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
3:00 am
Fri November 16, 2012

Is it time for state pension talks?

Rhode Island’s state pension overhaul faces a Superior Court hearing next month. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if  it’s time for the parties to negotiate.

Our state’s landmark pension overhaul heads to Superior Court on December 7. Rhode Islanders of a certain age recall that as the day that lives “in infamy,’’ in the immortal words uttered by President Franklin Roosevelt, to a stunned nation in 1941 after the Pearl Harbor attack.

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On Politics
2:00 am
Fri November 16, 2012

Is a constitutional convention an answer to Rhode Island’s problems?

Former RI political staffer Terry Donilon makes the case via op-ed in today’s Providence Journal that a constitutional convention would help move the state forward:

It would provide the avenue we need to create open and constructive dialogue about whether we actually need 39 cities and towns or if we could go with smaller, more effective government in the form of regional or county administration.

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On Politics
1:00 am
Fri November 16, 2012

Loughlin says he’s not qualified to pursue the RI GOP chairmanship

John Loughlin, one of the Rhode Island GOP’s strongest voices, says he doesn’t intend to seek the chairmanship of the state Republican Party.

The current chairman, Mark Zaccaria, plans to give up the post early next year, according to Anchor Rising’s Monique Chartier.

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On Politics
4:00 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Boies lured to RI by big national stakes on pensions

The emergence of super-lawyer David Boies in Rhode Island’s high-stakes pension fight — first reported yesterday by RIPR — was triggered by his interest in the even broader significance of the case.

Alison Frankel reports for Thomson Reuters:

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On Politics
3:00 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Romney the sore loser

Has there ever been a defeated presidential candidate any less gracious than Mitt Romney? Or has he been sucking on a lemon since his loss to President Obama last week?

In a conference call with large campaign donors Wednesday, the defeated Republican candidate blamed his loss on “big gifts’’ that the president has been giving out to “the African-American community, the Hispanic community and young people’’ as well as to women during his first term.

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On Politics
2:00 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Caruolo appointed chair of the state Board of Education

Former House Majority Leader George Caruolo, who has re-emerged as a bigger force since Governor Lincoln Chafee took office, has been appointed by Chafee as head of the new state Board of Education.

The governor says this via news release:

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On Politics
1:00 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Loughlin says RI GOP won’t succeed without being more moderate

Former state representative John Loughlin, who ran a spirited GOP campaign against David Cicilline in 2010 (see photo at left), says the RI GOP has to be more moderate to succeed in Rhode Island.

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On Politics
4:00 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Ajello to re-introduce marijuana-legalization bill

No, it’s not bill number 420.

State Representative Edith Ajello, chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee, plans to re-introduce a bill in the new legislative session to legalize recreational marijuana. (The legislation wound up being held for further study this year; House Minority Leader Brian Newberry was among the cosponsors.)

Reason.com has more on a related event:

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On Politics
3:00 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Kerwin says the state Personnel Appeals Board punted on his case

Peter Kerwin, who was fired earlier this year from a job as program director for the Rhode Island Higher Education Assistance Authority, says the state Personnel Appeals Board voted yesterday not to take up his case.

Joseph R. Palumbo, the lawyer for the RIHEAA, couldn’t be reached for comment.

Kerwin says he found the Personnel Appeals Board’s decision curious since, he says, lawyers from both sides were asked during an October 9 meeting to schedule four additional dates in November to discuss the case.

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On Politics
2:00 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Super lawyer David Boies enters RI pension lawsuit

David Boies, one of the nation’s top lawyers, has agreed to help argue the Rhode Island pension overhaul lawsuit that is winding it way through state courts.

Boies, who practices in New York City, has been involved in many celebrated cases, including the Gore v. Bush case that went to the U.S. Supreme Court and decided in favor of Republican George W. Bush in a 5-4 decision. Boies represented Al Gore in that matter.

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