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.

A crucial aspect of the state’s new Open Meetings and Access to Public Records acts is whether the attorney general is ready to be vigilant in enforcing the amended provisions approved by the General Assembly.

The good news for open government advocates is that Atty. Gen. Peter Kilmartin has announced that he and his staff are holding a July 27th information seminar at Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol to explain details of the new law, which is designed to strengthen Rhode Island’s open government laws, which have too often been ignored in the past.

Twin River has spent $578,741 since the start of March to encourage voters to support the expansion of gambling in Rhode Island during a statewide vote this November, state campaign finance records show. The comparable figure for Newport Grand is more modest: $21,400.

Providence Journal reporter Richard Salit will take over the role formerly played by his esteemed colleague, the late Peter Lord, at the Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting.

Sunshine Menezes, the Metcalf’ Institute’s executive director, says this in a news release:

Congressman David Cicilline’s campaign says it raised more than $300,000 during the second quarter, leaving it with a war chest of more than $825,000 as the First District race starts to heat up in earnest.

Republican Brendan Doherty’s team said last week it expected a haul of about $200,000 during Q2. The campaign’s cash on hand was put at more than $660,000.

Despite repeated and sustained requests for interviews from a bevy of Rhode Island news organizations, Curt Schilling and his wife Shonda continue to utilize Facebook to fire back at reports emanating from the Ocean State.

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.