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
7:48 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

TGIF: 17 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics & Media

What a week in Rhode Island politics. Welcome back to my weekly column, and thanks for stopping by. As always, feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters. Let's get snapping.

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On Politics
6:31 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

The Politics of the RI Pension Settlement

In most protracted court battles, a settlement reached after tortuous year-long negotiations marks the end of a lawsuit and allows the parties to move forward. Often the lawyers celebrate and perhaps even share an odd drop together.

That wasn’t the case Friday. The  proposed legal settlement between the state and the unions that represent public school teachers and state employees and retirees is just the beginning of a cumbersome ratification process that is sure to become ensnared in what is shaping up as a contentious political campaign season in Rhode Island.

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On Politics
3:23 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Roberts Endorses Gorbea for Secretary of State

Nellie Gorbea is touting an endorsement from Elizabeth Roberts, Rhode Island's first female lieutenant governor, as Gorbea tries to become the state's first Latina secretary of state.

Roberts, who is poised to leave public office in 2015 after two terms as lieutenant governor, is co-chairing a Women for Nellie fundraiser on March 3 at Embolden Design in Pawtucket. The other co-chair is Embolden's owner, Ann-Marie Harrington. Suggested contributions for the event run from $50 to $1000.

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On Politics
11:59 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Pension Settlement Appears Back on Track

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo during a 2011 pension meeting with state lawmakers
Credit Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Update: It looks like a settlement is back on; the federal mediation service plans to hold a news conference at 4:15 pm Friday.

A news conference to unveil a pension settlement Wednesday afternoon was abruptly postponed, although closed-door mediation in the case will continue. Meanwhile, the judge overseeing the dispute has also set a trial for September 15, in the event that a settlement can’t be reached.

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On Politics
10:28 am
Wed February 12, 2014

WPRI/ProJo Poll Shows a Wide-Open Race for Governor

The latest WPRI-TV/Providence Journal poll shows Angel Taveras clinging to a small lead among the three major Democratic candidates for governor, although the main takeaway is the wide-open nature of the contest.

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On Politics
5:13 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Sony, Chafee, 38 Studios and reality

Now comes another high-tech blabber seeking to blame Gov. Lincoln Chafee for the Curt Schilling -38 Studios fiasco that was actually done in the waning days of Gov. Donald Carcieri’s administration.

John Smedley, president of Sony Online Entertainment, slammed Chafee in a series of twitter comments this week. But his arguments are so incongruous that it is very difficult to take him seriously.

It’s more like he has been sampling the new legal stuff in Denver or Seattle.

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On Politics
3:34 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Fung Calls For Immediate Release of Details on Pension Settlement

Republican gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung is calling for the immediate release of details about a settlement of the state pension dispute.

The federal mediation service that oversaw more than a year of closed-door talks plans to unveil the details during a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

In a statement, Fung say it’s past time to let local officials on what was discussed during months of closed-door talks.

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On Politics
2:21 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Pension settlement and the General Assembly: Is it doomed this year?

What everyone in the Rhode Island political swirl should understand about the state pension overhaul settlement details that are due for release tomorrow: This is very likely to be only the beginning of a protracted process.

One thing we know for sure. Even if it is fair and reasonable, not everyone is going to like it. Some unionized state employees and teachers will not be satisfied with anything less than a full restoration of the pension benefits that were sliced dramatically in the 2011 special General Assembly pension session.

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On Politics
3:55 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Chafee, Raimondo, Fox, Paiva Weed get closed-door pension briefing

This just in from RIPR's Ian Donnis:

Gov. Lincoln Chafee, State  Treasurer Gina Raimondo, House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Tersea  Paiva Weed met privately at the State House this afternoon for  a 90-minute closed-door briefing on the proposed state pension overhaul legal settlement.

The settlement details are scheduled to be released on Wednesday.  The parties to the pension lawsuit have been under a gag order by Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter for more than a year. None of the state officials in today’s meeting disclosed any settlement details.

On Politics
1:35 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Pension settlement and polls: The 2014 RI Governor's race

This week brings crucial developments in the 2014 Rhode Island governor’s race: tomorrow a WPRI-Providence Journal public opinion survey releases veteran pollster Joe Fleming’s numbers on the race. Then on Wednesday, the most important new twist comes when the legal settlement in the 2011 state public employee pension overhaul is made public.

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