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.

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At a time when a US nuclear agreement with Iran remains the subject of sharp debate, a two-year-old law calling for Rhode Island to divest from companies doing business with Iran has failed to result in the divestment of any money.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

The state Republican Party said Wednesday it has filed a state Ethics Commission complaint against former state Rep. Donald Lally, whose hiring by the Raimondo administration in July -- four months after he left the legislature -- is sparking debate about whether it violated the state's revolving door law.

The complaint was announced in a statement by RI GOP chairman Brandon Bell.

The RI state police financial crimes unit has arrested a Scituate woman for allegedly stealing more than $125,000 from the Junior League of Rhode Island, a non-profit organization that champions good causes.

Kimberly Moore, 48, formerly of 31 Central Pike, Scituate was arrested and charged with embezzlement and access to a computer for a fraudulent purpose.

The investigation of Moore was triggered by a complaint filed with the state police by members of the Junior League’s executive board, according to a statement by Maj. Joseph Philbin, RISP detective commander.

John Hawkins, the former RI Senate majority leader, father of the R.I. Lottery and a political power in Rhode Island for generations, died early Monday of a stroke. He was 80.

He was active until the last few hours of his life, said his nephew, William Hawkins, who along with other family members was at Hawkins bedside at Rhode Island Hospital when he died at 12:20 a.m. He had stopped one of his favorite spots, Twin Oaks in Cranston just hours before collapsing at his Providence home.

The plan for a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox in Providence has hit a roadblock. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses how this field of dreams turned into a nightmare.

It's a somber Friday as we pause to remember 9/11 and the lives lost 14 years ago. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As always, your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

AFGE / flickr

While the Donald Trump surge in the Republican presidential sweepstakes has dominated media coverage among GOP hopefuls, the Democratic side has been suffused with reports about Hillary Clinton’s foundering campaign and her drop in public opinion poll favorability ratings.

RIPR file photo

Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein has slated two hearings, starting next Tuesday, on whether to keep confidential some of the documents related to the state's lawsuit over 38 Studios.

It is not clear why Silverstein decided to take this step. Court Clerk Henry S. Kinch Jr. says the judge is trying to get consensus from the different parties in the case.

"He’s really focused on getting as much of the material that is agreed upon to be released," Kinch said. "That’s what he’s trying to do here."

Congressman David Cicilline announced Tuesday that he is supporting the Obama administration's nuclear agreement with Iran, and believes the world will be safer with the deal than without it.


Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence said today that he is ``extremely pleased’’ that Pope Francis has ``approved the simplification of the annulment process.’’

In a statement, Tobin said, ``It will perhaps allow some Catholics to have prior marriage situations resolved in a way that will benefit them spiritually, while also maintaining the essential Catholic teaching regarding the permanence of the Sacrament of Matrimony.

Torey Malatia
Elizabeth Manley

Rhode Island Public Radio announced Tuesday it has hired Torey Malatia, who led Chicago's public radio station, WBEZ, for nearly 20 years, as its new president, CEO, and general manager.

Judge Berman's decision arrives in time to salvage a disappointing sports season in New England, as, meanwhile, the future home of the PawSox hangs in the balance. Thanks for stopping by for my weekend column. As usual, feel free to share your tips and thoughts at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

Wikimedia Commons

For  workers and unions, there hasn’t been much to celebrate on Labor Day in recent years. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says things may finally be looking up.

Before you start that barbeque and get into your favorite beverages, treat yourself to a visit to the Museum of Work and Culture, where the spirit of Labor Day is celebrated every day.

On Monday, the museum tucked away in Woonsocket’s historic mill district, holds its annual Open House. Admission is free on Labor Day.

The museum is one of the few in the U.S. that documents and celebrates working people, unions  and their struggles. It is also a repository for the French-Canadian immigrant experience in the Blackstone Valley.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

The potential cost of buying Brown University-owned land for a PawSox stadium is raising questions about the feasibility of the project, a team spokeswoman said Thursday.

PawSox spokeswoman Patti Doyle said the team still hopes to reach a renegotiated agreement to build a 10,000-seat ballpark on part of the former I-195 land in Providence.

But Doyle acknowledged that the cost of buying the part of the land owned by Brown -- expected to top $10 million -- is leading to questions of "Is this still workable? Is this something we can come to terms with?"