Politics

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Ian Donnis / RIPR

The chair of Donald Trump’s campaign in Rhode Island is expressing surprise over reports that the National Republican Party platform is moving increasingly to the right.  Joseph Trillo, also a state representative for Warwick, heads the campaign to elect Donald Trump for president in Rhode Island.  Media reports have stated that the debate over things like abortion and same-sex marriage during the convention have become socially conservative. Trillo says he fears a platform that is too conservative might threaten the party’s presidential hopes.  

John Bender / RIPR

State Representative John Carnevale maintains his primary residence is in Providence, the city he represents at the General Assembly. Carnevale testified during a hearing Wednesday at the Providence Board of Canvassers.  His residence came under scrutiny following reports by WPRI-TV that the lawmaker appears to live in Johnston.

Ian Donnis

A grand jury has indicted Providence City Councilor Kevin Jackson on five separate counts, including embezzlement and personal use of campaign funds. The finding follows Jackson's arrest by State Police in May, and his subsequent resignation as majority leader of the city council.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

In the first six months of the year, Governor Gina Raimondo left town more than a dozen times. Here's a look at what the governor has been up to.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says the all-night session that closed out the legislative session will not happen again on his watch. Lawmakers concluded their 2016 session after sunrise on Saturday.

RIPR file photo

The House Finance Committee is expected to vote Tuesday night on the legislative version of Governor Raimondo’s spending plan.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello declined to release details about the budget Monday, but said "substantial agreement" had been reached.

“The budget is a complex document, so we’re looking at individual issues," said Mattiello. "And when we have a final document, you’ll see it.”

Raimondo unveiled her almost $9 spending plan in February.

Governor Gina Raimondo has been in office for almost 18 months. She stopped by our studio Thursday to talk about a range of issues, including today’s visit to Rhode Island by Vice President Joe Biden.

For more conversation with the governor, check our Political Roundtable segment.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello’s plan for revising the awarding legislative community service grants will emerge in about a week. Mattiello acknowledges the grants have become a political mess.

The resignation earlier this month of House Finance Chairman Ray Gallsion sparked scrutiny of the community service grants. The state is giving out $11 million in the grants to nonprofit groups this year.

Speaking Monday, U.S. Senator Jack Reed echoed calls for unity among Democrats in the lead up to the presidential election. But Reed stopped short of saying it's time for fellow Senator Bernie Sanders to drop out of the Democratic nominating contest. 

"That’s a decision that Senator Sanders is going to have to make," Reed said "But I think it should be clearer and clearer to him that we have to be a united party to be successful in November."

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Islanders considering running for public office have an upcoming opportunity to learn about campaign fundamentals. The non-partisan good government group Operation Clean Government is staging its latest “Candidate School” on June 4 at Rhode Island College. The head of Operation Clean Government, Margaret Kane, stopped by our studio to discuss the event.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The House Finance Committee plans this Tuesday to begin a series of hearings on community service grants.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A proposal by House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello to strengthen the state Ethics Commission is due to be introduced Tuesday.

An enhanced ethics oversight has not always been a priority for Mattiello. The speaker’s office declined to provide details about Mattiello’s ethics proposal prior to its introduction. But Mattiello’s interest in the issue has heartened some longtime government watchdogs.

RIPR FILE

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says lawmakers should not be able to get paid through state community service grants.

The grants are facing scrutiny due to the resignation Tuesday of former House Finance Chairman Ray Gallison.

Gallison received tens of thousands of dollars in pay from community service grants for his work for an education nonprofit. Mattiello says that’s wrong.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate to give a grant that a member specifically receives numeration out of to any organizations,” said Mattiello.

RIPR

After several days of campaigning, and a pair of conflicting local polls in Rhode Island, the race between Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary seemed up in the air before Tuesday’s primary.

But Sanders was able to pull off a win, by a surprising 12 percentage points. Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender brings us this report from Sanders' Ocean State watch-party. 

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