Political news

President Obama speaks during a visit to a Woonsocket factory on Monday. Photo by Louis Oppenheimer.

PROVIDENCE, R.l. – The emphasis was on politics not policy as President Obama campaigned in Rhode Island for Democratic congressional candidate David Cicilline on Monday.

It was the president as campaigner and chief who swooped into Rhode Island yesterday to boost Cicilline's congressional campaign and raise about a half-million dollars for the Democratic Party's campaign to retain control of the U.S. House.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Today's due to be a big day for politics in Rhode Island, as President Obama and two high profile Republicans visit the state.

President Obama is scheduled to visit a Woonsocket factory, then fundraise for Democratic Congressional candidate and Providence Mayor David Cicilline as well as other candidates.

Cicilline's Republican rival, John Loughlin, will get some help from Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, who will attend a fundraiser luncheon and campaign with Loughlin.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Civil rights activists met in Providence last night to endorse a package of bills they hope the General Assembly will embrace next year.

One bill would outlaw the shackling of pregnant prisoners during transport. Bruce Reilly of the prisoner advocacy group DARE says women are transported to court and doctor's offices without seat belts or airbags.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Rhode Island Ethics Commission says there's probable cause that Central Falls Mayor Charles Moreau violated Rhode Island's code of ethics when he accepted a heating furnace from a city contractor.

Moreau got a discount on the furnace from Michael Bouthilette while the contractor was boarding up abandoned homes for the city of Central Falls. Bouthilette was also one of Moreau's campaign contributors.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Rhode Island Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts' campaign committee did not pay federal taxes for two years and has filed amended returns to reflect it owes about $300 in taxes.

Dan Meuse, a spokesman for the Democrat seeking a second term, told The Associated Press he sent the returns Monday for about $2,200 of interest income in 2008 and 2009. The campaign reviewed its records after an AP inquiry.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The two gubernatorial frontrunners, independent Lincoln Chafee and Democrat Frank Caprio, traded charges Monday over which of them would be more fiscally responsible.

Caprio has repeatedly criticized Chafee's proposal to add a one percent sales tax on currently exempt items. During a Providence news conference, Chafee says that's hypocritical since Caprio backed a series of tax and fee increases during his long legislative career.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The four candidates running for governor all said they would not take the words "and Providence Plantation" out of the state's official name. The question was posed Thursday night at a debate at Brown University.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – All this week, WRNI Political Analyst Scott MacKay is talking with the candidates in Rhode Island's attorney general race. We continue today with Independent candidate Kevin McKenna.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Frank Caprio says he wants to cut spending by reducing the number of departments in state government.

But during a news conference Wednesday, Caprio declined to say which departments he would cut, or what other specific steps he would take to save money.

"You've got to look at what the plan and the vision is," Caprio says. "I'm not laying out today all the X, Ys, and Zs of it, because we're not there yet."

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – State Rep. David Segal has taken a job at a new national progressive political action committee after losing the Democratic nomination to succeed Rhode Island's Patrick Kennedy in Congress.

Segal on Monday says he's joined Demand Progress, which launched last week. It was started by Aaron Swartz, who co-founded news filtering service Reddit.

Segal lost a four-way primary to Providence Mayor David Cicilline this month.

The PAC is based in Cambridge, Mass., but Segal says he plans to stay in Rhode Island.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Gubernatorial candidates Lincoln Chafee and Frank Caprio held fundraisers in Newport yesterday. Caprio's was closed to the press but Chafee's was not.

Chafee, who has spent more than $800,000 of his family's money on his independent race for governor, got some help Sunday from Newport society. In a fundraiser that spanned three adjoining mansions, 125 guests donated a combined total of $35,000.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says investing in infrastructure and reaching across political lines is how Rhode Island and the rest of the country will dig its way out of the recession.

Bloomberg made the comment during his endorsement Thursday of Independent gubernatorial candidate Lincoln Chafee. Bloomberg says it takes leadership to reach across party lines and to raise taxes.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The unofficial results show David Cicilline clinching the Democratic nomination for the 1st Congressional District and Angel Taveras beating the other three Democrats running for Mayor of Providence.

1st Congressional District
Providence Mayor David Cicilline held the lead all night, ending up with 37 percent of the vote. Unofficial results show Anthony Gemma with 23 percent, David Segal with 20 percent, and Bill Lynch with 20 percent.

Providence, R.I. – Democrat Frank Caprio has a strong likelihood of winning the governor's office, according to one political analyst.

A forecast done by analyst Nate Silver and published by the New York Times finds that as of Sept. 3 Caprio has a 61 percent chance of winning. That's based on a matchup with independent candidate Cincoln Chafee -- who is said to have a 34 percent chance of victory -- and republican john robitaille -- who is given a five percent chance.

Providence, R.I. – Three of the four Republican candidates vying for the 2nd Congressional District seat said fixing the illegal immigration problem involves a mix of board security and documenting the illegal workers already in the country.