Politics

Political news

The state Retirement Board is slated Wednesday to consider revoking a pension for a former legislative leader convicted of corruption. Gerard Martineau was sentenced to more than three years in prison for his crimes.

Martineau pleaded guilty in 2008 to charges that he used his influence to help the CVS drug store chain and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island while doing hundreds of thousands of dollars in business with them. Martineau, a Woonsocket Democrat served 15 years in the House, rising to the number two position of majority leader.

Aaron Read / RIPR

The non-partisan good government group Common Cause isn’t satisfied with a reform measure backed by House leaders in the aftermath of Gordon Fox’s guilty plea earlier this year.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says it makes sense for officeholders to file their bank statements for their campaign accounts with the state agency that monitors campaign spending.

John Bender

Reactions have been swift to news that Former House Speaker Gordon Fox pleaded guilty to three felony charges.

The charges include one count of bribery and one count of misusing campaign funds.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison reports on reaction from both sides of the aisle.

Calling it a "sad chapter" in Rhode Island Politics, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said in a brief statement, "there is no place for public corruption."

A Democrat, Mattiello took over after Fox resigned as speaker, following raids on his home and Statehouse office.

State Representative Joseph Shekarchi (D-Warwick) joins Bonus Q&A to talk about the way forward for Governor Gina Raimondo; the outlook on the state pension case and the PawSox; why he has such a large campaign war chest; and more.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island’s U.S. Senators are offering lukewarm support of President Barack Obama’s request to use military force against Islamic State militants. The President has asked for military action, unbounded by national borders that could last up to three years.

Senator Jack Reed, the ranking Democrat in the Senate Armed Services Committee said President Obama’s plan for military intervention is overdue.  In a statement he calls the plan, a thoughtful proposal, but said Congress must  “refine” the President’s request. 

State Representative Joseph Almeida put out a brief statement Wednesday in response to charges he illegally pocketed campaign funds for personal use.

The Providence democrat maintained his innocence, indicating he has no intention of stepping down from his house seat.

"As I move forward, my focus will be on representing the hard-working people of my district." Almeida said. "I respect the legal process and I maintain my innocence as this matter is adjudicated in court."

Maureen Moakley

On the heels of President Barack Obama’s announcement to restore diplomacy with Cuba, University of Rhode Island professor Maureen Moakley took a group of students to Havana to see first-hand the political and social changes 50 years after the Cuban revolution. A regular contributor to our Political Roundtable Moakley spoke spoke with Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison.

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

RIPR FILE

U.S. Senator Jack Reed is calling for additional military assistance to help the Ukrainian government as fighting worsens with Russian-backed separatists. Reed is the ranking Democrat of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Reed and Armed Services Committee Chair Senator John McCain, are asking the Obama administration to commit to aid in the form of defensive weaponry.  That includes things like anti-tank weapons, and rocket locating radar systems. 

Developer and former Providence mayor Joseph Paolino joins Bonus Q&A to discuss snow removal; how Providence can cultivate more tax revenue; what's next for the Superman Building; and more.

RIPR FILE

A bill that would increase Rhode Island's minimum wage is set to go before the House Labor Committee Thursday.  The bill would push the state's minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.

RIPR FILE

Former Republican Gubernatorial candidate Ken Block is making a push for line-item veto power for the Governor. He’s launched a website to drive the issue.

On the new website you can send an email to Governor Raimondo, as well as legislative leaders, voicing your support for the issue.  Block wants the governor to have the power to veto single items from the state budget.  University of Rhode Island Political science professor and commentator Maureen Moakley said the issue is unlikely to gain traction with state lawmakers.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo’s choice to lead the state Health and Human Services secretariat cleared her first hurdle to confirmation Tuesday. Governor Gina Raimondo has asked her, in part, to contain the cost of subsidized healthcare for the poor.

“I do not underestimate the challenge that I’m being asked to take on. I’ve already seen in my first three and a half weeks, when I’ve been privileged to serve before I was approved, how many varieties of challenge I’ve inherited,” said Roberts.

Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian joins Bonus Q+A to talk about his expectations for Governor Gina Raimondo's first budget, the outlook for RIPTA, his political future, and much more.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian joins Political Roundtable to discuss how top elected officials responded to the Blizzard of 2015; development in Warwick; and the outlook for RI Republicans to win more elections.

Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea joins Bonus Q+A to talk about whether mail ballots are too easily obtained, what steps should be taken to increase disclosure by lobbyists, how to better encourage voting participation, and more.

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