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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Politics
5:59 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Connie Grosch is David Cicilline's new press secretary

Grosch in the House chamber
Credit Ian Donnis

Connie Grosch, the highly respected photojournalist who was laid off in November as part of broader cost-cutting at the Providence Journal, has been hired as the press secretary for Congressman David Cicilline.

"I couldn't be more thrilled," says Grosch, who is slated to start in the new role on January 22.

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Politics
4:07 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

TGIF: 12 things to know about RI politics + media

Time for my my weekly column. Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to share thoughts via email at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org and stay abreast of stuff during the week with my Twitter feed.

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Politics
12:55 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Bishop Tobin says voters should decide same-sex marriage issue

Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin says Rhode Island voters should be the ones who decide whether to legalize same-sex marriage.

In a statement on Friday, Tobin responded to Governor Lincoln Chafee's assertion a day earlier that he would likely veto a same-sex marriage bill if it makes approval contingent on a statewide vote. Tobin calls Chafee's stance "arbitrary and undemocratic."

"One must ask, respectfully, what the Governor is afraid of?

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Politics
3:30 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Pew report contradicts Speaker Fox's view on payday loans

A report by the Pew Charitable Trusts contradicts House Speaker Gordon Fox's view that clamping down on payday loans would push desperate borrowers to worse alternatives.

During an interview broadcast Thursday on RIPR, Fox called payday loans "a valid tool" for people without other places to turn for money.

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Politics
2:17 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Avedisian, Fung + Doherty staying in touch in advance of 2014

Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and 2012 CD1 candidate Brendan Doherty are keeping their lines of communication open as the three Republicans consider their possible moves for 2014.

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Politics
10:12 am
Thu January 10, 2013

RI native McKay moving to political director role with the Republican Governors Association

Ken McKay, who ran two winning campaigns for former GOP governor Don Carcieri and served as Carcieri's chief of staff for part of his two terms, is headed to a new role as political director of the Republican Governors Association.

The story was first reported Wednesday by Politico:

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Politics
3:20 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Fox calls payday loans "a valid tool" for people with nowhere else to go

Gordon Fox makes his way to the rostrum after winning reelection
Credit Ian Donnis

House Speaker Gordon Fox is defending high-interest payday loans as a useful tool for borrowers who might otherwise face even worse alternatives.

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Politics
10:44 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Decoding Paiva Weed's picks for Judiciary -- and what it means in RI's fight over same-sex marriage

Paiva Weed
Credit General Assembly photo

If Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed wanted to leave an opaque outlook for Rhode Island's coming battle over same-sex marriage, she couldn't have done a better job yesterday with her picks for the all-important Senate Judiciary Committee.

Paiva Weed is a canny politician; She certainly has more to gain by leaving room to maneuver on the same-sex marriage issue than by signaling an unexpected green light just a week into the new legislative session.

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Politics
2:18 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Chafee declares support for eliminating the master lever

Governor Lincoln Chafee is throwing his support behind eliminating the master lever.

“It is time for Rhode Island to join the majority of states and eliminate the Master Lever from the ballot,” said Governor Chafee. “Any mechanism that contributes to voter confusion – and worse, voter disenfranchisement – should not be on the ballot. Its time has come.”

In a news release, the governor says eliminating the master lever will further align Rhode Island with neighboring states and provide its citizens with more open and transparent government. 

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Politics
1:33 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Four new senators added to Judiciary; impact unclear for same-sex marriage

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed unveiled her new selections Tuesday afternoon for the Senate Judiciary Committee with a series of subtractions (Maryellen Goodwin, William Walaska) and additions of newly elected lawmakers (William Conley, Steve Archambault, Lou Raptakis, and Frank Lombardi). What all this means in the coming fight over same-sex marriage isn't entirely clear, although Senate leaders certainly possess the ability to kill the drive for what proponents call "marriage equality." 

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