Lincoln Almond

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The National Governors Association’s annual summer meeting will be held in Rhode Island in 2017, the NGA announced Monday.

"We’re excited to bring the nation’s governors to Rhode Island, and we thank Gov. Gina Raimondo for her invitation,’’ said Gov. Terry McAuliffe, vice-chair of the NGA.


The Pawtucket Red Sox have been sold to a group of familiar Rhode Island business leaders and Boston Red Sox executives who are intent on moving the team from McCoy Stadium to a new ballpark that would be built in downtown Providence.

Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien was briefed last night by one of the new owners, Providence lawyer James Skeffington, said Antonio Pires, Pawtucket administration director. Skeffington told the Pawtucket mayor that the new group wants to move to a privately-financed stadium on the Providence downtown waterfront.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Warwick has become a Rhode Island economic success story. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses what the rest of us can learn from the state’s second-largest city.

One afternoon about 15 years ago, Lincoln Chafee and Scott Avedisian hiked up to the top of the parking garage at Green State Airport. As jets lifted off,  they looked at the huge swatches of undeveloped land nearby. Both quickly came to the same conclusion.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Gov.-elect Gina Raimondo is meeting with Rhode Island business leaders as she shapes her new administration. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay hopes the business hierarchy steps up to help her.

Raimondo is taking over a state government that is much better off than the one Gov. Lincoln Chafee inherited from Don Carcieri four years ago. Unemployment was 11.4 percent; now it’s at 7.4 percent. The state budget deficit is much lower and cities and towns are not hovering over bankruptcy. Even Central Falls is out of receivership.

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo has decided to keep A.T. Wall, Rhode Island’s longtime corrections director, and the nation’s longest serving corrections head, in his post.

Wall has served as director of corrections since 2000. A graduate of Yale University and  Yale Law School, Wall is a native Rhode Islander who worked as a prosecutor in Manhattan after law school. He is known as erudite and thoughtful and is well-respected within the corrections community locally and nationally.

In a rare move, the Rhode Island AFL-CIO has endorsed a Republican candidate for statewide office – Catherine Taylor, who is running for lieutenant governor against Democrat Dan McKee, the mayor of Cumberland.

In a statement, George Nee, president of the state AFL-CIO, said, `` the Rhode Island AFL-CIO is proud to endorse Catherine Taylor for the office of lieutenant governor.’’

Ian Donnis / RIPR

During a contentious televised debate last Tuesday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Block said he would mold his administration after William Weld, the former Republican Massachusetts governor.

At the same debate, which was held at the Providence Performing Arts Center and broadcast by WPRI-Channel 12, , Cranston Mayor Allan Fung said he would follow the example of former Rhode Island Republican Gov. Lincoln Almond, who,   like Weld, was a quintessential  New England GOP moderate.

Ken Block and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung  clashed in their second debate within 24 hours this afternoon, a meeting that produced more heat than enlightenment and revealed few major policy differences between the two candidates vying for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in the September 9 primary.

In a joust that broke little new ground, Ken Block and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung hammered away at each other tonight in a WPRI-Channel 12-Providence Journal televised debate that came a week before their September 9 Republican gubernatorial showdown.


It’s election year in Rhode Island. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses the one issue that never goes away in our small state – casino gambling.

There’s an old gallows humor joke about banks and creditors. If you owe the bank $30,000, the bank owns you. If you owe the bank $300 million, you own the bank.

Providence – It was Mr. Inside, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, against Mr. Outside, Barrington businessman Ken Block,  as the two Republican candidates for governor clashed in the first televised debate of a campaign in which neither candidate has been shy about criticizing each other  in the early going.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island’s modern political history is filled with bitter Democratic primaries for governor. But RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay  says this campaign season it is the Republicans who are bashing each other.

Rhode Island voters have not elected a Democratic governor since 1992, when Bruce Sundlun decisively beat Republican Betty Leonard. There are many factors contributing to this Democratic Statehouse futility.

It has become a Rhode Island cliché that Lincoln Chafee is a failed governor because he hasn’t done enough to create jobs in Rhode Island’s flagging economy.  This notion has been driven relentlessly by talk radio shills and the editorial and news pages of the state’s legacy print media outlets, some of which are groping for relevance in a reshaped media environment.

The Rhode Island General Assembly and Gov. Lincoln Chafee approved legislation reinstating historic tax credits that are used as a spur to help finance restoration of historic buildings in the Ocean State. Tomorrow, the RI Division of Taxation will hold a lottery drawing for the reopened tax credit program.

The program has been generally closed since 2008, according to a statement from Neil Downing, the division’s chief revenue agent. But some projects were grandfathered in and have been proceeding. But about $34.5 million in credits available but unclaimed as of May 15, 2013.

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The days are getting shorter, our cobalt coastline is cooler. The rhythms of fall return. In our cozy corner of New England, a timeless harbinger of the season is students thronging college campuses.

Behind the teary parental goodbye hugs and lugging the laptops to the dorm looms an uneasiness in the realm of higher education these days. Students loaded down with mountains of debt graduate into an uncertain economy. ``Do you want fries with that diploma’’ is the gallows humor of our age.