On Politics

Rhode Island Public Radio's political blog. Scott MacKay and Ian Donnis keep you up-to-date with the latest in political news from around Rhode Island.

We also have PODCASTS of regular politics coverage, too!

Pre-2013 archives of the On Politics​ blog can be found here.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Tony Simon is leaving his role as Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza's chief of staff at the end of August to launch a political consulting firm. He'll be succeeded by Nicole Pollock, who currently serves as the city's chief of policy and innovation.

Simon's pending exit marks the second high-profile departure from City Hall at the mid-point in Elorza's four-year term. Brett Smiley is leaving as the city's chief operating office to become Governor Gina Raimondo's chief of staff.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Faced with Republican efforts to remove state Rep. John Carnevale's name from the fall ballot, the state Board of Elections on Monday called for the Providence Board of Canvassers to first resolve whether Carnevale can legally vote within his Providence district.

RI House of Representatives

Rhode Island Working Families, the newish progressive group, has made six legislative endorsements, as part of the group's aspiration to be "a major force" in September primaries for the General Assembly.

Aaron Read / RIPR

  This comes as no surprise, but it is relevant: RI House Speaker Nick Mattiello, D-Cranston is demoting embattled Rep. John Carnevale, D-Providence, from the Democratic House leadership team.

Even at the Statehouse, loyalty has its limits. In this case, pragmatism and campaign exigencies have triumphed. At the capitol, there is nothing like self-preservation as a motivation.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

In his first public remarks since returning from a Canadian vacation last week, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello called the most recent revelations about state Rep. John Carnevale "unacceptable," while saying it's up to voters to decide the fate of the embattled Providence lawmaker.

"As the news broke in the media about Representative Carnevale this past week, I frankly agree with the sentiments of the public who are tired of these types of stories," Mattiello said in a statement released by his campaign spokeswoman, Patti Doyle. "And I am too! This behavior is unacceptable."

  The Republican National Convention that nominated Donald Trump is history. The Democratic convention that is poised to tap Hillary Clinton begins today. 

Your humble correspondent is back on the beat. So thanks for stopping by. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Forty-one of Rhode Island's 113 part-time lawmakers, or about 36 percent, have a free pass to another term in the General Assembly.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s economy remains in the doldrums. That’s the takeaway from the latest unemployment and jobs data released Thursday by the state Department of Labor and Training

The state’s jobless rate inched up from 5.4 percent to 5.5 percent in June.  The good news is that the state gained 1,700 jobs. The bad news is that job growth remains sluggish, with a decline of 100 jobs in the first six months  of 2016.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The FBI has seized about $810,000 in assets under the control of former state Rep. Ray Gallison, a Bristol Democrat, who stepped down in May as chairman of the House Finance Committee.

In an online posting earlier this week, the FBI revealed that it seized the assets under Gallison’s control. Some of the money was part of the estate of a friend of Gallison’s from Barrington who died in 2012. That individual, Ray Medley, had hired Gallison to handle the liquidation of his estate.

The state Ethics Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt a moratorium on outside ethics complaints in the 90 days before a general election.

The moratorium is intended to discourage politically motivated complaints, although the commission reserves the right to launch its own investigations or complaints, commission spokesman Jason Gramitt said.

Common Cause of Rhode Island, Operation Clean Government, and the League of Women Voters supported the moratorium, Gramitt said.

Calling all literate Rhode Islanders and Ocean State ex-pats: For a great read get thee to the bookstore (or Internet if you must) and get Bruce DeSilva’s latest Rhody-centric mystery novel "The Dread Line." It goes on sale in September.

RIPR file photo

The plan to improve the Port of Providence and a proposal to build a new power plan in Burrillville have stirred vigorous debates in recent weeks. 

Gov. Gina Raimondo has scheduled a sit-down with plant opponents. Rhode Island. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if these plans will reprise the 20th Century battles  between environmentalists and business and labor interests. 

John Bender / RIPR

The environmental organization Save The Bay on Monday sharply criticized the proposal for a $20 million taxpayer-financed port development project on the Providence waterfront.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

In the first six months of the year, Governor Gina Raimondo left town more than a dozen times. Here's a look at what the governor has been up to.

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