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.

New Bedford Whaling Museum

As part of Rhode Island Public Radio's series One Square Mile: New Bedford, political analyst Scott MacKay reflects on the city's past, from whaling to textiles, to its role in the Underground Railroad.


The political heat is rising, slowly but surely, as we move closer to election season. 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

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo maintained her huge financial advantage over gubernatorial rivals in fourth-quarter fundraising, with a balance of $3,349,632 towering over the comparable amount ($240,572) for the closest competitor, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung.

Raimondo has proven an exceptional fundraiser since she entered politics with a 2010 run for state treasurer.

The Providence Journal’s healthcare reporter, Jennifer Bogdan, is taking a post next month as deputy communications director for Governor Gina Raimondo.

Bogdan is joining the governor's communications staff amid the depature of Catherine Rolfe, who is taking a role with Plan International USA, an international NGO based in Warwick. Bodgan starts in the new role February 12.

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As the nation’s political elite was filing into the U.S. Capitol for President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was not among those taking her seat for the speech.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Admirers of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the pint-sized 84-year-old Supreme Court justice, know her as the "Notorious RBG." And Ginsburg did not disappoint while speaking to an auditorium filled with a few hundred law students at Roger Williams University on Tuesday.

The expansion of legal rights over time for women, blacks, gays and other groups was a common theme in Ginsburg’s remarks.

Chapel Grille is the place to be, right? The Cranston restaurant has emerged as a hot spot for political parlays, with uncertain fallout moving forward. 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.  

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Democrats from Washington, D.C.  to New England and beyond are hopeful about their electoral chances in this year’s midterms. But RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay cautions that the party must do more than embrace the Women’s March and Black Lives Matter movements.


RIPR File Photos

Advocates for low-income workers in recent years have pushed in legislatures across the nation for increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit. Now, Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker in his budget proposal is asking the commonwealth’s lawmakers to increase the rate from 23 percent to 30 percent.

Flo Jonic

In a front-page story on Wednesday, The New York Times pointed out that school shootings have become so common that Tuesday’s shooting at a school in the small Kentucky town of Benton was one of 11 shootings involving school properties since Jan. 1st.

Cheryl Snead, CEO and president of Banneker Industries, long one of Rhode Island’s top women business executives and a strong advocate for women and minorities in business, died Monday after complications from a recent surgery. She was 59.

Ian Donnis

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo is defending her proposal to add sports betting as a new source of state revenue, pending a decision at the U.S. Supreme Court. 

It was a busy week in Rhode Island politics, so let's take some time to look back and ahead. 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/RIPR

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo has delivered her annual state budget proposal to the General Assembly. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says her objective this year for the $9.4 billion tax and spending proposal is focused on voters.


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