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.

Full archives of this blog can be found here.

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On Politics
4:26 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Zaccaria Unveils Republican Challenge to Jack Reed

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Republican Mark Zaccaria, a former state GOP chairman who ran unsuccessfully against US Representative Jim Langevin in 2008 and 2010, on Monday unveiled his challenge against US Senator Jack Reed.

Although Republicans hope to gain control of the US Senate, Reed's seat is considered among the safest in the chamber.

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On Politics
4:00 am
Mon July 7, 2014

House Speaker Mattiello Claims Improvement on RI's Business Climate

House Speaker Nicholas Matiello
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello emerged in March with a strong hold on what is commonly called the state's most powerful political office. Following the unveiling of a probe of former speaker Gordon Fox, Mattiello won a brief succession fight and pledged a stronger focus on jobs and the economy. Mattiello sat down last week to discuss his first few months as speaker and some of the top issues facing the state, including his choice for governor and Buddy Cianci's latest comeback attempt.

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On Politics
1:05 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

TGIF: 17 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics & Media

Happy Independence Day! Thanks for stopping by for my Friday column. Feel free to share your tips via idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org and to follow me on the twitters. Without further ado, and with a lot more political fireworks on the way, let's get going.

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On Politics
11:45 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Bruins Fans Get Their RI License Plates

Hockey fans of the Boston Bruins will be able to show their allegiance on their Rhode Island license plates under legislation approved by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Lincoln Chafee.

Under the law, the new Bruins plates will cost hockey devotees an extra $40, half of which will go to the state and half will be allocated to charities affiliated with the Boston Bruins Foundation. The money must be spent on Rhode Island-based charities.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
5:04 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: We're Trying To Keep Politics Focused On Issues. Will You Help?

Rhode Island Statehouse
Credit RIPR FILE

You may be fed up with Rhode Island politics. But RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says now is no time for Rhode Islanders to retreat into a cocoon of apathy.

It’s the high season of summer in our corner of southeastern New England. A time of blue skies, fluffy whipped cream clouds and sun-washed surf. It’s what many of us consider our best season. Proust had his madeleines. Rhode Island natives have our childhood memories stirred by plates stacked high with steamers, saugys and clambakes on the beach.

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On Politics
1:02 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Joe Paolino moving to Newport, planning strong table games campaign for Newport Grand

Former Providence Mayor Joseph Paolino has been a stalwart booster of Buddy Cianci’s redemption tour. But now that Cianci has filed for election for Providence mayor and Charles Mansolillo has been appointed Cianci’s campaign manager, Paolino is turning his political attention to Newport, where he is part of a group that wants to buy and improve the Newport Grand gambling emporium.

(Rhode Island being Rhode Island, Paolino and Mansolillo are well-acquainted; the two ran against each other for mayor in 1986 in a campaign won comfortably by Paolino).

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On Politics
5:15 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Mattiello: Cianci's Effect on RI's Image is For Voters to Decide

Mattiello at the rostrum during the 2014 House session.
Credit Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says he considers Buddy Cianci "a great guy," but the speaker isn't taking sides in the debate about whether Cianci's latest comeback attempt is good or bad for Rhode Island's reputation.

"I'll leave that to the citizens of the City of Providence to make that determination," Mattiello said during a Statehouse interview Tuesday afternoon.

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On Politics
12:39 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

The 229th Bristol Fourth

Hike the streets of Bristol this week. It’s an exercise in history and Old Home Week. From the concerts in Independence Park, to the taverns, markets and a Hope Street adorned with the freshly painted  red, white and blue stripe down the middle.

This old  New England port, marinated in history, is the scene this week of handshakes and hugs, as people who haven’t seen each other recently - some in many years – greet and relive the old times.

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On Politics
5:02 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

TGIF: 10 Things to Know Mostly About Buddy Cianci

Just another nice quiet week here in the Biggest Little, right? Thanks for stopping by and welcome back to my Friday column. Your tips and thoughts are always welcome via idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me all week long on the twitters. Let's get to it.

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On Politics
2:04 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: The Providence Mayoral Race, It's Not All About Buddy

Who will sit in the mayor's office next term? There will be at least four candidates for the job on the general election ballot.
Credit RIPR FILE

So Buddy Cianci is back in the campaign for Providence mayor. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay reminds us that he isn’t the only candidate.

Every newsroom used to have a crusty city editor who berated young reporters. Mine was a revered Providence Journal editor named Al Johnson who barked, ``put them in the ambulance before you take them to the hospital’’ when he wanted a story about a car accident.

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