State Democrats approve rules that restrict Women’s Caucus

Rhode Island Democratic Party Chairman Rep. Joseph McNamara (D-Warwick). File photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – The Rhode Island Democratic Party has approved new bylaws that ban its Women’s Caucus from endorsing candidates on its own, spending money it raises and making public statements without the party’s approval.

The Providence Journal reports the bylaws were approved Monday on a vote of 120-37, after an acrimonious debate, failed motions and angry chants.

Party Chairman Joseph McNamara says Democrats want a unified message going into the election.
Women leading the caucus say it’s a way to silence them. They announced Tuesday that they’ve established the Rhode Island Democratic Women’s Caucus, which is no longer affiliated with the state party.

They say the new caucus will work to ensure all voices are heard and heeded in government, especially those of women and minority groups.