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/File Photo / RIPR

Rhode Island is gaining notice as a contender in the high-stakes battle over General Electric's possible relocation from Connecticut, thanks to the state pension overhaul spearheaded by Governor Gina Raimondo in 2011.


A Dartmouth College student visiting Brown University for a weekend Latino Ivy League conference asserted that he was assaulted by a Brown campus police officer Friday evening outside a Spanish House event. 

Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column as we head into the run-up to Thanksgiving. Your tips and thoughts are always welcome via email, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

The Providence Preservation Society is asking Rhode Island Hospital to reconsider its plan to demolish the historic southwest pavilion on the hospital’s South Providence campus.

The building, constructed in 1898, is part of the hospital’s original landscape. After feasibility studies in 2010 and earlier this year, the hospital decided that razing the structure was better than restoring the pavilion due to the high cost of restoration.

RIPR file photo

Ruggerio (D-Providence) joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the ongoing debate over Governor Gina Raimondo's truck-toll plan; a new evaluation of ethics and accountability in state government; and the slow pace of progress in developing the I-195 Development District.


One of Rhode Island’s grand holiday traditions –the Buy Nothing Winter Coat Exchange – is back in its usual Black Friday incarnation. This year the coat exchange will be held on Nov. 27th, the day after Thanksgiving.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Don’t be fooled by the recent blush of September-like weather; New Englanders know winter is on  the way.

In this vein, Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation announced today that the state is getting an additional $2.4 million in federal money from the Federal  Emergency Management Agency to help defray cleanup costs from last winter’s big January snowstorm.

Erika Smith/FLICKR

Johnson & Wales University has purchased the property that housed the  troubled Club Karma on Richmond Street in Providence for $1.6 million, according to a statement from college spokeswoman Lisa Pelosi.

The university intends to use the property either to ``accommodate the university’s expanding academic programs or for student life services.’’

Club Karma was shut down last year by the city’s licensing board after two men were shot at the nightclub on January 25, 2014.


Former Providence State Representative Leon Tejada  has agreed to plead guilty to federal tax and wire fraud charges.

Tejada, 50, has agreed to pay back more than $79,000 to the federal government and acknowledge that he knowingly prepared false income tax returns for clients and skimmed money from their refunds. He deposited the money into his bank account.

Nothing like spring weather to usher in November, but that's going to change, right? Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual your tips and thoughts are welcome via email (along with suggestions for "Coming & Going"), and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR


The gloomy cloud of the 38 Studios debacle still hangs over Rhode Island. RIPR political analyst  Scott MacKay parses the latest General Assembly probe of the failed video game company.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

State Rep. Doreen Costa (R-North Kingstown) says voters should get the chance to sign off on Governor Gina Raimondo’s truck toll plan. Raimondo maintains citizens will not be responsible for making up the difference if truck tolls produce less revenue than expected.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Karen MacBeth said Tuesday she believes Michael Corso never registered as a lobbyist because a so-called "success fee" in his arrangement with 38 Studios would have violated state lobbying law. 

Katherine Doherty

Rep. Joseph Almeida is requesting that Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza appoint a black police officer as a major in the Providence police department. Almeida, a retired city cop and Democrat who represents a South Side neighborhood, said in a news release that Elorza needs to appoint a black officer to a leading role in the department so that the city’s police force better reflects the demographics of 21st century Providence.

Chard deNiord, a Providence College English professor, has been named Vermont’s poet laureate. A resident of Westminster in southern Vermont, deNiord replaces Syndey Lea as poet laureate in the Green Mountain state.

deNiord joined the PC faculty in 1998 and won the Joseph R. Accinno Faculty Teaching Award at PC in 2011. A co-founder of the New England College MFA program, he is the author of many poetry collections, including `Interstate’ (2015), `The Double Truth’ (2011), `Night Mowing’ (2005),  `Sharp Golden Thorn’ (2003) and `Asleep in the Fire’ (1990).