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
3:45 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Can RI keep Superman Building from going dark?

Providence already has too many underused office buildings. RI political analyst Scott MacKay on what can be done to prevent the Superman building from going dark.

Maybe you were driving home from a night Celtics, Bruins or Red Sox game. Or perhaps you visited friends in Boston or were returning from summer vacation on a lake in Vermont or New Hampshire.

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On Politics
7:49 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

After 16-Year Fight, Rhode Island Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

Governor Lincoln Chafee presents Rhode Island's new same-sex marriage law to openly gay lawmakers, House Speaker Gordon Fox and state Senator Donna Nesselbush
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

To the delight of a crowd of hundreds of people in front of the Statehouse, Governor Lincoln Chafee on Thursday evening signed into law legislation making Rhode Island the 10th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Two companion bills forming the basis for the law sped through the General Assembly in recent weeks, in sharp contrast to how the issue of same-sex marriage languished for the preceding 16 years.

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On Politics
2:25 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Same-Sex Marriage Bill-Signing Marks a Bright Day for Lincoln Chafee

Chafee visiting with centenarians Thursday in advance of his big moment
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee has faced more than his share of stormy political weather since squeaking his way into office in November 2010, with less than 40 percent of the statewide vote.

The state's disastrous investment in 38 Studios blew up on his watch. Unemployment, even with recent declines, has remained high. Chafee has suffered his own self-inflicted wounds, and his persistently sub-30 percent approval rating leaves open the possibility that he could be a one-term governor.

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On Politics
10:24 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Fox Foe Mark Binder Announces New Challenge to the Speaker

We're 18 months out from the November 2014 election, but that's not stopping Mark Binder from announcing on Thursday another legislative challenge to House Speaker Gordon Fox.

Via news release:

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On Politics
2:17 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Are Rhode Island's Openly Gay Lawmakers Hearing Wedding Bells?

Speaker Fox with his parner, Marcus LaFond (center), during Fox's most recent swearing-in, in January
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

After helping to shepherd same-sex marriage legislation on what once seemed an improbable path to victory, House Speaker Gordon Fox was a bit surprised Tuesday to be asked about his own wedding plans.

"I'm just trying to plan to get through this session," Fox said, laughing, when asked if he has plans to marry later this year. "That's a curve ball. I hadn't though about that one. Maybe you should ask my partner that."

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On Politics
2:03 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Council President Mike Solomon serious about mayoral run

If Providence City Council President Mike Solomon doesn’t win an expected Democratic primary for mayor in 2014, it won’t be for lack of trying.

Solomon has worked in synch with Mayor Angel Taveras, who is widely expected to run for the Democratic nomination for governor.  Solomon, has arguably been the most effective council president since Elmwood's Nick Easton, who held the post under Mayor Joseph R. Paolino Jr., in the mid-1980s.

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On Politics
11:43 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Brett Smiley Exploring A Run for Mayor of Providence

Fundraising specialist and lobbyist Brett Smiley is joining those looking at a run for mayor of Providence if Angel Taveras moves on next year.

"I am seriously exploring a race for mayor in 2014," Smiley tells RIPR. He says he has started meeting with people to talk about a possible run and plans to make a decision this summer about whether to move forward.

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On Politics
6:54 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Chafee Set to Sign Same-Sex Marriage Bills on Thursday

Judiciary chairwoman Edith Ajello instructs Kara Young to sit down during the committee meeting.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee, who emphasized same-sex marriage during his inaugural address on the south side of the Statehouse in 2011, is set to use the same location Thursday to sign same-sex marriage bills into law.

The signing ceremony is tentatively planned for 5:45 p.m. Thursday, after the House is expected to offer final passage of the legislation. Rhode Island will become the tenth US state to legalize same-sex marriage, and the last in New England to do so.

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On Politics
11:39 am
Tue April 30, 2013

ProJo continues to bleed readers

From the eagle eye of WPRI’s premier blogger, Ted Nesi, comes word that won’t surprise any regular reader of the Providence Journal, Rhode Island’s flagship newspaper. The once robust news outlet continues to hemorrhage readers, which inevitably leads to a drop in advertising as businesses find other ways to reach customers.

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On Politics
9:45 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Speaker Fox Pours Cold Water on Superman Building Owner's Quest for 39M in State Help

HR&A Advisors of New York is out with its economic-impact report on the now-vacant Superman Building, which was prepared for Cornish Associates.

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