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.

Nick Black, who worked on Senator Elizabeth Warren's 2012 campaign and became a special assistant for Warren, has been hired to run Hillary Clinton's Rhode Island campaign, RIPR has learned.

Clinton beat Barack Obama by 18 points in Rhode Island in 2008. But the challenge posed by Democratic rival Bernie Sanders has made Rhode Island a more contested battle this year, according to a recent Brown University survey.

Screen capture of VisitRhodeIsland.com
Aaron Read

Is anyone home at the Statehouse? Did the governor go to Davos after all?

Whatever one thinks about the Raimondo Administration’s new cooler-warmer passive aggressive tourism branding, there is an undisputable fact about the new website: It’s a disaster.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Colorado's director of marijuana coordination said the legalization hasn't led to a significant increase in demand for the drug in the Rocky Mountain State in the short term, although legalization is "a heavy lift" and the related revenue isn't a panacea for cash-strapped states.

Andrew Freedman told reporters during a Statehouse availability on Tuesday that most of those wanting to buy marijuana legally were those who were previously using it illegally.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

House Oversight Chairwoman Karen MacBeth announced Monday she's leaving the Democratic Party and becoming a Republican since she thinks the GOP is more aligned with serving the public interest of Rhode Islanders.

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.

RI Superior Court

Rhode Island Superior Court Judge Patricia A. Hurst, a jurist of wit, wisdom and legal acumen, is retiring after 26 years on the state trial court.

Hurst sent her retirement letter to Gov. Gina Raimondo today and plans to leave by the end of April.

It’s been a wild and wooly year in presidential politics – and there’s still a long way to go until November.

The unexpected success of Donald Trump has delighted his supporters, and alarmed his critics. On the Democratic side of the race, Bernie Sanders has also exceeded expectations. Trump and Sanders have capitalized on Americans’ economic frustration, and many voters remain angry as we move closer to the general election.

RI DOT

In a boost for the vision of remaking the 6/10 Connector as a boulevard, state DOT Director Peter Alviti said Wednesday that a boulevard hybrid concept offers far more public benefits than traditional reconstruction of the Connector's seven deficient bridges.

Yet following a public meeting in Providence Wednesday evening, some civic observers were unimpressed, calling the concept more highway than boulevard.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Robert "Cool Moose" Healey, who shocked political observers in Rhode Island and beyond by attracting more than 20 percent of the gubernatorial vote in 2014 while barely spending any money, and who brought an irreverent yet informed approach to a series of campaigns, has died at age 58.

Barrington police said they were dispatched to Healey's home at about 9:41 pm Sunday for a report of a possible sudden death. Healey's body was found in an upstairs bedroom and he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Happy March Madness, and 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.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

As the presidential candidates trade barbs on television, and parents worry about whether the result is "family-friendly" viewing, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says the dialogue could be improved if Americans were better educated about history and civics.

RIPR FILE

Since the 1950s, Providence College basketball has been one of the great stories in all of college basketball.

This year’s edition of the hoop Friars are once again in the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive year under coach Ed Cooley, a Providence native.

RIPR file photo

Dr. Arun Singh, one of New England’s top cardiac surgeons, is ending surgeries next month after performing more than 20,000 open heart surgeries on adults and children at Rhode Island’s Lifespan hospital system.

Sign’s announcement ``marks the close of a truly remarkable one-of-a-kind era at Rhode Island Hospital and Lifespan,’’ stated Dr. Timothy Babineau, president  and CEO of Lifespan in a message to the hospital community.

Michael Vadon/Creative Commons

Insurgent Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has to offer detailed solutions to the problems he's hammered away at if he's going to win broader GOP support, the chairman of Marco Rubio's Rhode Island campaign said Wednesday.

Trump remains the Republican front-runner, but the party's support remains divided, and some Republicans are unwilling to back Trump.

"I think he has a lot of 'splainin to do on how he's going to do things," Gary Sasse told RIPR.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo said Tuesday she's open to the possibility of a statewide referendum on legalizing marijuana.

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