With the aftermath of this week's Boston Marathon attack remaining in the forefront of headlines, we're keeping the focus on politics in my Friday column. Thanks for stopping by; as always, your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org.
Cranston Mayor Allan Fung joins the Roundtable this week to discuss the aftermath of the attack at the Boston Marathon, the merits of negotiated pension settlements, his potential gubernatorial campaign next year, and other issues.
In what Providence Mayor Angel Taveras calls a historic day, Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter gave final approval Friday for a deal that will reduce the capital city's $900 million+ unfunded pension liability by $178 million. The agreement followed negotiations between the city and police and fire unions and municipal retirees.
"Today is the end of a long, long road that we've traveled," Taveras said in an interview. "I feel a lot of relief and gratitude to all the employees and retirees especially who have agreed to help the city."
Congressman David Cicilline discusses a range of issues during a visit with Bonus Q+A, including increasing manufacturing in Rhode Island, a Democratic proposal to raise the minimum wage, sharp rhetoric from North Korea, and more.
Congressman David Cicilline thinks House Speaker Gordon Fox, his friend and political ally, could do a "terrific" job as the mayor of Providence, if Angel Taveras seeks a different office next year.
During a taping of RIPR's Political Roundtable, Cicilline was asked about indications he's been urging Fox to run for City Hall. (The segment airs Friday at 5:40 and 7:40 am.) Here's Cicilline's initial response:
Providence Mayor Angel Taveras unveiled a 20-point economic plan Wednesday morning during a meeting of the Providence Foundation. The mayor's repeated rhetorical emphasis -- how Providence has bounced back from the financial abyss thanks to collaboration and shared sacrifice -- sounded like one message he'll wield next year during an expected Democratic run for governor.
In another sign that Providence Mayor Angel Taveras is serious about running for governor in 2014: sources close to the mayor say he has hired a leading Washington, D.C.-based political consulting firm and top Rhode Island campaign strategist J.B. Poersch, a longtime aide to U.S. Sen. Jack Reed.
Taveras has retained SKDKnickerbocker as his campaign consultants. Poersch and veteran consultant Bill Knapp will lead the team advising Taveras as he plans his campaign.
Rhode Island's roads and bridges have been crumbling for years. So why did the most powerful pol in the state, House Speaker Gordon Fox, team up Thursday with one of Rhode Island's top-two emerging political stars, state Treasurer Gina Raimondo, to unveil a new plan for funding road and bridge improvements during a well-attended Statehouse news conference?
Moderate Party founder Ken Block, who's had a winning week in the news cycle, says he's still thinking about a possible gubernatorial run in 2014. He got 6.5 percent of vote in a four-way field in 2010.
"I'm just trying to figure it all out," Block said during a taping of RIPR's Bonus Q+A.
The full segment -- covering his fraud and waste report, the master lever, and why more businessmen don't become politically active, among other topics -- airs Friday at 6:40 and 8:40 a.m.
Block says he's still in assessment mode on a future campaign: