Washington Checks and Imbalances Addressed by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse & Sheila Kelly-Chace

Is big business buying the U.S. government?

This is the premise of Rhode Island’s Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s book, “Captured”, which he discussed in the Salon Series at the Redwood Library recently.

Carolyn DuPont & Nel Roberts

After an introduction by Douglas Riggs and Executive Director Dr. Benedict Leca, Senator Whitehouse, who formerly served as U.S Attorney from Rhode Island took on corporate America, saying “something about America matters.  We are not like anybody else, and our expectations are higher."

Citing a precipitate crash in confidence among Americans, the Senator stated “we were a “city on a hill” that now needs to measure up.


Benedict Leca, Mary Riggs & Douglas Riggs

With an historical perspective going back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, when banks arrived as corporate entities and had free reign, to Teddy Roosevelt, who strongly defended our national assets and stopped corporate petitions, the Senator described the growing influence of business.

Tom & Nancy Petrin with Cheryl Grove

He also stated that “alternative facts began with the tobacco industry.  Along with fossil fuel and the American Tobacco Institute pulled a fast one.Parallel “facts are a beast we must take on.”

The Citizens United  act was and is  destroying the operation of democracy, he averred. 

What do we need to do now?  “Engage” said the Senator.  “Dark money is our biggest danger, and we must have accountability.”


Polly Lyman & Ruth Thumbtzen

Questions from the audience included “Why not address campaign finance?” and “What about Federal Energy Regulation standards, for which there are 2 commission and no quorum/?”  The third question  was on the Tragedy of the Trump Presidency and the Environmental Protection Agency’s efficacy.

Artist Dennis Steele & Sarah Chadwick

His address concluded with comments on supporting climate change:  “we are tantalizingly close to an agreement,” the Senator commented.

A lively book signing followed, with guests speaking with Senator Whitehouse.

                                                                   —Linda Phillips



Wine and cheese reception before the Senator's talk


George Hill & Lindsey Smith Hill


Mary Jo Checkhaus


Senator Whitehouse speaking on the intricacies of Washington


The Senator signs a book for a fan.

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