Allan Fung

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Representative John "Jay" Edwards joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge; the Statehouse debate over guns; fallout from the Cranston parking ticket scandal; and the proposed state pension settlement.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung said the city’s police chief did not enhance his retirement benefits by briefly being reinstated before retiring earlier this week.  Former chief Marco Palombo will get an annual pension of just under $80,000.

Col. Marco Palombo, Jr. released a statement announcing that he is retiring as Cranston’s chief of police. The news comes on the heels of a police parking ticket scandal.

Col. Palombo announced his retirement after 27 years with the Cranston police in a statement to the media. In it, he said he had been considering retirement for a while and is looking forward to new opportunities, including helping to solve cold cases and teaching police science.

Whither Clay Pell’s campaign for governor? RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay has some thoughts.

How do you know your campaign is in trouble: When your car is getting more attention than your ideas.

That’s what’s happening to the infant campaign of Clay Pell, who would like to be our next governor.

Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. Your thoughts and feedback are always welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can can follow me all week long on the twitters. Let's head in.

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung joins Bonus Q+A this week to discuss his Republican gubernatorial campaign and a host of other issues, including how many debates he plans to have with GOP rival Ken Block.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, a Republican candidate for governor, joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss his plan for beating rival GOP candidate Ken Block; his opposition to Rhode Island's proposed pension settlement; the impact of Massachusetts gambling on Twin River; and Myrth York's endorsement for Gina Raimondo.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung says he'd consider privatizing RIPTA and other state agencies to find the money to pay for some of his policy proposals.

Welcome back to my weekly column. Don your ear muffs, cook up some cocoa and settle in for another exciting seven days in Rhode Island politics. Your thoughts are always welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and feel free to follow me on the twitters. Let's get to it.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

On tap this week, Republican Ken Block’s plan to rescue the Rhode Island economy, and the outlook for the settlement aimed at ending the lawsuit over the state pension system.  Host Elisabeth Harrison sits in for Ian Donnis, and is joined by Rhode Island Public Radio’s political analyst Scott MacKay, and University of Rhode Island Political Science Professor Maureen Moakley.

Ken Block, founded of the R.I. Moderate Party only to abandon it and become a Republican. Now he’s running for the Republican nomination for governor against Cranston Mayor Allan Fung.

From Block’s opening speech this week, it is evident that he is seeking to carve out an image as a social liberal and financial conservative. A software engineer and entrepreneur, Dartmouth graduate Block is busy staking out positions that appeal to small business owners, a natural constituency in GOP circles.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Block announced his “Block Plan” to “fix Rhode Island,” should he be elected governor.

Block outlined a series of major tax reforms he would pursue, including reducing the corporate sales tax from 9 percent to 7 percent.  That would make it the lowest in New England.

He also called for eliminating a $500 minimum tax for new businesses. Block said the current tax policy makes Rhode Island an uninviting place for businesses and entrepreneurs.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

The state retirement board voted in closed session Friday afternoon to approve a proposed pension settlement. The board met in executive session for nearly an hour, ending in a vote of 6 – 1, with 5 abstentions.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung is calling for the immediate release of details about a settlement of the state pension dispute.

The federal mediation service that oversaw more than a year of closed-door talks plans to unveil the details during a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

In a statement, Fung say it’s past time to let local officials on what was discussed during months of closed-door talks.

This week brings crucial developments in the 2014 Rhode Island governor’s race: tomorrow a WPRI-Providence Journal public opinion survey releases veteran pollster Joe Fleming’s numbers on the race. Then on Wednesday, the most important new twist comes when the legal settlement in the 2011 state public employee pension overhaul is made public.