2014 governor's race

On the surface, the latest WPRI-TV/Providence Journal poll might seem like a clear win for Gina Raimondo, since she leads her closest Democratic primary rival, Angel Taveras by five points, 32 percent to 27 percent, with Clay Pell (26 percent) right behind Taveras.

Yet Raimondo's lead is barely larger than the 4.38 percent margin of error in the poll, and 13 percent of voters remain undecided with just under three weeks to go until the September 9 primary.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

A new coalition of public and private unions, banding together under the name Working Families for Angel, on Monday announced their support for Angel Taveras' gubernatorial campaign.

Working Families for Angel says it plans to communicate with more than 16,000 union households through door-knocking, electronic communications and other means.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Republican gubernatorial candidates Ken Block and Allan Fung traded barbs Monday about which of them is the best choice for governor.  It happened at new conference Block held near Cranston City Hall.

Block held his press conference inside a Cranston diner, about a block from City Hall, as a reminder of how Fung taped a jobs-related campaign ad in an Ohio diner. He criticized Fung for raising taxes early in his administration, and Block also rapped Fung for his oversight of Cranston’s police department.

There's already hint of fall in the air as the political calendar inexorably moves toward Rhode Island's September 9 primary. So thanks for stopping by for my Friday column, and, as always, feel free to send your tips and thoughts my way, and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

Thanks for stopping by to welcome TGIF back from its summer vacation. Not much happened while we were gone, other than the sale of the ProJo, David Caprio's resignation as Democratic Party chairman, and the remaking of the Red Sox, among other things. Yet the beat goes on, so feel free to share your tips and thoughts via idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org and to follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

In a sign that Angel Taveras' gubernatorial campaign is concerned about the threat posed by rival Democrat Clay Pell, Taveras' campaign is using a new television ad to attack Pell's experience, voting record, and Rhode Island credentials.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Conflicts of interest in the awarding of state grants, violence in Providence, sexual assault allegations on college campuses -- those are the topics on this week's Political Roundtable.  This week, Brown University political science professor Wendy Schiller, and Associated Press reporter Erika Niedowski  join the discussion.  Weekend host Chuck Hinman hosts.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The televised air wars have started in the Democratic primary for governor. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if voters are paying attention yet.

As the weeks dwindle towards the September primary, the advertising rhetoric among the major Democratic candidates has heated up. This is especially true of the campaigns of Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo.

Angel Taveras' Democratic gubernatorial campaign used a statement released Monday to press its central line of attack against his main rival, Gina Raimondo, charging she's closely aligned with Wall Street interests. Raimondo's campaign responded by disputing the message and expressing disappointment "in the increasingly personal and negative nature of the mayor's campaign."

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello emerged in March with a strong hold on what is commonly called the state's most powerful political office. Following the unveiling of a probe of former speaker Gordon Fox, Mattiello won a brief succession fight and pledged a stronger focus on jobs and the economy. Mattiello sat down last week to discuss his first few months as speaker and some of the top issues facing the state, including his choice for governor and Buddy Cianci's latest comeback attempt.


You may be fed up with Rhode Island politics. But RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says now is no time for Rhode Islanders to retreat into a cocoon of apathy.

It’s the high season of summer in our corner of southeastern New England. A time of blue skies, fluffy whipped cream clouds and sun-washed surf. It’s what many of us consider our best season. Proust had his madeleines. Rhode Island natives have our childhood memories stirred by plates stacked high with steamers, saugys and clambakes on the beach.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says he considers Buddy Cianci "a great guy," but the speaker isn't taking sides in the debate about whether Cianci's latest comeback attempt is good or bad for Rhode Island's reputation.

"I'll leave that to the citizens of the City of Providence to make that determination," Mattiello said during a Statehouse interview Tuesday afternoon.

State Republican Chairman Mark Smiley joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the GOP gubernatorial primary between Allan Fung and Ken Block; the budget signed into law by Governor Lincoln Chafee; the outlook for electing more Republicans to the General Assembly; and the latest developments on 38 Studios.


Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Block touted his status as a political outsider, while GOP rival Allan Fung used a televised debate Tuesday to highlight his experience as the mayor of Cranston. The forum was sponsored by the Providence Journal and Channel 12.

Fung and Block each argued that their separate backgrounds make them qualified to put Rhode Island on a stronger path to the future. Block said his business experience and distance from politics makes him the better choice.

Providence – It was Mr. Inside, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, against Mr. Outside, Barrington businessman Ken Block,  as the two Republican candidates for governor clashed in the first televised debate of a campaign in which neither candidate has been shy about criticizing each other  in the early going.