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.

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  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."

Management at The Providence Journal is moving Katherine Gregg, a tenacious watchdog on Smith Hill for more than 30 years, out of the Statehouse, RIPR has learned from multiple sources.

Gregg, the longtime chief of the Journal's bureau in the Statehouse basement, will instead be assigned to the newspaper's downtown Providence newsroom on Fountain Street.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Five civil liberties and open government groups called Tuesday for the public release of the material from the 38 Studios investigation.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

With a second-quarter balance of $1,451,944, Governor Gina Raimondo's fundraising remains robust at the mid-point in her four-year term as governor.

Raimondo began the quarter with a balance of just over $1 million -- $1,010,058. During Q2, she received $506,168 in contributions from individuals and $19,200 from political action committees. The governor's fundraising success can be seen in how her second quarter campaign finance report is 217 pages.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Hours after one of his Republican legislative opponents called on him to do, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello called Monday for the "release of any and all information pertaining to 38 Studios" from the investigation conducted by State Police and the attorney general's office.

Leave it to Rhode Island to provide a counter-narrative to the notion that the news slows down in summer, right? 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.

RIPR FILE

While many Ocean State voters are more focused on August vacations than politics, candidates for the legislature are knocking on doors, appearing at coffee hours and pleading for votes at taverns and ethnic clubs.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

In a sharp reversal from a vote one day earlier, the Providence Board of Canvassers found Thursday that state Rep. John Carnevale, a four-term member of the House of Representatives, is not a registered voter in Providence.

The decision means that Carnevale can not pursue his re-election campaign, unless he makes a successful appeal of the board's rendering.

Wikimedia Commons

  Democrat Hillary Clinton got some good news from Pennsylvania today with a Suffolk University public opinion survey showing her up 9 points in the Keystone State over Republican Donald Trump in the presidential election.

In a four –way contest with Green Party nominee Dr. Jill Stein and Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson the mix, Clinton led Trump, 46 to 37 percent. Johnson got 5 percent and Stein was at 3 percent with 9 percent undecided.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Tony Simon is leaving his role as Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza's chief of staff at the end of August to launch a political consulting firm. He'll be succeeded by Nicole Pollock, who currently serves as the city's chief of policy and innovation.

Simon's pending exit marks the second high-profile departure from City Hall at the mid-point in Elorza's four-year term. Brett Smiley is leaving as the city's chief operating office to become Governor Gina Raimondo's chief of staff.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Faced with Republican efforts to remove state Rep. John Carnevale's name from the fall ballot, the state Board of Elections on Monday called for the Providence Board of Canvassers to first resolve whether Carnevale can legally vote within his Providence district.

RI House of Representatives

Rhode Island Working Families, the newish progressive group, has made six legislative endorsements, as part of the group's aspiration to be "a major force" in September primaries for the General Assembly.

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