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.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The state Commerce Corporation announced Tuesday it has reached a $25.6 million settlement with two of the defendants in the state's lawsuit over 38 Studios, Wells Fargo Securities and Barclays Capital.

The doldrums of (mostly) slow news days are upon us, even with just slightly more than three weeks until Rhode Island's September 13 primary. So thanks for stopping by. As usual, you can share your tips and comments, and follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The Boston Red Sox are in the thick of the hunt for a major league playoff spot. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay outlines the different challenges facing the team’s top minor league affiliate, the Pawtucket Red Sox.

Aaron Read / RIPR

  Rhode Island’s unemployment rate held steady in July as the state’s economy added about 1,400 jobs, according to the latest data from the R.I. Department of Labor and Training.

The numbers show that the state’s economy is growing slowly, picking up jobs, but not yet adding all of the jobs lost during the Great Recession.  Rhode Island’s unemployment rate is above the national rate of 4.9 percent and significantly higher than the Massachusetts rate of 4.1 percent. The Bay State added about 7,300 jobs in July.

RIPR FILE

The Providence Journal is facing further cuts through the latest in a series of buyouts offered by the newspaper's owner, GateHouse Media, RI Public Radio has learned.

Under the terms of the latest buyout, ProJo employees could receive between 13 and 17 weeks of pay, depending on their length of service with the company. Workers learned of the offer Tuesday.

[UPDATE August 17: The voluntary severance offer was announced in a memo from GateHouse CEO Kirk Davis, addressed to "all GateHouse Media Employees," according to a copy of the memo obtained by RIPR.

Rhode Island Working Families has endorsed four more Democratic General Assembly candidates ahead of the state's September 13 primary.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Shawna Lawton is one of two Republicans running for the chance to take on House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello for his Cranston state rep seat in November. Lawton will square off in the September primary with fellow Republican Steven Frias. Lawton said she does not plan to debate Frias. 

She said her focus for now is speaking with voters.

“My job right now on the campaign trail is to understand what people are struggling with and to listen and to should I be elected, represent their voice,” said Lawton. “And I don’t feel it necessary to debate him.”

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

State Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed has given up her membership on the Newport Democratic City Committee after almost 30 years with the group.

Ian Donnis / RIPR


Enjoy the heat while you can, since we'll be complaining about the cold in four months or 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.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The Rhode Island Progressive Democrats on Tuesday accused House Majority Leader John DeSimone (D-Providence) of violating state ethics regulations by not disclosing income and previous state and city past-due taxes.

Kenneth Zirkel/Creative Commons License

  Christina Bevilacqua, the talented intellectual and public face of the Providence Athenaeum for more than a decade, is stepping down from her post as director of public engagement at the library on September 1st.

As public engagement director, Bevilacqua has developed new audiences for the historic library on Benefit Street and cemented the Athenaeum’s reputation as a top cultural center in Rhode Island. She was crucial to organizing such programs as the celebrated Salon Series and the Marcel Proust Reading Group.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

The end of the criminal investigation over 38 Studios is sparking debate about whether material from the probe should be released to the public. 

The dispute reflects the questions many residents still have about the state-backed video game company and its costly meltdown.

Don't look now, but it's barely more than 30 days until the state primary election that will help shape the next class of state lawmakers. Meanwhile, debate about 38 Studios has again reached a fever pitch. 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.

The executive editor of The Providence Journal said it's "a mistaken assumption" to believe that Katherine Gregg, who has covered the Statehouse for the ProJo for more than 30 years, won't be returning to her longtime beat.

According to an email obtained by RI Public Radio, Dave Butler writes, "Kathy is on a month's vacation, then will take a much-needed break during what looks like a slow time in the Statehouse. She'll work on projects and other things. We've not said she won't return to the Statehouse. That's a mistaken assumption."

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