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.

RIPR FILE

Edward Fitzpatrick, who has been The Providence Journal's political columnist since 2008, is leaving to become the director of media and public relations for Roger Williams University.

The change is effective October 5.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Longtime North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi faces a challenge from fellow Democrat Kristen Catanzaro in Tuesday's primary election. The race is the hardest-fought mayoral contest in this week’s election.

On a recent afternoon, North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi showed off 19 acres of forested preservation land at Camp Meehan, near the town’s border with Smithfield. Sunlight gleamed nearby on the blue water of the Wenscott Reservoir, a scene so bucolic you’d never know that busy Mineral Spring Avenue is only about a mile away.

Happy Weekend and thanks for stopping by for my weekly column! As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Sophie Kasakove

Jim Vincent, president of the Providence NAACP, has called on Gov. Gina Raimondo to begin a formal national search for a new state police superintendent to replace Col. Steven O’Donnell, who is retiring after more than five years on the job.

Vincent said a national search is necessary because the top brass of the state police currently lacks any women or minorities in a position to apply for the job.  "We need a national search so that Rhode Island can get the best possible superintendent.’’

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Colonel Steven O’Donnell of the Rhode Island State Police is retiring later this month.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The state plans to speed up an overhaul of bridges along the 6/10 Connector because they’re deteriorating faster than expected and will eventually pose a safety risk, Governor Gina Raimondo announced Wednesday during a Statehouse news conference.

Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein on Tuesday approved the $25.6 million settlement over 38 Studios with two large financial firms, Wells Fargo Securities and Barclays Capital.

Happy September! The approach of fall brings plenty of fresh developments on the politics beat. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

RI For Gun Safety, a new 527 group funded by former Hasbro Chairman and CEO Alan Hassenfeld is spending tens of thousands on four legislative races ahead of Rhode Island's September 13th primary.

Hassenfeld has contributed $87,500 to the group.

Using that money, the group plans to send four direct mail pieces criticizing House Majority Leader John DeSimone's stance on gun-safety issues. DeSimone faces a primary challenge from Marcia Ranglin-Vassell.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A first-time candidate is challenging one of the most powerful Democrats in the General Assembly, House Majority Leader John DeSimone. 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The residency case involving state Rep. John Carnevale has resulted in an open seat in the House of Representatives. 

First Southwest Company, one of the financial institutions involved in the ill-fated 38 Studios deal, is objecting to the state’s recent settlement agreement with two other banks in the ongoing lawsuit against actors in the video game fiasco.

Lawyers for First Southwest filed a memorandum in Rhode Island Superior Court objecting to the settlement with Barclays Capital and Wells Fargo Securities, which, if approved by the court, would yield just under $26 million in payments to the state.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

  James Doyle, the popular, longest serving mayor of Pawtucket and a fixture in the city’s political leadership for generations, died Friday night. He was 78.

And old-school politician universally known as `Jim’ who climbed the city’s Democratic political ladder, Doyle served for six terms as mayor, until the end of 2010, when Don Grebien won election.

A social studies teacher at Pawtucket West High School, now Shea High School, Doyle was active in Democratic politics. He was first elected to the city council in 1970 and was reelected 13 times.

August is on the way out, and legislative primary races are coming up fast. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, you can send your tips and comments my way, and follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Shawna Lawton, one of two Republicans running for the chance to challenge House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, is drawing attention to how her GOP rival, Steven Frias, has volunteered for an organization that has received legislative grants.

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