Political news

Elisabeth Harrison

Governor Gina Raimondo is defending her administration from criticism that information has become harder to obtain.

Some reporters, editors and good government groups have complained about less-than-forthcoming responses to requests for public documents and a lack of access to public officials under Raimondo's leadership.  


Rhode Island’s U.S. Senator Jack Reed says he supports President Barack Obama’s decision to keep thousands of troops in Afghanistan. The policy reversal will leave one of the President’s promises unfulfilled.


Former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee took to the national stage, as one of five Democrats taking part in last night’s presidential primary debate. 


Governor Gina Raimondo spoke in Washington, D.C., Tuesday as part of a conference highlighting powerful women. Raimondo attracted attention for the pension overhaul she spearheaded as state treasurer in 2011.


Former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee will take the national stage Tuesday evening in the Democratic presidential debate. The former Republican announced his run for the democratic nomination in April of this year to moderate local and national fanfare . 


A former House Finance chairman is downplaying his role in the loan program used to lure 38 Studios to Rhode Island in 2010. Steve Costantino now serves as a publicly funded health insurance program in Vermont.

Katherine Doherty

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo took the ice bucket challenge Tuesday afternoon on the Statehouse steps. Alongside half a dozen Rhode Island politicians, Raimondo dumped more than three gallons of icy water on her head to raise money for ALS research.

The ice bucket challenge is part of a national campaign to raise awareness about ALS and fund research for a cure. 

Raimondo took the challenge from Massachussetts Governor Charlie Baker. She has now challenged House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed to take up the cause.


The Cranston City Council voted “No Confidence” in Mayor Allan Fung during a meeting Monday night.  The largely symbolic vote was a narrow one, five to four, and comes following a scathing police report investigating the Cranston Police department.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s rare that such action is taken by a city government.

As Lincoln Chafee treks across the country on his longshot bid for the democratic presidential nomination, the former Rhode Island governor continues to provide fodder for late night comedians.

Conan O’Brien aired an elaborate joke, designed to get Chafee more supporters.

O’Brien convinced musicians Ted Leo and Aimee Mann to write Chafee an unofficial campaign song, to the tune of “She Drives Me Crazy.”

Elisabeth Harrison

U.S. Senator Jack Reed is defending his support for President Barack Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran. The Democrat says the deal will stall  nuclear buildup, and solidify the U.S. as  major figure in international diplomacy.

"I think we have a much stronger voice in the international community if we decide we must take action," said Reed. "If we are seen as the ones that walked away from this arrangement, I think the Iranians would complain that they were victimized."

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza is slated to return Thursday from a trip scouting economic development ideas in Guatemala.

Elorza and the city’s economic development director have met with Guatemala’s president and the mayor of Guatemala City during their visit. A spokesman says ports development has been among the topics of discussion.

Elorza is the son of Guatemalan immigrants and he grew up in the West End of Providence.

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

Katherine Doherty

Governor Gina Raimondo has cleared her schedule for a family vacation. 

After a busy summer, Raimondo's office says she plans to spend a few days in New Hampshire with her husband and two children.

Raimondo's activity over the summer included a task force to reduce the cost of health care, and another task force to tackle the drug overdose crisis.  

In July, she responded to an audit that revealed serious financial mismanagement at the Department of Children Youth and Families.

One of the people putting together a new economic strategy for Rhode Island says the plan will include specific, actionable recommendations. The study is expected to be completed by December or January.

The Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program is collaborating with the state to devise a strategy for growing jobs. Private funding is paying for the effort. Brookings’ Senior Fellow Mark Muro said the economic strategy will include both long-term and short-term components.


The Cranston City Council may ask the General Assembly to overhaul the disciplinary process used for vetting complaints against police officers. Yet those changes are considered unlikely due to opposition from police unions.

Ian Donnis

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung’s response to a police controversy could damage his political prospects, according to Brown University political science professor Wendy Schiller. Schiller said it will take time for the fallout to settle from a state police report, which alleges the mayor interfered in the Cranston Police Department.

Mayor Fung has declined, at least for now, to release the report, pointing to confidentiality issues. Schiller said that could be a mistake.