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.

John Bender / RIPR

The US Securities & Exchange Commission on Monday announced that it has charged Wells Fargo Securities and the state agency formerly known as the Economic Development Corporation with defrauding investors in the municipal bond offering used to finance 38 Studios in Rhode Island.


March is here, along with what continues to be an unusual year in presidential politics. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and thoughts are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Governor's office

Voters will decide the fate of Twin River's proposed Tiverton convenience casino, after Governor Gina Raimondo signed related legislation into law Friday afternoon.

Twin River unveiled the plan in April 2015, calling it Rhode Island's best hope for preserving the third-largest source of state revenue. The proposal consists of 32 table games and about 1,000 video lottery terminals.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The presidential primary campaign is in high gear, but Rhode Island gets scant attention from White House hopefuls. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay has some ideas about how we can change this.

Since 2014, Rhode Island’s large and diverse Irish-American community has been working to remember and commemorate Ireland’s 1916 `Easter Rising.’

Now, a 1916 Easter Rising exhibit is on display at the Providence Public Library. It will be displayed from March 1st until March 31st.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Nancy DeNuccio, chair of the Ocean State Prevention Alliance, stopped by our studio to discuss why she opposes the legalization of marijuana.

Earlier this week, we heard from Jared Moffat, head of Regulate Rhode Island, which advocates legalization.

Moving Forward PVD

Transportation activist James Kennedy is one of the leaders of the movement calling for remaking the 6/10 Connector as a boulevard. He stopped by our studio to talk about the concept and why he considers it a smart idea.

  Zachary Sherman, who has been acting director of HealthSource RI, Rhode Island’s Obamacare health insurance exchange, has been chosen as the new director, state Administration Director Michael DiBiase announced today.

Sherman, a longtime health care consultant, has been the interim director since November, 2015. A Vermont native, Sherman took over the post when Anya Rader Wallack left it to become executive director of the state’s Medicaid program.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Jared Moffat, director of the pro-legalization group Regulate Rhode Island, makes the case for why he believes marijuana should be regulated and taxed like alcohol.

Later this week, RI Public Radio will feature a Q&A with an opponnent of marijuana legalization.

RIPR FILE

Once again, Rhode Island lawmakers are ensnared in a joust over extending ethics oversight of the General Assembly. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says the measure isn’t likely to usher in change on Smith Hill.

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.

Mark Nozell / flickr

Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump are the preferred presidential candidates of likely Rhode Island voters, according to a newly released poll by Brown University's Taubman Center For American Politics & Policy.

Bernie Sanders topped Clinton by seven points, 48 percent to 41 percent, in an initial poll by Brown that was conducted February 17-20 -- a striking finding considering how Clinton beat Barack Obama by 18 points in Rhode Island's 2008 primary.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A stalemate over strengthening the state Ethics Commission has persisted since a 2009 court decision weakened the commission. 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

After years of effort, Deepwater Wind expects to complete the first offshore wind farm in the US later this year. Supporters say the project off the coast of Block Island is an important milestone that will bolster the growth of renewable energy. 

RIPR FILE

Some good news for Gov. Gina Raimondo and the Rhode Island General Assembly in the latest revenue numbers for fiscal year 2016 from the state Department of Revenue.

Through January, both the personal income tax collections and the sales tax receipts are exceeding state projections. Income tax collections are running nearly four percent –3.8 percent—ahead of estimates. The sales levy is bringing in 3.4 percent more than estimates.

Pages