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Nathania Johnson / Wikimedia Commons/flickr

Coffee mugs, tote bags, and t-shirts: it’s the Presidential campaign swag ubiquitous during election years. This round, you can buy “Feel the Bern” Mugs, ‘Kasich” stickers, and of course, “Make America Great Again” ball caps.

These trinkets are prized mementos for politicos, and they’re big business for the companies who make them. One of those companies is based here in the Ocean State.

John Bender / RIPR

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders brought his insurgent Democratic presidential primary campaign to Rhode Island Sunday, giving an impassioned speech to 7,000 cheering supporters at a sun-dappled Temple to Music at Roger Williams Park in Providence.

The presidential primary is just days away, and three of the candidates plan to visit Rhode Island this weekend. Republican John Kasich will speak in Smithfield this Saturday morning. Democrat Hillary Clinton holds a rally in Central Falls later in the day. And her rival Bernie Sanders will address a crowd in Providence on Sunday.

Elisabeth Harrison

Republican presidential candidate John Kasich addressed a crowd at Bryant University Saturday, just a few days before Rhode Island's presidential primary.

Speaking on a range of issues, the Ohio governor discussed his childhood in Pennsylvania coal country, his concerns about the national debt, and his belief that government should ease regulation to help small business owners.

"Our job is not to play politics, do focus groups, worry about re-election," Kasich said. "The fundamental problem we’ve had in America is our leadership has been very poor."

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Hillary Clinton was in Central Falls Saturday to campaign in advance of Tuesday’s primary election. 

Rhode Island’s Democractic leadership turned out in force to welcome Clinton, including the state’s congressional delegation and Gov. Gina Raimondo.

RIPR file photo

A Providence police officer was scheduled for arraignment Friday after his arrest on charges of  breaking and entering and larceny involving a company that distributes newspapers for The Providence Journal.

Officer Jesse Ferrell, a 19-year veteran of the department, is accused of breaking into a distribution center and taking materials that are usually delivered inside the newspaper to home-delivery customers.

It's peak presidential politics in Rhode Island, with a trio of candidates set to stump in the state this weekend. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea joins Bonus Q&A to talk about lobbying reform, Voter ID, public records, and much more.

Gage Skidmore / Southern New Hampshire University/flickr

Bernie Sanders is the latest presidential candidate to announce a campaign stop in the Ocean State. The Vermont Senator and Democratic hopeful will hold a rally at Roger Williams Park on Sunday.

Sanders has two campaign offices in Rhode Island; one in Providence and another in South County. An early poll by the Taubman Center at Brown University show Sanders leading among Rhode Island voters, but a subsequent poll found former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ahead.

RIPR File Photo

Immigration consistently ranks as the number one issue in national surveys of Latino voters, such as surveys by Latino Decisions and Univision News. But education and the economy are not far behind. As part of our RhodyVotes '16 coverage, we talked to some Latino voters about what's driving them to the polls. 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss whether the state is ready for the presidential primary on Tuesday

Ian Donnis

Former gubernatorial candidate Clay Pell and his wife Michelle Kwan are making the rounds for Hillary Clinton in Rhode Island this week, as the Clinton campaign looks to keep up momentum from a win in New York. Pell spoke at a house party for Clinton in Kingston on Tuesday.

“People were so excited about Hillary, they wanted to know how to get involved to sign up to go knock on doors, to make phone calls, and also to people who were still making up their minds,” said Pell.

Katherine Doherty / RIPR

With the state pension fund, Rhode Island will use its shareholder vote to promote diversity on corporate boards.

General Treasurer Seth Magaziner says the state will vote against boards with fewer than 30% women or racial minorities, for companies in which the state pension fund invests.

Magaziner said the new policy will promote diversity in corporate businesses, which will lead to better performance.

Sunday marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, when roughly 1,000 Irish nationalists marched through the streets of Dublin, beginning a week long rebellion against British colonialism. That Revolutionary act will be commemorated Sunday as the Rhode Island 1916 Centenary Committee holds a ceremony and places a plaque near the Irish Famine Memorial along the Providence riverfront. RIPR’s Scott MacKay sat down with Donald Deignan, a founder of the committee.  

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Veterans seeking care at the Providence VA can now sign up for acupuncture treatments. It’s just one of several new alternative medical therapies offered at the VA to try to address pain and mental health. 

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