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 staff

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo is headed to New Hampshire Thursday night to join New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, who is the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in the Granite State, at a campaign event for Hillary Clinton’s presidential quest.

Raimondo and Hassan, both Democrats, will appear at a telephone bank kick-off in the southern New Hampshire town of Exeter. Raimondo is scheduled to return to Rhode Island Thursday evening.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo said Thursday she picked the new colonel of the state police based on her qualifications and her ability to bring more diversity to the agency.

Dank Depot / flickr/Creative Commons License

With all the focus on the ugly, roller-coaster presidential campaign, a referendum closer to Rhode Island’s borders hasn’t received much media attention in the waning days of the campaign. That would be the Massachusetts ballot question that would legalize recreational marijuana, which voters consider on Tuesday.

The latest public opinion survey for WBUR, Boston’s npr affiliate, shows a 15-point gap in favor of making the weed legal. The poll, conducted by MassINC, showed 55 percent in favor and 40 percent opposed.

Lookout RI's endorsement of House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello through an advertisement in the Cranston Herald may violate an IRS ban on campaign activity by 501(c)(3) organizations.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo has more than $1.5 million in her campaign account as she approaches the mid-point in her term.

Raimondo raised a relatively small amount over the last three months, according to her latest campaign finance report. But the haul pushes the governor’s war chest higher than the previous balance of $1.45 million.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The speaker of the House is often called the most powerful elected official in state government. That’s because the speaker controls the flow of legislation in the House and has a lot of influence over the state budget. But just like a rank and file lawmaker, the speaker has to win re-election every two years.

We're heading into the home stretch ahead of Rhode Island's November 8th election. 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.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

An organizer of the attempt to recall Providence City Councilor Kevin Jackson is criticizing a slowdown in the recall process, although Jackson's lawyer said his client is raising legitimate issues.

As it stands, Jackson has until 4:30 pm Friday to provide the Providence Board of Canvassers with specific objections to the more than 300 signatures gathered to initiate the recall process.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Former GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Block on Monday endorsed Steven Frias, describing Frias as someone who will bring greater change to the Statehouse.

It's not every week that begins with 38 Studios and ends with a yoga pants dispute in Barrington. But that's why Rhode Island is the gift that keeps giving. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips are welcome and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Another month, another poor jobs report in Rhode Island. The September unemployment rate remained at 5.6 percent, but Rhode Island-based jobs were down 900 from August, according to data released today by the state Department of Labor and Training.

The data show job losses in educational services, health care and social assistance, ambulatory health care services and government and professional services.  There were also smaller job declines in manufacturing, information and transportation and utilities.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island voters support all five spending bond issues on the November general election ballot but do not think the state is headed in the right direction, according to results of a public opinion survey conducted by the Hassenfeld  Institute for Public Leadership at Bryant University.

The poll, done by Fleming and Associates, sampled 400 state voters by telephone between October 6th and 10th. It carries an error margin of about 5 percent and included 52 percent landlines and 48 percent mobile phones.

Googie Man / Creative Commons

Curt Schilling said Tuesday he was surprised to learn in 2010 that most of state reps voting on a $125 million job development program were unaware that a big chunk of the money was "earmarked" for 38 Studios.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Critics of Providence City Councilor Kevin Jackson are gathering signatures in an attempt to knock him out of office.

Signatures of 20 percent of the registered voters in Jackson’s Ward 3 district need to be gathered within 120 days days to trigger a recall election.

Jackson is accused of making personal use of campaign contributions and embezzling more than $127,000 from a youth sports organization. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is due back in court in December.

Curt Schilling took to the op-ed page of The Providence Journal Sunday to renew his argument that former Governor Lincoln Chafee bears a large part of the responsibility for the failure of 38 Studios in 2012.

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