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
12:37 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Statehouse Christmas tree lighting scheduled for Dec. 3

If anyone still cares about the Holiday/Christmas tree Statehouse kerfuffle, Gov. Lincoln Chafee announced today that this year’s rotunda evergreen will be called a`` Christmas tree’’ and that Secretary of State Ralph Mollis will light it on Wednesday, December 3 at 6 p.m.

The 15-foor Fraser Fir evergreen was donated to the state by Sarah Partyka of the Farmer’s Daughter farm in South Kingstown.

``I am happy to be part of such a wonderful holiday tradition, lighting the State House Christmas tree,’’ said Mollis in a statement.

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On Politics
5:04 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

TGIF: 17 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics & Media

The pre-holiday slowdown is descending on the land, but there's still plenty of interesting stuff going on, naturally. So thanks for stopping by and feel free to send me a note at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

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On Politics
4:25 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: Is The Mattiello-Paiva Weed Geezer Tax Cut Plan Realistic?

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed propose ending taxes on pensions and social security.
Credit RIPR FILE

Rhode Island’s Democratic General Assembly leaders want to exempt pensions and social security from state income taxes. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if this makes sense in our cash-strapped state government.

House Speaker Nick Mattiello, D-Cranston and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, D-Newport, have both said that one of their top priorities when the Assembly convenes in January is legislation that would end income taxes on pensions and social security.

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On Politics
6:36 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Matt Jerzyk Joins Speaker Mattiello's Staff As Deputy Legal Counsel

Longtime political operative and staffer Matt Jerzyk has been hired as deputy legal counsel by House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello.

"Matt's experience in city and state government will be a valuable addition as we continue to focus on growing the economy and creating jobs," Mattiello said in a statement.

Jerzyk will continue serving as the part-time city solicitor in Central Falls. He previously served as legal counsel for the House committees on Labor and Small Business, and as senior legal counsel to Providence Mayor Angel Taveras.

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On Politics
12:37 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Gov.-elect Raimondo considering Barbara Cottam for chief of staff

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo is considering Citizens Bank executive Barbara Cottam for a top position in her new administration, according to Statehouse sources.

Cottam, who has vast experience in both the private and political sectors in Rhode Island, is under consideration for chief of staff, one of the most important positions in any gubernatorial administration.

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On Politics
4:15 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

TGIF: 17 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics & Media

Rhode Island's crop of newly elected officials are starting to staff up as we move toward the Thanksgiving lull later this month. Thanks for stopping by. As always, feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (org) and to follow me on the twitters. Let's get to it.

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On Politics
3:33 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: The War Is On Thanksgiving, Not Christmas

Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Conservatives love to say that liberalism and political correctness have led to a `War on Christmas’ RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says the war is actually against Thanksgiving.

The Thanksgiving turkey hasn’t been stuffed yet but the frenzy of Christmas shopping has begun with the annual blizzard of tinsel and glitz. Stroll into your local CVS and you are greeted by shelves festooned with overstuffed Santa Claus figures.

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On Politics
1:51 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Raimondo Announces Transition Team Members

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo has formed her 13-member transition team. Here's the rundown, with bios presented in a statement from the governor-elect's transition director, Joy Fox:

Senator Dennis Algiere, Senate Minority Leader in the Rhode Island General Assembly, and Senior Vice President for the Washington Trust Company in Westerly

Deborah Brayton, former Chief of Staff to Providence Mayor David Cicilline, former Legislative Director for Senator Lincoln Chafee and former executive director of Amos House

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On Politics
3:44 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

If Sanders runs for president, Tad Devine is in

If Bernie Sanders, Vermont’s left-leaning U.S. senator, decides to run for the Democratic presidential nomination, one Rhode Islander who will be on his team is veteran Democratic political consultant Tad Devine.

Devine, who has held top roles in the presidential campaigns of John Kerry, Mike Dukakis and Al Gore, has had Sanders as a client, going back to the 1990s, when Sanders held Vermont’s lone seat in the U.S. House.

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On Politics
12:24 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Hassett Vying with Aponte for Providence City Council Presidency

Hassett gets sworn in following an incident when he was struck by a hit and run driver in 2010.
Credit Ian Donnis/File Photo

Ward 12 Councilor Terrence "Terry" Hassett is pursuing an effort to become the next president of the Providence City Council, raising questions about whether Ward 10 Councilor Luis Aponte will have the votes to gain the council's top position in January.

Hassett declined to identify how many of his 14 council colleagues are supporting him, although he said he has a "healthy" amount of backing in what he called a fluid situation.

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