Ethan Wingfield: Conservative or Fraud
26 year old Ethan Wingfield is running for the GOP nod for the 11th District Congressional seat as a conservative businessman. Since he has not held office before one can only judge the depth of Wingfield’s conservatism on his political activism as a young man in college. Unfortunately for western NC conservatives, Ethan’s record is one any RINO or Democrat could appreciate.
During his tenure at Brown University Wingfield was involved in the 2006 reelection campaign for liberal Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee, serving as Brown’s co-founder of “Students for Chafee”. Chafee was best known to conservatives for his support of abortion, federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, amnesty for illegal aliens, opposition to Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito’s confirmation, as well as opposition to the 2nd Amendment. Chafee even opposed a bipartisan effort to ban partial birth abortion, which is the procedure where abortion doctors dilate the female and then puncture the skull of the unborn child. Such a record would normally preclude any conservative, especially one with western North Carolina values, from supporting such a candidate. Instead Ethan Wingfield supported Chafee with gusto when the latter was challenged by conservative Steve Laffey in 2006.
When questioned on his support for Chafee, Wingfield was quoted that he supported “‘Rhode Island Republican values,’ as represented by Chafee, from the moral conservatism backed by Laffey and many Southern Republicans.” One might ask when did Wingfield shed these Rhode Island Republican values for western North Carolina conservatism? (Or did he?) Chafee went on to defeat the more conservative Steve Laffey in the primary but lose the general election that year. Chafee soon after abandoned the GOP and was elected as a liberal independent to the Governor’s Mansion in Rhode Island. This latest stint in elected office saw Chafee refuse to dedicate a Christmas tree, instead opting for the more benign label of holiday tree.
In addition to his prominent and vocal support of Chafee, Wingfield’s leadership skills as Chairman of the Rhode Island College Republicans left much to be desired. His tenure was notable for a letter he sent out urging College Republicans to make sure that they moderated their words and activities when exercising free speech. His tenure was also marked by the atrophying of the organization before his resignation upon graduating. Wingfield’s succesor as chairman, Ryan Bilodeau stated that “”(Ethan Wingfield ’07) was a chairman missing-in-action. Ethan was an intelligent businessman … but he spread himself too thin. I think we met twice throughout his term.” Far from a ringing endorsement to make one feel confident in placing our trust in him as Congressman.
Whether it is his lack of a record of principled conservatism, his support of a liberal Northeastern RINO, his moderate approach to issues, and his lack of political skills as Chairman, Ethan Wingfield is clearly not the man to represent western North Carolina in Congress. All of the facts and quotes in this writing are included below, and I invite everyone else to research Lincoln Chafee, Steve Laffey, and Wingfield’s tenure at Brown University to see if they are comforted or horrified at the prospect of Ethan Wingfield standing for you in Washington.
Ethan’s experience creating and running a business has given him exactly the experience he needs to provide an alternative to the status quo in Washington. We need someone who knows how to create jobs and balance a budget, and Ethan can do both.
This is Ryan Bilodeau, and I was quoted in the post above and am quoted in a number of news articles during my college years. I want to clear the air about Ethan Wingfield because this article is an unfair portrayal of him. We had some meaningless spats and power struggles during our College Republicans years – anyone who’s been involved in the CR’s knows how typical that is- and some of my comments back then reflected that. But the bottom line is he was a great state chairman who moved the organization forward in tremendous ways. He is a solid Christian conservative, a man of real character, and one of the smartest, hard-working people I’ve ever met. I have never had any reason to doubt his unwavering views on protecting life, marriage, and any other conservative cause. He’s a fighter. Look at how he fought for his Christian fellowship at Brown when they tried to kick them off campus- that was a huge fight against a very powerful institution and he won.
I agree with Ryan on this point, “Look at how he fought for his Christian fellowship at Brown when they tried to kick them off campus- that was a huge fight against a very powerful institution and he won.” Wingfield’s performance to save a Christian group on campus was great from ALL accounts.
Per my conversation with others and a lengthy fb message from Ryan Bilodeau, he is now studying in the Seminary and doesn’t participate in politics any longer. His comments above should be viewed in a softer, gentler, and more Christian light, than his comments from 2006 when he and Wingfield were battling it out politically in Rhode Island. I’m not sure I would depend on Wingfield to be the solid conservative he claims simply by his short past record. I invite him to come get to know us and share his message with us. He will have a lot of explaining to do.
The more you know about Steve Laffey the more you’ll understand that its Laffey that’s a fraud. Don’t look at his talk as a candidate. ?Talks cheap. Look at his performance as mayor of Cranston. He raised real estate taxes 12.8% as soon as he became mayor on top of an 11.5% increase already passed by council. He promised to cut Cranston’s budget and instead it increased his first year by over $4 million and Laffey bragged about it because it was less than the $16 million passed by the council before he took office. Providence Journal 1-29-03
His stand on abortion sounded great in the senate campaign, but you didn’t look at what he actually said. He thought Hillary Clinton’s position was reasonable and said he would do nothing to reverse Roe v Wade. (PJ 11-14-05, 5-30-05) And when the illegal immigrant population was putting more and more pressure on RI services where was Laffey? He was visiting the Arizona border with open border advocates to better understand they experience. He wouldn’t shut up about su lucha es mi lucha. (2-21-05,) As mayor he ordered Cranston to accept Mexican consular id as legal this is the document that allows illegal immigrants to establish bank accounts and establish id. Legal immigrants don’t need this.
If you look at FEC records you’ll see when he lived in Tenessee he was contributing to liberal democrats like Jim Sasser and Jim Cooper when he could have been contributing to a true conservative like Van Hilleary. How conservative can Laffey be when he contributed to Jesse Jackson Jr campaign. There are lots of other things about Laffey’s record but this makes the point. I don’t have the time to plow more of the Prov Journal. too many painful memories.
There are damn few conservatives in RI and most didn’t support anyone but voted for Chafee. I didn’t like it, but I did it. Would you contribute to Laffey? Would you be going door to door for him? I think you owe Wingfield an apology at least on not supporting Laffey.