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.

Just another quiet week in Rhode Island, 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

Once again, a Rhode Island lawmaker has resigned from his post after announcing a police investigation.  RIPR Political analyst Scott MacKay has some thoughts on House Finance Chairman Ray Gallison’s abrupt departure from Smith Hill. 

About 700 unionized Rhode Island Verizon workers involved in a labor dispute with the company have been ruled eligible for unemployment compensation by Scott Jensen, director of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training.

In a decision mailed to workers and Verizon officials yesterday, Jensen ruled that the labor dispute is a lockout by the company, rather than a strike. Rhode Island has not allowed strikers to collect unemployment benefits since the 1980s, but workers involved in lockouts are eligible to collect, according to Michael Healey, DLT Spokesman.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

The largest union at the Providence Journal protested GateHouse Media's management of the ProJo, by demonstrating outside the newspaper's Fountain Street office, from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday.

The picket line drew more than 100, including George Nee, president of the R.I AFL-CIO, Maureen Martin, secretary-treasurer of the state AFL-CIO, and J. Michael Downey, president of Council 94 of AFSCME, the largest state employee union.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello expressed sharp frustration about the circumstances that led House Finance Chairman Ray Gallison to resign Tuesday, while voicing confidence in the House of Representatives and the chamber's ability to revise the state budget without delay.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Finance Chairman Ray Gallison is set to resign as a state representative Tuesday as he faces a law enforcement probe, RIPR has learned.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Sen. Edward O'Neill, who announced Monday he is not seeking re-election to the state Senate, tells RIPR he is considering a run for state treasurer in 2018. (He later added that he is also contemplating a run for governor.)

O'Neill staged a major upset when he defeated Joseph Montalbano, then the president of the Senate, in 2008. For most of the time since then, O'Neill has served as the only Independent among 38 senators, although he became a Republican earlier this year and won election as a delegate supporting Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

The political season keeps zipping along, with the calendar turning toward May. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, you can share your tips and comments, and follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Wikimedia Commons

Rhode Island’s political establishment was rebuked in last week’s presidential primaries as Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump coasted to victories. 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza used his annual budget address Wednesday to call for more sacrifices that he calls necessary to prevent Rhode Island's capital city from sinking into a worsening financial cycle.

The most immediate hit will come for Providence residents since Elorza proposes a $13 million hike in the city's tax levy.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Donald Trump scored a runaway victory in Rhode Island’s Republican presidential primary Tuesday). Trump won 64 percent of the vote, compared to 24 percent for John Kasich and 10 percent for Ted Cruz. Trump supporters marked the victory at Chapel Grille in Cranston last night.

Insurgent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won a resounding victory over front-runner Hillary Clinton in Rhode Island’s Democratic presidential primary today. On the Republican side, Donald Trump crushed challengers Ted Cruz and John Kasich.

On a rainy and blustery New England day, voters surged to polls in both primaries to deliver a strong message to the establishment of both major parties, saying emphatically that they aren’t pleased with the status quo.

Ron MacNeil

UPDATE: Memorial Service for Steve To Be Held Sunday, June 5th at Fort Getty Park in Jamestown, R.I.  from 3 to 7 p.m. Hope to See All Of Steve's Many Friends and Colleagues There.

Stephen L. Brown, founder of the Vermont Vanguard Press, longtime publisher of the Providence Phoenix and a leader for nearly four decades in New England’s alternative newspaper industry, died Monday at Rhode Island Hospital after suffering a heart attack. He was 62.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

To the delight of a big crowd of supporters, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump brought his campaign to Warwick on Monday

Two polls, released just one day apart, provide slightly different views of Rhode Island's presidential primary. While Donald Trump led both polls among Republicans, one poll showed Democrat Bernie Sanders with a lead, and the other favored Hillary Clinton. 

On Monday, a poll released by Public Policy Polling found Sanders leading Clinton by four points thanks to a boost from Independent voters. But the survey called the Democratic races "toss ups" in both Rhode Island and Connecticut.

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