Political news


A former House Finance chairman is downplaying his role in the loan program used to lure 38 Studios to Rhode Island in 2010. Steve Costantino now serves as a publicly funded health insurance program in Vermont.

Katherine Doherty

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo took the ice bucket challenge Tuesday afternoon on the Statehouse steps. Alongside half a dozen Rhode Island politicians, Raimondo dumped more than three gallons of icy water on her head to raise money for ALS research.

The ice bucket challenge is part of a national campaign to raise awareness about ALS and fund research for a cure. 

Raimondo took the challenge from Massachussetts Governor Charlie Baker. She has now challenged House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed to take up the cause.


The Cranston City Council voted “No Confidence” in Mayor Allan Fung during a meeting Monday night.  The largely symbolic vote was a narrow one, five to four, and comes following a scathing police report investigating the Cranston Police department.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s rare that such action is taken by a city government.

As Lincoln Chafee treks across the country on his longshot bid for the democratic presidential nomination, the former Rhode Island governor continues to provide fodder for late night comedians.

Conan O’Brien aired an elaborate joke, designed to get Chafee more supporters.

O’Brien convinced musicians Ted Leo and Aimee Mann to write Chafee an unofficial campaign song, to the tune of “She Drives Me Crazy.”

Elisabeth Harrison

U.S. Senator Jack Reed is defending his support for President Barack Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran. The Democrat says the deal will stall  nuclear buildup, and solidify the U.S. as  major figure in international diplomacy.

"I think we have a much stronger voice in the international community if we decide we must take action," said Reed. "If we are seen as the ones that walked away from this arrangement, I think the Iranians would complain that they were victimized."

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza is slated to return Thursday from a trip scouting economic development ideas in Guatemala.

Elorza and the city’s economic development director have met with Guatemala’s president and the mayor of Guatemala City during their visit. A spokesman says ports development has been among the topics of discussion.

Elorza is the son of Guatemalan immigrants and he grew up in the West End of Providence.

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Katherine Doherty

Governor Gina Raimondo has cleared her schedule for a family vacation. 

After a busy summer, Raimondo's office says she plans to spend a few days in New Hampshire with her husband and two children.

Raimondo's activity over the summer included a task force to reduce the cost of health care, and another task force to tackle the drug overdose crisis.  

In July, she responded to an audit that revealed serious financial mismanagement at the Department of Children Youth and Families.

One of the people putting together a new economic strategy for Rhode Island says the plan will include specific, actionable recommendations. The study is expected to be completed by December or January.

The Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program is collaborating with the state to devise a strategy for growing jobs. Private funding is paying for the effort. Brookings’ Senior Fellow Mark Muro said the economic strategy will include both long-term and short-term components.


The Cranston City Council may ask the General Assembly to overhaul the disciplinary process used for vetting complaints against police officers. Yet those changes are considered unlikely due to opposition from police unions.

Ian Donnis

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung’s response to a police controversy could damage his political prospects, according to Brown University political science professor Wendy Schiller. Schiller said it will take time for the fallout to settle from a state police report, which alleges the mayor interfered in the Cranston Police Department.

Mayor Fung has declined, at least for now, to release the report, pointing to confidentiality issues. Schiller said that could be a mistake.

Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner is weighing in on the legal challenge to the settlement over the state pension overhaul, whether he is considering a run for the governor’s office, and more.

Magaziner sat down with Rhode Island Public Radio News Director Elisabeth Harrison and RIPR Political Analyst Scott MacKay.

RIPR File Photo

Sen. Jack Reed has not decided whether he supports President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. On the one hand, Reed calls the agreement historic. On the other hand, he points out that failure would mean nuclear capabilities for Iran, which could spread to neighboring countries.

Raimondo Signs Bill Aimed At Police, Race Relations

Jul 14, 2015
Katherine Doherty

Governor Gina Raimondo has signed legislation that requires local police departments to collect and report data on race and traffic stops. The data must be submitted to the State Department of Transportation each year.

State Representative Joseph Almeida (D-Providence), who has been trying to get similar legislation passed since 1999, said the bill represents one step towards addressing Civil Rights issues in the state.

Wikimedia Commons

Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley visits the Ocean State Tuesday for a fundraiser in Jamestown.

The democrat will attend an event billed as a cookout at the home Liz and Michael Perik, an entrepreneur in education technology. Tickets start at $100 per person, and can cost as much as $2,700. The fundraiser starts at 6 p.m.

O’Malley stops in the Ocean State in between stumping in Iowa and nearby New Hampshire, which holds the nation’s first primary.

Governor Gina Raimondo has selected Colonel Christopher P. Callahan as the new Adjutant General of Rhode Island and the Commanding General of the Rhode Island National Guard.

Callahan will replace Major General Kevin McBride, who retired in June. Raimondo describes him as an experienced serviceman after 25 years and various positions in the National Guard.