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
5:00 am
Fri June 8, 2012

It’s 3:38 am — do you know where your state budget is?

House Speaker Gordon Fox cut a comfortable figure on the rostrum last night as the chamber made its way through another mind-numbing 12-hour budget debate, adjourning shortly before 4 am with an $8.1 billion spending plan.

When Representative Daniel Gordon invoked Moses (“Let my people go!” Gordon said, in a protest of possible tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge, Fox had a game response. “Should I touch this?” Fox said to rippling laughter from the reps. ”Because, Representative Gordon, if you truly can channel Moses and you can part those seas, we don’t even need the bridges!”

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On Politics
4:00 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Why no RIC-URI Nursing School project?

The nursing school that was to be shared by the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College is on life support. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if this project became a victim of our state’s legendary turf battles.

When it was proposed two years ago, the plan to build a new $60 million nursing school in Providence’s Jewelry District was what politicians, business leaders and educators like to call a “win-win.’’

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On Politics
5:00 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Senate President Paiva Weed and the Mary McElroy public defender nomination

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.

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On Politics
5:00 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Newberry and Valencia debate whether the budget process is a farce

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.

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On Politics
5:00 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Advocates set to press for cutting 260 percent APR on payday loans

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.

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On Politics
4:00 am
Tue June 5, 2012

(More) Coming attractions from Brendan Doherty

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?

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On Politics
3:00 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Ferland named senior litigation counsel in the US attorney’s office

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.

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On Politics
5:00 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Fox, Paiva Weed silent on Schilling but vocal on Fenway 100th

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.

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On Politics
4:00 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Environmental activist plans independent run against Langevin

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.”

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On Politics
4:00 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Cicilline staffer Raymonde Charles joining Obama’s campaign in Ohio

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

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