House Minority Leader Brian Newberry believes debate over whether Rhode Island should pay back moral obligation bonds for 38 Studios explains why the House version of state budget has yet to emerge.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The Fix says VP Joe Biden has a message in tune with Democrats' needs as they face a tough mid-term fight in 2014:

Speaking at a fundraiser in D.C. for Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey’s special Senate election campaign, the vice president launched into a lengthy broadside against the current state of the Republican Party.

Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, who once described Governor Lincoln Chafee as his political soul-mate, says he "can't vote" for his close friend now that Chafee is a Democrat.

"I'm a Republican and I would expect to be supporting the Republican candidate," Avedisian told reporters, including RIPR's Flo Jonic, before a news conference Monday morning.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay sat down with host Elisabeth Harrison to discuss Governor Lincoln Chafee's decision to join the Democratic party.

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.