Political news

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A local government watchdog group thinks stiffer penalties are needed to discourage the practice of unregulated lobbying.   

The Associated Press reported this week that former Attorney General Patrick Lynch has lobbied his former office several times without registering as a lobbyist. Lynch told the AP his actions didn’t amount to lobbying.

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A former government watchdog says governors and state legislators have weakened efforts meant to depoliticize the selection of judges.

The Judicial Nominating Commission was created 20 years ago to try to lessen the General Assembly’s influence on picking judges. The JNC is supposed to choose 3 to 5 highly qualified candidates, and the legislature is expected to act quickly once a governor picks a judge. But former Common Cause head Phil West said governors and lawmakers have fouled up the process.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

H. Philip West Jr. served as the executive director of Common Cause of Rhode Island for almost 20 years before stepping down in 2006. His tenure coincided with corruption in Governor Edward DiPrete’s administration, the state banking crisis, and high-profile battles over the Ethics Commission. West has turned his two decades observing Ocean State politics into a 684-page book called “Secrets and Scandals.” Rhode Island Public Radio Reporter Ian Donnis sat down with West to discuss the book and how much Rhode Island has changed.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The mayor-elect of Providence, Jorge Elorza, has scheduled a series of forums to hear from city residents.

Republican Dawson Hodgson, who lost last week's race for attorney general to Democratic incumbent Peter Kilmartin, joins Bonus Q&A to talk about his campaign and efforts to rebuild the GOP.

Ian Donnis

State Senator Dawson Hodgson (R-North Kingstown), the Republican candidate for attorney general in last week's election, joins Political Roundtable to talk about what went wrong; the outlook on the state budget; the transitions for the state's new elected officials; and more.

Fewer than half of eligible Rhode Island voters participated in Tuesday’s statewide election, and the state's next secretary of state says she's going to try to increase that percentage.

The latest tally by the state Board of Elections shows that 44 percent percent of registered voters cast a ballot on Tuesday. Secretary of State-elect Nellie Gorbea says she’s not satisfied with that kind of turnout and wants to get more people involved in state government.

Providence Mayor-elect Jorge Elorza joins Bonus Q+A to talk about a host of issues facing the city, including taxes, schools, the structural deficit, relations with the City Council, and developing the former I-195 land.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Providence Mayor-elect Jorge Elorza joins Political Roundtable to discuss his victory in this week's election and what it means for Rhode Island's capital city; the win for governor by Democrat Gina Raimondo over Republican Allan Fung; the continued electoral success of Rhode Island Democrats; and the defeat at the polls for a constitutional convention.


Allan Fung said despite losing his bid for governor, he’s proud of the race he ran. Fung’s democratic rival Gina Raimondo won the race with just 40 percent of the vote. Fung said maybe it’s time for runoff elections.

"The moose was on the loose," is how Fung describes the 22 percent gleaned by Moderate Party candidate Bob Healey, referring to Healey’s days as the cool moose candidate.  Fung’s main opponent, Gina Raimondo, is the second consecutive governor elected with less than 50 percent of the vote.


Developer Joe Paolino says he’ll try again to bring table games to Newport. Voters approved turn the Newport Grand slot parlor into a casino, but Newporters voted it down. 

Massachusetts voters gave gambling there a thumbs up. And that will hurt the slot parlor, said Paolino “You know right now I’m more concerned about the workers, because the workers are the ones that really put up this fight, they’re very concerned about their jobs.”

Proponents pushed the jobs angle; while opponents said a casino didn’t fit in Newport.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

His campaign for mayor of Providence may be over. But Buddy Cianci says he’s still not satisfied with how the race was run. On his radio show this  afternoon on WPRO, Cianci told listeners he plans to go forward with legal action against a group of opponents. He says they colluded against him illegally.

John Bender / RIPR

Gina Raimondo spent her first day as governor-elect meeting with constituents on Federal Hill.  And she’s now focusing on transitioning into state’s highest office.

Raimondo won’t say who will be on her team as she moves forward, or who in the current administration will be let go.  Though she said she hopes the Chafee administration will hold off on major staffing decisions, such as the education commissioner’s post, so that she can have a say once she assumes office in January.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Gina Raimondo made history Tuesday night as the first woman to get elected as governor of Rhode Island. Raimondo is also the first Democrat to win the state’s top job in 22 years.

Raimondo beat Republican rival Allan Fung with unofficial numbers showing her with 40 percent to Fung’s 36 percent, with Moderate Party candidate Robert Healey drawing 22 percent of the vote.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Latinos in Rhode Island make up 8.6 percent of eligible voters in the state. And that is why the Ocean State is one of 12 where the share of eligible Latino voters is larger than the current polling margin between gubernatorial candidates, according to a report by Latino Decisions, a survey research organization specializing in voting behaviors among Latinos.