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.

Inquiring minds in the state public defenders office and beyond are wondering just what kind of game Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, D-Newport, is playing with Governor Lincoln Chafee’s nomination of Mary S. McElroy to be the state’s chief public defender.

McElroy has stellar credentials and 20 years experience in the public defender’s office.  She would also be the first woman to hold the job.

The House is set tomorrow evening to begin considering a $8.1 billion spending plan for the fiscal year starting July 1. Reporters will guess just how far the budget vote will extend into the wee hours Friday morning.

Members of the coalition pushing for cutting the up to 260 percent annual percentage rate interest on payday loans plan to lobby lawmakers at the Statehouse on Wednesday.

With the debacle of 38 Studios front and center, the race in the First Congressional District has faded into the background recently. But a bit of Brendan Doherty’s recent messaging merits attention, since we’ll hear a lot more of this as the campaign heats up.

From a recent fundraising pitch:

Are you ready to elect an experienced leader to the U.S. Congress from Rhode Island?

Veteran prosecutor William J. Ferland is moving up to a new post in the US attorney’s office:

United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha has announced the appointment of Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland as Senior Litigation Counsel for the District of Rhode Island. Mr. Ferland, who joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office on May 1, 2010, after 20 years as a top state prosecutor, replaces former Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew J. Reich who retired on June 1, 2012, after 37 years with the Department of Justice.

House Speaker Gordon Fox, D-Providence and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, D-Newport have both been largely silent on their roles in the doomed Curt Schilling-38 Studios video game deal.

But the two have combined to send out one of those frivolous State House `news’ releases honoring the 100th anniversary of Boston’s Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sawx, the team Schilling once pitched for.

Enviromental activist Abel Collins says he’s planning to run as an indepenedent against Congressman Jim Langevin.

In an advisory for his campaign — due to be unveiled at 3 pm Wednesday (Statehouse steps, facing downtown) — Abel says he’s motivated by frustration over ”the inability of the Republican and Democratic parties to govern for the benefit of the people.”

Raymonde Charles, press secretary for Congressman David Cicilline, is leaving that role to become a regional Ohio-based press secretary for Presid

The hits keep coming for Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, whose administration has landed new agreements for payments in lieu of taxes from Care New England and CharterCARE. City Hall says the latest agreements mean the administration is approaching its $7.1 million target for new contributions by tax-exempts.

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras has struck a tentative agremeent with unions representing city workers and retirees that could move the B-word — bankruptcy — out of the lexicon in the capital city.

Every newspaper has sacred cows. The Providence Journal’s latest is State Treasurer Gina Raimondo. The mordant newsroom joke is that Raimondo is so sacred that she `moos’. Raimondo is a favorite of publisher Howard Sutton; the two served together on the board of Crossroads, which does much good work in our community to help the homeless get back on their feet.