Ken Block

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo started fleshing out her vision for Rhode Island as she formally announced her campaign Monday morning.

Raimondo emphasized the economy, laying out ideas that include writing off some college loans to encourage grads to stay in Rhode Island, creating a funding formula for road and bridge improvements, and establishing an institute to foster growth-sector jobs.

In the astute words of C. Andrew Morse: "In terms of news density, the holidays are over and the new year has definitely arrived." So read on, and welcome back to my weekly column, dear readers. Your thoughts are always welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Let's head in.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Block has filed a complaint, accusing the state agency that manages state-owned properties with multiple violations of the Open Meetings Act.  The candidate is also calling on the General Assembly to strengthen the law and enhance the penalties for violating it.


Governor Lincoln Chafee says he still hasn’t decided which candidate to support in this year’s gubernatorial race but he’s decided one thing.  Chafee, a Republican-turned independent-turned Democrat, said there’s no way he would endorse a Republican.

"I’m a democrat and I’m a very proud member of the democratic party now. It’s been an evolution, as you know. And I’m proud to become a democrat and stand up for the values of building the middle class and closing the disparity of wealth that exists in this country and that’s what I care about," said Chafee.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

House Minority Leader Brian Newberry (R-North Smithfield) joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the possible fate in the General Assembly of the 2011 pension overhaul; continued fallout from the failure of 38 Studios; and the intensifying race for governor.

Your faithful correspondent is breaking from TGIF's usual format this week to gaze ahead into 2014. Thanks for stopping by and feel free to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

State General Treasurer Gina Raimondo -- who developed a national profile after spearheading a significant overhaul of Rhode Island's pension system in 2011 -- announced in a four-and-a-half-minute video emailed to supporters today that she is indeed running to become governor next year.

Money isn’t everything in political campaigns. Yet, it is a lot of things, explains Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay who ponders the role of campaign cash in the 2014 RI Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Jesse Unruh, speaker of the California Assembly, coined the term back in 1966. ``Money,’’ said Unruh. ``is the mother’s milk of politics.’’

Longtime GOP fundraiser Tony Bucci has joined Ken Block's Republican gubernatorial campaign as a senior adviser and finance chairman.

Block's campaign says Bucci resigned a slot on rival Republican Allan Fung's campaign committee to make the change.

File photo / RIPR

Our panel this week discusses RI's persistently high unemployment; Senator Dawson Hodgson's renewed call for an outside investigation into 38 Studios; Angel Taveras' proposal for instituting universal pre-K in Rhode Island; and Scott MacKay and Maureen Moakley's top turkeys of 2013.

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, who announced his Democratic run for governor last month, remains the best-liked politician in Rhode Island, according to a newly released WPRI-TV/Providence Journal poll.

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung has hired three consultants for his Republican gubernatorial campaign:

Via news release:

Gubernatorial candidate Ken Block, who joined the Republican Party last month, is looking to burnish his GOP credentials by attending a Republican Governors Association training session for candidates in Arizona later this month. Cranston Mayor Allan Fung also plans to attend the get-together in Scottsdale on November 21-22.

In a statement, Block says he was happy to be invited and hopes to learn from Republican governors:


What is the Tea Party’s future in Rhode Island Republican politics? Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay talks tea about two announced GOP candidates for governor.

Scott MacKay’s commentary can be heard every Monday on Morning Edition at 6:35 and 8:35 and on All Things Considered at 5:50. You can also follow his political analysis and reporting at our ‘On Politics’ blog at

Welcome back to my Friday column. Thanks for stopping by and, as always, feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org and to follow me on the twitters. Let's get to it.