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
5:25 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

What Chafee as a Democratic candidate means

What you think of Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s decision to become a Democrat probably depends on where you stand on his two and a half year record as the nation’s only independent governor and whether you believe he deserves a second term.

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On Politics
12:40 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Chafee to Seek Re-election as a Democrat

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee plans to visit Warwick City Hall Thursday morning to change his party affiliation from unaffiliated to Democrat and to make a brief statement.

Chafee plans to make the switch at 10:30 am Thursday, according to spokesman Christian Vareika (who emphasized he was speaking on personal time, on a personal phone).

Vareika denied that Chafee's move is an opportunistic one in advance of a tough re-election fight:

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On Politics
3:50 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Chafee Administration Analyzing Cost of Not Paying Back 38 Studios' Investors

The Chafee administration is conducting a financial analysis on the cost of not paying back the moral obligation bonds that funded a $75 million loan guaranty for failed video game maker 38 Studios, the governor's spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Chafee spokeswoman Christine Hunsinger says the governor remains a strong believer that paying back the investors who bought the bonds is the right thing to do.

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On Politics
4:08 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

TGIF: 8 Things to Know About RI Politics + Media

Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column, truncated this time before the ceremonial start of summer. Let's get to it.

1. The 2013 legislative season will be remembered as the Year Rhode Island Legalized Same-Sex Marriage. How much more of substance gets done as the weeks tick down is an open question, particularly with lower than expected revenue estimates casting a pall over the budget. 

2. Steve Laffey, the voters of Colorado barely knew ye.

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On Politics
2:56 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Rhode Island Courts: The Insider Lollapalozza

After the Rhode Island court scandals of the 1990s, the state changed the way judges are chosen. RIPR political analyst explains why lawyers with Statehouse connections keep getting appointed to the bench despite the reforms.

Common Cause of Rhode Island, the good government group, the Rhode Island Bar Association and a past president of the NAACP skewered Gov. Lincoln Chafee recently when he elevated former Senate President Joe Montalbano to a coveted judgeship on the state superior court bench.

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On Politics
4:31 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Young Volunteers Could Loom Large in the Expected Taveras-Raimondo Primary in 2014

The sophisticated grassroots campaign in support of same-sex marriage offers a tangible reminder of the value of field work makes in Rhode Island politics. So as we move closer to an expected Democratic gubernatorial clash between Angel Taveras and Gina Raimondo next year, keep an eye on their level of outreach to young political activists.

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On Politics
12:33 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Hassett Throws Support in Secretary of State Race to Pacheco

Longtime Providence City Councilor Terry Hassett, who had been eyeing a bid for secretary of state in 2014, has decided to seek re-election instead while tossing his support to former state Democratic chairman Edwin Pacheco.

Via news release:

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On Politics
11:21 am
Tue May 21, 2013

URI: No interest in varsity hockey

The Atlantic Hockey blog mentions that the University of Rhode Island is being considered by league brass to replace the University of Connecticut, which is moving its Division 1 hockey team into the Hockey East.

The Atlantic Hockey Conference is known as a stepping stone conference for colleges moving up to Division 1. Quinnipiac, for example, started in Atlantic Hockey and is now a national power that plays in the ECAC conference along with such Ivy League schools as Brown and Yale, which won the national championship a few weeks back over Quinnipiac, Yale’s New Haven neighbor.

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On Politics
10:27 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Ken Block Announces Run for Governor in 2014

Moderate Party founder Ken Block, who has hinted for months about a second run for governor, made it official Tuesday, unveiling a campaign Web site and an announcement:

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On Politics
9:36 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Steve Laffey Running for Governor in Colorado

Former Cranston Mayor Stephen Laffey, who had a meteoric rise in Rhode Island politics before losing a Republican primary challenge to then-US Senator Lincoln Chafee in 2006, is headed toward a GOP run for governor in his adopted state of Colorado.

Via KDVR (h/t Kathy Gregg):

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