RI GOP chairman Mark Smiley joins us on Bonus Q+A to discuss building GOP ranks in the General Assembly, attempts to rebuild Republicans' presence in New England, and other issues.

Ian / RIPR

RI GOP chairman joins the Roundtable this week (along with guest panelist Tim White of WPRI-TV, Channel 12) to discuss the debate over state Education Commissioner Deborah Gist; Moderate Party founder Ken Block's entry in the 2014 gubernatorial race, what's next for Rhode Island Republicans, and more.

The leader of a prominent Republican gay rights group is coming to Rhode Island Tuesday.

Gregory Angelo, director of the Log Cabin Republicans, will speak to a meeting of the Rhody Young Republicans.

Angelo says he’ll praise Rhode Island Republicans for backing same sex marriage legislation.

Former Cranston Mayor Stephen Laffey, who had a meteoric rise in Rhode Island politics before losing a Republican primary challenge to then-US Senator Lincoln Chafee in 2006, is headed toward a GOP run for governor in his adopted state of Colorado.

Via KDVR (h/t Kathy Gregg):

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State GOP chairman Mark Smiley says his party "absolutely" intends to run a candidate against US senator Jack Reed next year.

A few politically active Republicans privately say they consider a challenge against Reed -- or the other Democrats in Rhode Island's congressional delegation -- an utter waste of time. Resources would be better used, they say, in trying to build the 11-member GOP presence in the 113-member General Assembly.

Kristin Gourlay/RIPR

All five Republicans in the 38-member Rhode Island Senate - including Minority Leader Dennis Algiere of Westerly - plan to support the same-sex marriage bill backed by supporters of the issue, RIPR has learned.

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung joins Bonus Q+A to talk about why he's a Republican, his potential race for governor next year, and what Rhode Island should do to improve its economy, among other issues.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung joins the Roundtable this week to discuss the aftermath of the attack at the Boston Marathon, the merits of negotiated pension settlements, his potential gubernatorial campaign next year, and other issues.

With state officials due to release their proposal Tuesday for curbing gun violence, Republican House lawmakers are inviting gun makers to relocate to Rhode Island in response to changes in Connecticut and Maryland. A legislative news release says the changes render those two states as "hostile territory":

If April is the cruelest month, as T.S. Eliot wrote, perhaps it's due to the chilly weather greeting the start of the baseball season. Welcome back to my weekly column. Your thoughts and tips are always welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's get to it.

Michael Riley, the investment manager who ran a losing Republican campaign last year against Congressman Jim Langevin, was arrested in Narragansett early Wednesday and charge with resisting arrest, operating under the influence of alcohol, and refusing to take a chemical test.

Welcome back to my weekly column. Spring is starting to pop, and there's never a shortage of news hereabouts, so let's get to it. As always, your thoughts and tips are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org.

Welcome back to my weekly column. A 12-hour legislative committee meeting on the same night when the RI GOP invalidates a vote for chairman? Just another day in the Biggest Little. Your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's get to it.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Brendan Doherty says he has "absolutely, positively no intention" of running as a Republican candidate for attorney general in 2014, although he's still considering a campaign for governor.

Some Republicans hope that Doherty, the former superintendent of the state police, would represent the GOP as an alternative to Democratic AG Peter Kilmartin in next year's race for attorney general. But Doherty sounds distinctly uninterested in the idea.

Just about every good government group in Rhode Island is pushing for an end to the so-called master lever option on state ballots. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay explains why this is not a panacea for what ails our state’s political culture.
It has become an article of faith in Rhode Island among the self-styled government reform groups, most statewide elected politicians and the chattering pundit classes that our state needs to get rid of that relic of urban machine politics, the master lever.