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.

Full archives of this blog can be found here.

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On Politics
3:57 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Raimondo Expected to Replace Ferguson at HealthSourceRI

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo is expected to replace Christine Ferguson as the leader of HealthSourceRI, Rhode Island's version of Obamacare, RIPR has learned.

The leading candidate to replace Ferguson is Anya Rader Wallack, the president of Arrowhead Health Analytics in Fall River, Massachusetts, and a former policy director and deputy chief of staff for former Vermont governor Howard Dean. Rader Wallack declined comment when contacted by RIPR.

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On Politics
2:58 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Elorza Appoints O'Gara, Agonia, Dormody & Ortiz to City Hall Posts

Elorza during a campaign event earlier this year.
Credit Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Providence Mayor-elect Jorge Elorza on Tuesday filled four roles within his administration, appointing his campaign manager, Marisa O'Gara, a deputy chief of staff, and naming David Ortiz as senior adviser to the mayor and director of strategic communications.

Elorza also appointed Theresa Agonia as a deputy chief of staff, and Sheila Dormody as director of policy. Along with O'Gara and Ortiz, they will report to Chief of Staff Tony Simon.

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On Politics
5:31 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Mattiello Says He May Back Spending Cuts to Curb Structural Deficits

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello with his family.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said he's willing to consider cutting spending if that's what it takes to reduce Rhode Island's long-term structural deficits.

During a Statehouse interview Monday, Mattiello said that when it comes to the almost $200 million deficit for the fiscal year starting next July, the state needs to be more efficient "and we're going to have to look at what our neighboring states do and get our expenses in line with our neighboring states."

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On Politics
1:53 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Raimondo Names Former Almond Chief of Staff Michael DiBiase Director of Administration

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo on Monday named Michael DiBiase, a former chief of staff to Governor Lincoln Almond, as her nominee to be director of the state Department of Administration.

DiBiase, a Republican, left state government in 2001 to become vice president for government relations for Fidelity Investments. A graduate of Boston College and University of Pennsylvania law school, he residents in Narragansett with his wife, Janice Devitt.

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On Politics
2:30 pm
Sat December 20, 2014

Raimondo Naming Peter Gaynor as State EMA Director

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo on Saturday named Peter Gaynor, who is credited with professionalizing Providence's Emergency Management Agency and Office of Homeland Security, as state EMA director.

"For me, this is an opportunity to move from local to the state," Gaynor tells RIPR. "I've had a wonderful time in the city of Providence," working with the administrations of Angel Taveras and David Cicilline.

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On Politics
5:29 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

TGIF: 18 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics & Media

There are some glimmers of positive economic news as Rhode Island races toward the New Year. So thanks for stopping for my weekly column. Feel free to share your tips and thoughts at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
3:46 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: Time To Help The Homeless This Holiday Season

Take time to give back this holiday season.
Credit RIPR FILE

Tis the season to be Jolly. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay reminds us that not everyone enjoys the holidays.

For most Rhode Islanders, this is a sacred time of the year. As we gather together with friends, family and food, most of us will be giving thanks and turning our thoughts to those New Year’s resolutions.

Yet, before the first strain of Auld Lang Syne is sung on New Year’s Eve, we all need to take a  moment or two to remember that not all of us are surrounded by family, opening gifts, dipping into the eggnog and tossing another log on the fire.

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On Politics
4:52 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Why RI's Fire Districts Are UnLikely To Be Consolidated Any Time Soon

Speaker Mattiello says cities and towns need to take the lead in consolidating fire services.
Credit Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Want to get a sense of why Rhode Island is unlikely to see anytime soon the consolidation of fire services in communities -- like Coventry, Lincoln, and Burrillville -- that each have a handful of local fire districts?

Consider these two points:

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On Politics
1:59 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Raimondo Picks CT Education Commissioner as RI's First Commerce Secretary

Stefan Pryor will take over economic development efforts in a state plagued by joblessness.
Credit via WNPR

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo has picked Connecticut Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor, a fellow Yale alum with experience leading economic-development efforts in New York and New Jersey, as her choice to be Rhode Island's first Commerce secretary.

"Stefan Pryor has the depth of experience and the drive to help me lead Rhode Island's comeback," Raimondo said in a statement. "Stefan's economic development successes in Newark and in Lower Manhattan are a testament to his ability to lead the Department of Commerce in Rhode Island."

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On Politics
4:36 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

The paranoid opposition to RhodeMap RI

It looks like the RhodeMap RI debate is much ado about not so much. Those who oppose this largely benign economic and social blueprint have blown the results so far out of proportion as to be ludicrous.

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