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.

Memorial Service for Tom scheduled for Saturday January 7, 2017 at 11 a.m. at Grace Episcopal Church, 175 Mathewson Street, Providence.

Thomas S. LaFauci, a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffer,  gifted speech writer and aide to such top Democratic political figures as Joe Biden, John Kerry, Thomas Foley and Bob Menendez, died last night at Rhode Island Hospital after being stricken at home in Cranston. He was 67.

He has been battling an unusual lung disorder recently, but his death was unexpected, said his widow, Elizabeth `Libby’ Rock.

It's starting to feel like winter, but the political beat continues to run hot. 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.

A New York developer is scaling back his proposal for a three-tower development in the I-195 District.

Jason Fane wants state officials to move quickly to support a single 43-story residential tower in the district.

Fane said he hopes to develop two additional towers in future phases, depending on the level of market demand.

In a statement, Fane says the single tower would catalyze other new uses in the 195 District.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo took part a ceremonial groundbreaking Wednesday to mark the start of the first development utilizing the state's Rebuild RI tax credit.

The Commons at Providence Station will create 169 apartments on 2.85 acres of vacant land near the Providence train station. The project is utilizing a $5.6 million Rebuild RI tax credit and a 15-year tax stabilization agreement with the City of Providence.

Raimondo hailed the development as a sign of positive momentum in the state, aided by the award of 15 Rebuild RI tax credits.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Michigan was the scene of the tightest race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, with Clinton losing by less than 11,000 votes. It was a state that had been considered part of the Democrats’ firewall, until it fell to Trump. The head of Clinton’s Michigan campaign, Stephen Neuman, was previously chief of staff for Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo. Neuman stopped by our studio to talk about his experience in Michigan.

Just a few weeks remain until 2017, a year bound to be filled with political drama. 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.

RIPR file photo / RIPR

State Treasurer Seth Magaziner is calling on the Trump administration to keep financial regulations put in place after the Great Recession.

Magaziner outlines his view in a letter to Trump’s designated Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Upholding your promises is vital, the legislative process is kind of like an old-school Saturday morning cartoon, and the most important thing lawmakers can do is to keep their life in order.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Republican Steven Frias, who came close to toppling House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello in his state representative district in Cranston, announced Tuesday that he's dropped his challenge to the outcome of the race.

"After five months of being focused on this race, it is time for me to concede the election," Frias said in a statement.

RIPR file photo / RIPR

With Democrats still reeling from their losses in the election earlier this month, Congressman David Cicilline and Jim Langevin continue to support Nancy Pelosi as the minority leader in the US House of Representatives.

Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan is challenging Pelosi, arguing that fresh leadership is needed to help move Democrats forward. A vote is scheduled for Wednesday.

Rhode Island's two congressmen are sticking with Pelosi, who has led House Democrats for more than 12 years.

Michael Vadon, Cecil Stoughton, White House / Publicn Domain, Creative Commons License

A divisive election and Rhode Island’s legacy of organized crime have gotten lots of media attention lately. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay reflects on an anniversary that he worries has become an afterthought.

Your faithful correspondent took most of this week off, in large part to rake leaves, so this week's column is a bit abbreviated. Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for stopping by. 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

State Police say an allegation of voter intimidation in a high-profile legislative race is unfounded.

The accusation of voter intimidation came up in Republican Steven Frias’ challenge to House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello. One voter, Larry Winkler, said the person who came to collect his mail ballot questioned why he was picking Frias, but still submitted the ballot.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

University of Connecticut journalism professor Mike Stanton, a former Providence Journal investigative reporter, sat down to talk about President-elect Donald Trump and the media. Stanton is also a board member of the New England First Amendment Coalition.

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