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
5:05 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Bon Voyage David Scharfenberg

David Scharfenberg, the news editor of the Providence Phoenix and one of Rhode Island’s very best young journalists, is leaving the alternative weekly for a position covering politics at Boston’s NPR affiliate, WBUR.

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On Politics
3:03 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Josh Miller may mull run for lieutenant governor

Add Senator Josh Miller (D-Cranston) to the list of potential candidates for lieutenant governor in 2014.

Miller says it's too early to consider him an LG candidate, but adds that there "might be a point before the end of the session that I'll start looking at it."

The Cranston Democrat and restaurateur says he's focused on legislative matters for now and wants to consider his potential effectiveness as lieutenant governor before making a decision. Miller says he can offer "a wide range of experience on a wide range of issues."

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On Politics
11:39 am
Tue March 26, 2013

What Chafee was right about

In the flurry of  commentary about the 10-year anniversary of the U.S. intervention in Iraq, the role of one Rhode Island political figure who did the right thing has not received much attention from the Rhode Island media.

That would be then-Republican Sen. Linc  Chafee’s lonely vote against President Bush’s rush to war under the most dubious of rationales. Chafee was the only Republican senator who voted against the ill-fated Iraq War that Bush pushed under the false evidence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

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On Politics
10:10 am
Sun March 24, 2013

Bring back the RI Historic Preservation Tax Credit

Rhode Island lawmakers have spent a lot of  time recently searching for ideas to jump-start the state economy. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay suggests they head back to the future.

Hardly a week passes without Rhode Island’s business, political and public policy elite floating yet another plan for digging our state out of its economic rut. The ideas run the gamut; from modest proposals as providing more internships to keep college students in Rhode Island after they graduate to bigger dreams, such as abolishing the state sales tax.

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On Politics
4:33 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

TGIF: 15 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics + Media

Welcome back to my weekly column. A 12-hour legislative committee meeting on the same night when the RI GOP invalidates a vote for chairman? Just another day in the Biggest Little. Your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's get to it.

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On Politics
12:16 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Angel Taveras hires top Washington, D.C. firm to plan governor race

Credit RIPR File

In another sign that Providence Mayor Angel Taveras is serious about running for governor in 2014: sources close to the mayor say he has hired a leading Washington, D.C.-based political consulting firm and top Rhode Island campaign strategist J.B. Poersch, a longtime aide to U.S. Sen. Jack Reed.

Taveras has retained SKDKnickerbocker as his campaign consultants. Poersch and veteran consultant Bill Knapp will lead the team advising Taveras as he plans his campaign.

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On Politics
11:42 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Senate Judiciary Committee's 12-hour Same-Sex Marriage Hearing -- And What's Next

Senator Frank Ciccone, Governor Lincoln Chafee, and Treasurer Gina Raimondo at the witness table.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

If hundreds of people offer heartfelt arguments over 12 hours to lawmakers whose minds are mostly made up on the controversial issue of same-sex marriage, does it make any difference?

"I don't know," says Senator Lou Raptakis (D-Coventry), one of the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that held a marathon hearing on the subject from 5 pm Thursday to 5 am Friday.

Raptakis says 9 of 10 committee members stuck it out to the end.

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On Politics
3:11 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

The Politics of Gordon Fox and Gina Raimondo Teaming Up on Infrastructure

Fox and Raimondo share a word during their news conference on improving Rhode Island's infrastructure.
Credit John Bender / RIPR


Rhode Island's roads and bridges have been crumbling for years. So why did the most powerful pol in the state, House Speaker Gordon Fox, team up Thursday with one of Rhode Island's top-two emerging political stars, state Treasurer Gina Raimondo, to unveil a new plan for funding road and bridge improvements during a well-attended Statehouse news conference?


Gold star if you guessed "2014."

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On Politics
1:01 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

In case you need a reason to support public radio

If you really need another good reason to support your local NPR affiliate, we bring you the latest report from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism: The State of the News Media 2013.

This will come as no surprise to anyone who watches local television in this or just any market across the nation, but there is more junk food-journalism on local TeeVee news than ever.

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On Politics
3:19 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

The revenge of Don Carcieri

So now the most ridiculous and irresponsible decision of former Gov. Donald Carcieri’s tenure has come home to roost. That, of course, would be the decision to gamble $100 million or so of the taxpayers’ money on Curt Schilling’s ill-fated 38 Studios video game company.

The company is now bankrupt. As ProJo State House veteran Katherine Gregg reports, the budget proposal from Governor Lincoln Chafee, the most vocal opponent of this fiasco during the 2010 governor’s race, has proposed making the initial $2.5 million payment to bondholders.

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