Angel Taveras

Ian Donnis / RIPR

After claiming not to have his mind made up before taking to the airwaves for his afternoon talk show, 73-year-old Vincent A. "Buddy" Cianci Jr. revealed Wednesday he's staging an improbable comeback to become the next mayor of Providence.

Cianci is running as an independent -- the same approach he used during his 1990 return to power  -- in a close three-way race, after having first won office in 1974 as a Republican.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The three major Democratic candidates for governor offered their views on jobs, education and other issues during an hour-long debate Tuesday. The forum sponsored by WPRI and the Providence Journal came with less than three months until the September 9th primary.

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo pointed to the pension overhaul she spearheaded in 2011 as proof of her leadership skills. Raimondo said the overhaul significantly reduced Rhode Island’s long-term pension bill.

Welcome back to my Friday column. You know summer isn't far behind when a budget emerges in the General Assembly and gubernatorial candidates increasingly take to the airwaves. Your tips and thoughts are always welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Let's get to it.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Representative Frank Ferri (D-Warwick), one of three Democrats running for lieutenant governor, joined Political Roundtable this week discuss his campaign and other issues, including 38 Studios and the Democratic race for governor.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A new poll shows that Angel Taveras and Gina Raimondo remain locked in tight battle in the Democratic primary for governor.  The WPRI/Providence Journal poll surveyed 506 Democratic primary voters.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Angel Taveras uses his first television commercial to emphasize family, his own humble beginnings and how hard work and sacrifice can lead to shared improvements.

While we've had a glimpse of spring and winter weather over the last week, politics remains the thing for all seasons in the Ocean State. So welcome back to my weekly column, and feel free to share your thoughts and tips at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. You can also follow my missives all week long on the twitters. Let's get to it.

The Democratic primary election for governor is shaping up as a close contest between Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo.

The early Channel 12/ProJo public opinion surveys conducted by veteran Rhode Island pollster Joe Fleming show this to be the case.  Now comes last night’s endorsement confab held at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick by the R.I. Association of Democratic City and  Town Chairs, which failed to reach consensus on an endorsement for governor.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

The City of Providence has filed a federal lawsuit claiming Santander Bank engaged in discriminatory lending practices. Lawyers filing the suit are calling the bank’s lending practices a civil rights issue.

The lawsuit claims that during the housing boom minority neighborhoods were given risky loans, then after the bust Santander stopped making loans in those neighborhoods and focused instead on white neighborhoods.

A variety of speakers from across the Rhode Island political spectrum will hold a Statehouse rally this afternoon to urge the General Assembly to oppose paying off the 38 Studios bonds.

Among those speaking are Larry Girouard of the R.I. Taxpayers group, spokes people from the R.I. Libertarian Party, the R.I. Green Party and Occupy Providence, the local offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The leading Democratic candidates for governor used a partisan event Tuesday to describe themselves as the best choice to help struggling Rhode Islanders. A little more than three months remains until the primary election on September 9.

Candidates for state and federal offices spoke to the Democratic state committee, which will decide party endorsements next month. Gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo used the occasion to preview her first TV commercial. It pays homage to her father, Joseph, who died at age 87 earlier this month.

Pell Unveils State Infrastructure Plan

May 23, 2014

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Clay Pell says the infrastructure in Rhode Island is failing, and he wants to spend at least $200 million to fix it.

Pell released his transportation and infrastructure plan Thursday using the Providence train station as his backdrop.  Pell says the station is a good example of a transportation hub in need of repairs.  If elected, Pell says he would include a bond referendum in 2016 and 2018 to create a $200 million program to improve bridges, roads and highways.

He says other projects could be paid for with federal funding.

Taveras Unveils Plan For State's Tourism Industry

May 20, 2014

Providence mayor and Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Angel Taveras unveiled his plan for the state’s tourism industry.

Taveras says he plans to spend five million dollars a year to the industry for a total of twenty-million dollars over a four year term to promote the state. Taveras says the plan would create about 2600 new jobs in the state, helping the floundering economy.  Rhode Island’s unemployment remains the nation’s highest at more than eight percent.

A so-called “people’s pledge” has been hammered out and agreed to by the three leading democratic candidates running for governor. The goal is to limit outside spending.

To limit that outside spending, Clay Pell, Gina Raimondo, and Angel Taveras have agreed to a pledge calling for any candidate who benefits from an ad bought by an outside group to make a charitable donation for the same amount of the ad buy.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Angel Taveras on Tuesday -- Earth Day -- unveiled a seven-point environmental proposal that he called a blueprint for making Rhode Island the national leader in environmental stewardship.