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.

The votes have barely been counted from the Nov. 6th election. But the pols aren’t taking any time off  from their planning and fund-raising for the 2014 election cycle. Case in point: The December 10, 2012 fund-raising time Providence City Council President Michael Solomon is holding at the Roger Williams Park Casino.  Democrat Solomon, who is a likely candidate for mayor if Mayor Angel Taveras decides to run for governor, is asking for donations of $50, $100 or $250 to his Friends of Michael Solomon committee.

Susan Pedgen, best known as the press secretary for Charles Fogarty during his two terms as lieutenant governor, has gotten the nod to become chief legal counsel for House Speaker Gordon Fox. She’s slated to start $121,308 job next Monday, December 3.

Pegden will be the first woman to be chief legal counsel for a speaker, according to Fox spokesman Larry Berman. As a resident of Hope Street, she is also a constituent of the speaker.

Via news release: 

Q: What does James Diossa, a rising political star from hardscrabble Central Falls, have in common with one of Rhode Island’s members in Washington, DC’s “Millionaires Club“?

A. They both act like incumbents when it suits their political interests.

Guillaume de Ramel, who lost the 2006 Democratic primary for secretary of state to Ralph Mollis, says he’s continuing to take a hard look at a run for the office in 2014.

Governor Lincoln Chafee remains open to the idea of putting one person in charge of the state’s economic development efforts, although the precise approach for doing that hasn’t been decided, his office says.

Almost two months have passed since the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council issued its recommendations for reshaping the state’s strategy to improving the economy.

Rhode Island is now the only New England state without marriage equality. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says this would change if the business community supports marriage equality.

As gay marriage gains momentum from the Pacific northwest to the shores of  Maine, Rhode Island is getting ready for another round of  debate at the State House over marriage equality.

So you’ve gorged on the Turkey, the stuffing, the yams, the squash and all cranberry relish your stomach can process. Maybe you had some wine and watched enough football to slouch into a deep snooze on the couch. Hopefully you had a great Thanksgiving and avoided family psycho-drama or severe bloating from all that good food.

So on Friday, you’ll want to do some good for your fellow Rhode Islanders who perhaps have less to be thankful for than you and yours. For a good deed, there is the 16th annual Buy Nothing Day Winter Coat Exchange.

While the outlook for same-sex marriage in the state Senate remains a question mark, one influential observer of Statehouse politics expects 2013 to be the year when it will squeak through the chamber.

Robert Walsh, executive director of the National Education Association Rhode Island, believes same-sex marriage will pass by a thin margin in the 38-member Senate.

House Speaker Gordon Fox has pledged to call a vote on the issue early in the new session.

State and federal grand juries have been created to probe the nonprofit Institute for International Sport, according to a report yesterday in the Hartford Courant.

Two of the expected Democratic candidates in the 2014 governor’s race share more than their allegiance to the Donkey Party: they each use a pollster affiliated with President Obama.

Is there a Rhode Island lawmaker willing to embrace the get-it-all-out-there ethos of Twitter once the General Assembly launches a new session in January?

One of the legislature’s leading tweeters, Jon Brien, won’t be back after losing a write-in campaign to Woonsocket firefighter Stephen Casey. And Brien recently deactivated his Twitter handle (@RepJonDBrien50), as the ever-alert Chas Walker noticed.

One magazine that doesn’t seem to get a lot of  love from Rhode Island’s journalism establishment is Rhode Island Monthly. Yet, sprinkled among the foodie features, glossy  BMW ads and  Sotheby’s promos  for Newport millionaire mansions is some fine work.

Shake off the post-election week blues and get ready for the weekend. Your tips and email are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org

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.

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.