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.

In a scathing news release, Narragansett Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas outlines a litany of grievances involving Rhode Island’s likely expansion of state-sponsored gambling and calls for a meeting with Governor Lincoln Chafee, House Speaker Gordon Fox, and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed “to address this disgraceful situation.”

In a victory for the Rhode Island media, the state Supreme Court has upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a defamation case filed by Providence restaurateur Robert I. “Bob” Burke against the Providence Journal, ProJo Statehouse chief Katherine Gregg, WPRO talk-show host Dan Yorke and Citadel Broadcasting, the former owner of WPRO.

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, a former Pawtucket police officer, and state police Colonel Steven O’Donnell are offering this reaction to the conviction today of North Providence Police Chief John Whiting:


“This office takes seriously its responsibility of bringing all those who break the law to justice.

Doherty raised about 200K in Q2; 660K+ cash on hand

Jul 3, 2012

Brendan Doherty’s congressional campaign raised about $200,000 in the recently ended second quarter of 2012, leaving the campaign with a little more than $660,00o in its war chest, according to political director Robert Coupe.

I’ve made an inquiry about David Cicilline’s comparable figures for Q2 and will update this post after getting that information.

Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown is set to headline a fundraiser for Republican Congressional candidate Brendan Doherty this evening at the Metacomet Country Club in East Providence.

State Senator Rhoda Perry,  a liberal stalwart from Providence, has decided against seeking re-election after more than two decades in the chamber.

House Speaker Gordon Fox is distancing himself from responsibility for the demise of 38 Studios.

Matt Jerzyk, drector of policy, municipal affairs and senior counsel to Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, has accepted an assignment as deputy city solicitor, RIPR has learned.

House Speaker Gordon Fox, during a taping this morning of WPRI/WNAC-TV’s Newsmakers, said he plans to call a vote on same-sex marriage early in the next legislative session. While legislative elections this fall could change the composition of the House, Fox believes he has the votes to pass the measure (assuming he wins re-election).

Marriage Equality Rhode Island has released the following statement in response:

Providence City Solicitor Jeffrey Padwa is backing the ability of the City Council’s Finance Committee to change its chairman.

Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, was the headliner for a mid-day state GOP fundraiser at Hemenway’s Restaurant in Providence.

State GOP chairman Mark Zaccaria says proceeds — which were expected to hit a target of $5000 — will go to Republican legislative candidates. The event was closed to media.

The reaction is streaming in to the US Supreme Court’s decision, on a 5-4 vote, to uphold most of the Democratic-backed Affordable Care Act:

Senator Jack Reed:

“Health reform is long overdue.  Nearly two decades ago, former Republican Senator John H. Chafee pointed out that a private health insurance market works best when everyone is in the insurance market.  And during the debate in 2009, top Republicans in Congress were still saying “there is a bipartisan consensus to have an individual mandate.”

The hydrangeas are in full bloom, the sailboats bob on their harbor moorings and the red, white and blue stripe adorns Hope Street. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay takes a break from politics to celebrate our nation’s birth.

It’s the height of summer: long days of light framed by peach sunsets, high sun and a cobalt sky punctuated by whipped cream clouds.

The handsome Federal and Greek revival homes are dressed in American flags and more red white and blue bunting than Fenway Park on Opening Day.

Moody’s Investors Service says the $8.1 billion budget signed into law by Governor Lincoln Chafee on June 15 “is credit positive for Central Falls and schools, but leaves Woonsocket and pensions unaddressed.”

Moody’s points to “a material increase in funding for schools” — $34 million, or almost 4 percent, “marking the third consecutive annual increase in school funding. State funding for education now stands at over $900 million, well above pre-recession peak.”

Lawyer Max Wistow, a partner in the Providence firm of Wistow & Barylick, was hired by the state today to try to reduce the roughly $100 million liability faced by taxpayers due to the meltdown of 38 Studios.

After being introduced by Governor Chafee during a Statehouse news conference, Wistow said he couldn’t offer specifics on his approach since he’d just started on the job as a special counsel for the state Economic Development Corporation.