Angel Taveras

With the Democratic field for governor next year still coming into focus, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo continue to scrap over the issue of third-party spending.

On Thursday, a day after Taveras unveiled his proposal for a "People's Pledge" to squelch super PACs and other forms of third-party spending in next year's primary race, the mayor's campaign organization released a copy of a letter to Raimondo. It calls on her to sign the pledge and reads in part:

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras -- who faces a fundraising disadvantage in his expected Democratic gubernatorial primary battle next year with state Treasurer Gina Raimondo -- is calling on Raimondo to shun third-party spending by sources including super PACs and national and state party committees. Raimondo's campaign organization says Taveras' pitch "isn't a good faith offer."

As the Red Sox prepare for Wednesday night’s World Series opener at Fennway Park, one Rhode Islander is feeling the love being shown Number 34, big slugger David Ortiz.  

David Ortiz, the Red Sox designated hitter, is known as Big Papi. David Ortiz, the spokesman for Providence’s mayor, is known as Little Papi. “You know it’s funny, Mayor Taveras gave me the nickname Little Papi,” said Ortiz.

John Bender / RIPR

After sitting vacant for four years the Providence Arcade, one of the country’s oldest indoor shopping malls, has reopened.

Now the building, built in 1828, is getting a new life.

A bike shop, a jewelry store, and a café and bar were among the first wave of new stores to open in the newly renovated Arcade.

In all, eleven of the seventeen shops to be housed in the historic mall were ready for business during the first phase of its re-opening.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Elected officials and community activists have come together to save a swimming pool that serves a low-income area of Providence. But Mayor Angel Taveras says he’s going ahead with plans to cement it over and turn it into a water park.

A half dozen state lawmakers joined with Providence City Councilman Davian Sanchez to appeal for the re-opening of the Davey Lopes pool in south Providence. The pool was closed last summer because of maintenance problems. A minority contractors association has volunteered to make the repairs at no charge, except for materials.

John Bender / RIPR

The newly elected chair of the Rhode Island Democratic Party is our guest on Political Roundtable this week.  David Caprio weighs in on his problems with organized labor, a potentially fractious gubernatorial primary and his goals for the party that dominates Rhode Island politics. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Flo Jonic is filling in for Ian Donnis as moderator.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.

Clay Pell, a grandson of the late US Senator Claiborne Pell, is looking at a possible Democratic run for governor in 2014, according to local Democrats.

Contrary to popular belief, TGIF was not MIA last week due to the presence of a Friday afternoon post-season Red Sox game. Regardless, we're back this week, and Rhode Island keeps on giving, so let's get going. (Gratuitous reminder: you can follow me on Twitter.)

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Political consultant Cara Cromwell, who has worked for politicians as varied as Bruce Sundlun and John Loughlin, joins us on Political Roundtable this week to discuss Richard Licht's pursuit of a Superior Court judgeship; Frank Caprio's proposal to restore pension COLAs; Lisa Baldelli-Hunt big primary win in Woonsocket; and the new Brown University poll.

A new Brown University poll shows state Treasurer Gina Raimondo leading Providence Mayor Angel Taveras among likely Democratic primary voters.  Raimondo and Taveras are expected to square off in a gubernatorial primary next September.

Brown pollsters talked with 433 likely Democratic primary voters. In a two-way matchup, 42 percent of respondents say they’d vote for Raimondo, just under 34 percent prefer Taveras, and 24 percent were undecided. That poll has a margin of error of four and a half percentage points.

With 11 months until Rhode Island's Democratic gubernatorial primary next September, a new Brown University poll shows state Treasurer Gina Raimondo with an eight percentage point lead over Providence Mayor Angel Taveras.

The survey of 433 likely Democratic primary voters has a 4.5 percentage point margin of error, and it shows Raimondo with 42 percent of the support, Taveras with 33.6 percent, while 24.4 percent of respondents remain undecided.

House Speaker Gordon Fox has put an end to the suspense about his political future, telling Democratic state reps at a closed caucus Monday that he won't be running for mayor of Providence.

The City of Providence said it hopes more municipalities follow its lead and pass ordinances that curb the sale of flavored tobacco products. The First Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a pair of ordinances banning the sale of flavored tobacco products and some store discounts.

The ban went into effect last January. Peter Asen, director of Providence’s Healthy Communities Office, said it likely contributed to results of a new study showing low rates of smoking in 6th 8th and 12th graders

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras has a potentially powerful message to use in seeking out of state contributions for his expected gubernatorial run next year: with the exception of former Florida governor Robert Martinez (who served from 1987-91), a Latino governor has never been elected east of the Mississippi.

Welcome back to my Friday column. Feel free to send me tips and thoughts to idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. You can follow me through the week via Twitter. As always, thanks for stopping by.