaker Mattiello in light of the most recent allegations of influence peddling. As reported in the Providence Journal, Mattiello may have promised to advance anti-vaccine legislation in exchange for Republican Shauna Lawton’s endorsement, and Lawton’s own internet chat room transcripts substantiate these allegations.

Said Mike Smith: “In just the last two years, Mattiello has presided over one of the most corrupt House leadership teams in memory, including Alemdia, Gallison, Carnevale and Lally. If these most recent allegations are true, it looks like Mattiello and his staff may have bribed Ms. Lawton for her endorsement. Considering that Mattiello’s mentor and predecessor, Gordon Fox, sits in federal prison for bribery, these allegations are disturbing and smack of the insider pay-to- play politics that infect our state.”

Smith continued: “The primary responsibility of elected officials must be to clean R.I. of this rot. Instead, Rep. Carson has been one of Mattiello’s biggest cheerleaders – voting for Matttiello to be speaker and voting with him an astounding 99.3% of the time! In exchange for her obedience, Carson has been showered with lobbyist money – including from the Casino Lobby! Unfortunately, Carson hasn’t put ‘Newport First,’ she’s put ‘Mattielo and the special interests first’!”

“I call on Carson to live up to her advertising that she ‘Holds Public Officials Accountable,’ by publicly committing to support someone other than Mattiello for Speaker. She should hold herself accountable as well, and return the wave of lobbyist money she has received – including from the Casino Lobby – due to her support of the Speaker. I do not accept special interest donations, and neither should she. Carson’s failure to do so will once again prove she is the status quo while Newport suffers,” exclaimed Smith.

Smith concluded: “It is time to move from the troubled Representation of Carson, and sail Newport and Rhode Island in a new direction of growth and prosperity with honesty, integrity, new jobs and a year -round economy.”