Gordon Fox

Welcome back to my Friday column. Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to drop me a line with feedback or juicy tips at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and remember you can follow me all week long on the twitters. Here we go.

The stench of corruption has once again encircled the Rhode Island State House. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it may be time to try something different on Smith Hill.

Unless you have been living in one of those 1950s-era nuclear bomb shelters, or the old East Side tunnel, you’ve probably heard of the latest Statehouse scandal. The state police and federal IRS and FBI agents raided the offices of House Speaker Gordon Fox 10 days ago. The next day he abruptly resigned.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and guest panelist Erika Niedowski of The Associated Press join Bonus Q+A this week to discuss changes in the RI House; the proposed pension settlement; whether the House should vote on a proposal to restore state Ethics Commission oversight of the General Assembly; and much more.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The new speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, Nicholas Mattiello of Cranston, joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss his priorities and what they mean for the House; jobs and government regulation; and what's next for the House.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

While Rhode Island's new House speaker, Nicholas Mattiello, has vowed to instill a new focus on jobs and the economy, he's avoiding specifics for now on precise steps to offer improvements, and asserting that the remainder of the 2014 session won't be enough to evaluate his performance in the powerful post.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Majority Leader Nicholas Mattiello ascended to the powerful post of House speaker on a 61-6 vote Tuesday, vowing to focus on improving Rhode Island's moribund economy and to work collaboratively with lawmakers of both parties.

UPDATE: Skenyon began working in Mattiello's office today, according to House spokesman Larry Berman.

With rumors dancing through the Statehouse corridors of power, new House Speaker Nick Mattiello, D-Cranston has yet to reveal his leadership team. Which isn’t unusual, considering he wasn’t formally elected speaker until about an hour ago.

When House Majority Leader Nick Mattiello held a caucus at the Providence Marriott Friday evening -- on the same day when state and federal investigators raided House Speaker Gordon Fox's home and Statehouse office -- the race to succeed Fox was up for grabs. Mattiello himself put the number of supporters at his caucus between 25 and 27.


The Rhode Island House of Representatives is expected to cap a dramatic sequence of events unfolding over the last few days by electing a new speaker Tuesday. The change was set in motion last Friday when state and federal authorities raided House Speaker Gordon Fox’s East Side home and Statehouse office. Fox resigned from his leadership position the next day, saying he doesn’t plan to seek re-election to his state rep seat in November.

Education officials are taking a "wait and see" approach to leadership changes at the Statehouse, with several education bills pending in the legislature.

"We've had a good relationship with leadership over time," said Elliot Krieger, the spokesman for State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist. "Like everyone else, we're waiting to see what the new leadership will be."

UPDATE: Williams (Labor) Ajello (Judiciary) Melo (Finance) out as committee chairs as Mattiello takes over.

As has been the case since its days as a British colony, Rhode Island’s florid political culture is once again enmeshed in upheaval because of chicanery in high places.

The abrupt demise of Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox of Providence means another episode of   `As the Rhode Island Statehouse turns.’

The successor to House Speaker Gordon Fox is expected to be elected Tuesday when the House of Representatives meets tomorrow, for the first time since the raid that spelled the end of Fox's 21-year career in the General Assembly. As we've reported, the battle pits House Majority Leader Nicholas Mattiello (D-Cranston) and Representative Michael Marcello (D-Scituate) against one another.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Frank Anzeveno, who served as the powerful chief of staff for former House speaker Gordon Fox, is giving up his post.

“In light of recent events at the Statehouse, time has accelerated. I cleaned out my office over the weekend in anticipation that a new Speaker needs to bring in his own staff," Anzeveno says in a statement released Monday.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

After a weekend of intense lobbying for the votes to succeed former House Speaker Gordon Fox, one challenger, Representative Michael Marcello (D-Scituate), vowed Monday morning to take the fight to the House floor, even as House Majority Leader Nicholas Mattiello (D-Cranston) claimed to be consolidating his support.

"Going all the way," Marcello told RIPR Monday morning. "We need to let people know who is reform and real change and who is with the status quo."

Ian Donnis / RIPR

UPDATE: 3:46 pm Sunday. Factions led by Majority Leader Nicholas Mattiello and Michael Marcello are meeting today in an attempt to win enough votes for the speakership. Mattiello is holding a 5 pm caucus at the Providence Marriott on Orms Street. A vote to choose a successor to Gordon Fox could happen as soon as Tuesday. I'll have more details later. Follow me on Twitter for updates.