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.

Baseball is back, there are rumors of warmer temperatures, and the political beat continues to run hot. 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.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Baseball is back in New England this week, as both the Boston Red Sox and the Pawtucket Red Sox begin their home seasons.  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if Rhode Island state government can forge a new stadium deal to keep the PawSox in the Ocean State.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Planning officials, neighborhood groups and developers are gathering Thursday at the Rhode Island Convention Center for Grow Smart Rhode Island’s Power of Place Summit. The annual summit is meant to showcase ideas for developing stronger, more vibrant communities. Grow Smart RI’s executive director, Scott Wolf, said one of the new obstacles to smarter development is what he calls “renewable energy sprawl.”

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Rhode Islanders have a financial stake in a current test of the U.S. Census, according to Common Cause of RI executive director John Marion.

Andrew Augustus

Andrew Augustus is joining Cranston Mayor Allan Fung's GOP gubernatorial campaign as press secretary.

Augustus previously worked as a reporter for WPRO AM and as a press associate for Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza.

Augustus recently returned to Rhode Island after briefly residing in Nevada.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

ATTLEBORO -- Considering his famous last name, U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III has kept a relatively low profile.

Rhode Island District Court Judge William C. Clifton, a witty, wise and much respected jurist, and one of the very few African-Americans to serve as a judge in the state judiciary, has died after a battle with cancer. He was 75.

What if there were predictions of a big snow storm and the forecasted flakes failed to materialize? Well, unexpected stuff happens -- in weather, as in politics. With that note, 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.

National Weather Service

Rhode Island and Connecticut are two bordering New England states whose residents have usually gotten along. But RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders has noticed that relations have gotten chippy lately.

Latino Public Radio will end its programming at 1290 AM after March 31, becoming an internet-based station, due to budgetary issues at LPR, according to the management of Rhode Island Public Radio.

RIPR, which had a programming agreement with LPR, announced this development in a statement from the public-relations firm Duffy & Shanley. According to the statement, LPR terminated its programming agreement with RIPR.

Univerity of Rhode Island

University of Rhode Island basketball coach Dan Hurley, who has resurrected the URI men’s program and taken the Rams to two consecutive NCAA tournaments, is leaving to coach at the University of Connecticut for a salary reported to be about $3 million a year.

U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse were among the Democrats voting with Republicans Tuesday to block a move to end American support for a Saudi-led coalition in a war in Yemen.

"I share the concerns of many colleagues about the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Yemen," Whitehouse said in a statement. "I don't see how precipitous withdrawal of the limited support the U.S. military provides would make things better in achieving our humanitarian or strategic aims, and voting on it without hearings or committee work seems rash."

Rhode Island Department of Public Safety

Fees from Rhode Island's E-911 program have been diverted for other uses since the fees were introduced in 1997.

The E-911 program faces criticism from state Rep. Robert Lancia (R-Cranston), who fears that under-staffing could cause delays in responding to an emergency, and a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, who calls Rhode Island one of the most egregious offenders in diverting funds meant for 911 services.

We're closing in on the start of the baseball season, although you might not know it from the weather. Plus, the political cauldron continues to boil in the Biggest Little. So thanks for stopping by. Your comments are welcome and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go. 

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

It’s well past time for the Statehouse scofflaws –Governor Gina Raimondo’s administration and the General Leadership—to be held accountable for the latest embarrassment.