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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On Politics
3:17 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Raimondo Calls On General Assembly To Hike Minimum Wage To $10.10

Raimondo speaks while flanked by the UFCW's Riley and the AFL-CIO's George Nee.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

During an appearance Monday at United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 328, Governor Gina Raimondo called on the General Assembly to raise Rhode Island's $9 minimum wage to $10.10, effective in January.

"What we're here today to talk about is a concrete way that we can spark the comeback of Rhode Island and Rhode Island's economy, by putting money in the pockets of hardworking Rhode Islanders," Raimondo said, speaking before a group of union members. "That's what today is about."

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On Politics
2:59 pm
Sat March 7, 2015

Bricklayers Union Helps RIPTA Keep Bus Stops Open

Sick of the myth of greedy union members? Here’s some fodder. Turns out that the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority  is  thanking members of the international bricklayers union for clearing snow from Providence streets along 40 high-use RIPTA bus stops.

According to a new release, leaders of Local 3 of the International Bricklayers and allied Craftsworkers Union worked with the Rhode Island AFL-CIO to put together the effort to help RIPTA and the public deal with bus stops and shelters that have been covered with ice and snow during this harsh winter.

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On Politics
4:51 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

TGIF: 17 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics & Media

Talk about a full Rhode Island. Gordon Fox pleads guilty, Gerry Martineau wants his legislative pension, the state Supreme Court green-lights an April start for the pension trial, and Governor Gina Raimondo is set to unveil her first budget on Thursday. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As always, feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

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On Politics
1:57 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

RI Supreme Court Decides Not to Delay April 20 Start for Pension Trial

Raimondo spearheaded the pension overhaul in 2011.
Credit Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

The high-stakes legal battle over the 2011 overhaul of Rhode Island's pension system will continue as scheduled on April 20. The Rhode Island Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a request by both sides to delay the trial.

Both sides argued more time was needed to prepare for the trial. But the court was unmoved by those arguments.

"The motions for a stay of the order of the trial justice are denied as moot," the court wrote in its ruling.

Jury selection in the case is expected to start April 20.

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On Politics
4:35 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Pawtucket Wants State Financial Incentives If PawSox Get State Help Moving To Providence

Credit Don Borman

  If the state gives financial incentives to Providence to move the Pawtucket Red Sox from McCoy Stadium to a new stadium to be built on the Providence waterfront, Pawtucket plans to seek state money to raze and redevelop McCoy.

That’s the word from Tony Pires, administration director for Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien, after a meeting today with members of the Pawtucket City Council and the General Assembly’s Pawtucket delegation.

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On Politics
1:19 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

RI Supreme Court Dismisses Narragansett Tribe Challenge To RI Casino Law

In the never ending casino legal joust between the state and the Narragansett Indian Tribe, the Rhode Island Supreme Court has dismissed a challenge to the constitutionality of the state Casino Act.

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On Politics
11:00 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Twin River Buying Newport Grand; Vows No Ballot Question for Table Games in 2016

Credit RIPR file photo

The operator of Twin River is buying Newport Grand while vowing not to seek the addition of table games at Newport "without broad-based community support."

"For the time being, I think it's safe to say it's pretty much business as usual from a Newport Grand perspective, but with the added benefit of having Twin River as a sister property," John E. Taylor Jr., board chairman of Twin River Worldwide Holdings, the parent of Twin River and Twin River Management Group, said in a telephone interview.

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On Politics
4:00 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Gordon Fox: Financial Problems at the Apex of Political Power in RI

Fox in January 2014, two months before a state-federal raid.
Credit Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Former House speaker Gordon Fox faces at least three years in federal prison after pleading guilty Tuesday to three charges of corruption. The details in the case became public almost one year after a state-federal raid triggered Fox’s departure as House speaker.

 Fox’s lawyer, William Murphy, stood next to his client on the grey stone steps of the federal courthouse in what’s become a Rhode Island political ritual – a perp walk for another politician facing corruption charges. Murphy points out his client chose to plead guilty.

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On Politics
3:24 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Fox Broke Statehouse Iron Rule

Gordon Fox on leaves U.S. District court following his arraignment Tuesday.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

Former House Speaker Gordon Fox has admitted that he violated the law by converting campaign money to personal use and accepting a bribe to wire a liquor license for a Thayer Street bar that the neighbors weren’t  too keen on having near their homes.

But in Rhode Island political circles, the biggest rule he broke was the iron, if unofficial, Statehouse cliché: Don’t take a dime while you are serving in the General Assembly. Then cash in for as much as you can make later.

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On Politics
11:33 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Former Speaker Gordon Fox Pleads Guilty to Bribery, Wire Fraud & Filing a False Tax Return

Fox, right, with his lawyer and predecessor as speaker, William Murphy.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

Almost one year after a state-federal raid that sparked the sudden end of his political career, former House Speaker Gordon Fox is facing a three-year prison sentence as the result of an investigation charging him with bribery, wire fraud, and filing a false tax return.

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