On Politics

Rhode Island Public Radio's political blog. Scott MacKay and Ian Donnis keep you up-to-date with the latest in political news from around Rhode Island.

We also have PODCASTS of regular politics coverage, too!

Pre-2013 archives of the On Politics​ blog can be found here.

A New York developer is scaling back his proposal for a three-tower development in the I-195 District. Jason Fane wants state officials to move quickly to support a single 43-story residential tower in the district. Fane said he hopes to develop two additional towers in future phases, depending on the level of market demand. In a statement, Fane says the single tower would catalyze other new uses in the 195 District. “This is a special opportunity for the state and city’s leadership to jump...

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo took part a ceremonial groundbreaking Wednesday to mark the start of the first development utilizing the state's Rebuild RI tax credit. The Commons at Providence Station will create 169 apartments on 2.85 acres of vacant land near the Providence train station. The project is utilizing a $5.6 million Rebuild RI tax credit and a 15-year tax stabilization agreement with the City of Providence. Raimondo hailed the development as a sign of positive momentum in the state,...

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Michigan was the scene of the tightest race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, with Clinton losing by less than 11,000 votes. It was a state that had been considered part of the Democrats’ firewall, until it fell to Trump. The head of Clinton’s Michigan campaign, Stephen Neuman, was previously chief of staff for Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo. Neuman stopped by our studio to talk about his experience in Michigan.

Just a few weeks remain until 2017, a year bound to be filled with political drama. 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. 1. The gloves came off this week in a dispute between Providence Journal editorial page editor Edward Achorn and RI GOP Chairman Brandon Bell . The ball got rolling with a sharply worded editorial in Monday's ProJo -- headlined, " RI's Pathetic...

RIPR file photo / RIPR

State Treasurer Seth Magaziner is calling on the Trump administration to keep financial regulations put in place after the Great Recession. Magaziner outlines his view in a letter to Trump’s designated Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin President-elect Trump threatened during the campaign to undo parts of the 2010 measure known as the Dodd-Frank Act. The law created new oversight for financial institutions and was supposed to protect consumers from risky lending practices. Magaziner said...

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Upholding your promises is vital, the legislative process is kind of like an old-school Saturday morning cartoon, and the most important thing lawmakers can do is to keep their life in order.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Republican Steven Frias, who came close to toppling House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello in his state representative district in Cranston, announced Tuesday that he's dropped his challenge to the outcome of the race. "After five months of being focused on this race, it is time for me to concede the election," Frias said in a statement. The state Board of Elections is slated Tuesday evening to certify votes in the race between Mattiello and Frias. Frias won the initial machine vote count by a 147...

RIPR file photo / RIPR

With Democrats still reeling from their losses in the election earlier this month, Congressman David Cicilline and Jim Langevin continue to support Nancy Pelosi as the minority leader in the US House of Representatives. Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan is challenging Pelosi, arguing that fresh leadership is needed to help move Democrats forward. A vote is scheduled for Wednesday. Rhode Island's two congressmen are sticking with Pelosi, who has led House Democrats for more than 12 years. "She is a...

Michael Vadon, Cecil Stoughton, White House / Publicn Domain, Creative Commons License

A divisive election and Rhode Island’s legacy of organized crime have gotten lots of media attention lately. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay reflects on an anniversary that he worries has become an afterthought.

Your faithful correspondent took most of this week off, in large part to rake leaves, so this week's column is a bit abbreviated. Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for stopping by. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome , and you can follow me through the week on the twitters . Here we go. 1. Governor Gina Raimondo continues to draw sharply contrasting reactions as she reaches the mid-point of her four-year term. Wall Street Journal editorial writer Allysia Finley , a long-time Raimondo fan...

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Police say an allegation of voter intimidation in a high-profile legislative race is unfounded. The accusation of voter intimidation came up in Republican Steven Frias’ challenge to House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello. One voter, Larry Winkler, said the person who came to collect his mail ballot questioned why he was picking Frias, but still submitted the ballot. Mail ballots gave Mattiello an 85-vote lead over Frias in their state rep race. Frias’ lawyer, state GOP Chairman Brandon Bell,...

Ian Donnis / RIPR

University of Connecticut journalism professor Mike Stanton, a former Providence Journal investigative reporter, sat down to talk about President-elect Donald Trump and the media. Stanton is also a board member of the New England First Amendment Coalition.


An earthquake election left Republicans in control of Congress and the White House. How will Democrats respond? RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay posed the question to Sen. Jack Reed, the senior Rhode Island member of Congress .

Trump-world continues to assemble before our eyes, even as America prepares to pause next week for Thanksgiving. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome and you can follow through the week on the twitters . Here we go. 1. Although Steven Frias remains on the losing side of his challenge to House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello , the race will have a lasting impact on the General Assembly. On election night, the Democratic speaker downplayed the...


Rhode Island’s unemployment rate inched down to 5.5 percent in October and the state gained jobs, but the Ocean State’s jobless rate was higher than neighboring Massachusetts and Connecticut, according to the state Department of Labor and Training.