2014 governor's race

The court-ordered pension mediation set to begin this month will take place against an intensifying political backdrop: the early stage of the 2014 gubernatorial race. State Treasurer Gina Raimondo says politics can remain separate and apart from the mediation process.

During a wide-ranging interview broadcast Thursday morning on RIPR, Raimondo pointed to the pension overhaul passed into law in 2011 as an example of policy-making in the public interest. 

Providence police on Thursday approved, by an 89 percent margin, a settlement with the City of Providence that, the city says, saves $18.5 million in the current budget year and cuts the pension plan’s unfunded liability by at least $170 million. The vote, word which came in via mobile phones as city officials joined reporters for a holiday party at the home of David Ortiz, Mayor Angel Taveras’ press secretary, is the latest in a string of negotiated settlements in Providence.

As state Treasurer Gina Raimondo gets set to hold a football-themed fundraiser at Rick’s Roadhouse this evening, here’s a copy of the rally-the-troops email sent out by the Rhode Island State Association of Firefighters:

Why would a freshly minted political star who has already banked more than $1 million in campaign fundraising stage a $25-per-person (suggested) football-watch event at a barbecue-burger joint in Providence’s Jewelry District on a Monday night in December?

If you’re state Treasurer Gina Raimondo, the answer probably has to do with expanding her base of support in the run-up to the 2014 gubernatorial race.

Governor Lincoln Chafee used a November 13 letter to state Treasurer Gina Raimondo to broach the possibility of seeking a settlement to the pension lawsuit.

The ensuing correspondence offers some insight into the two officials’ viewpoints and their personal styles. 

In a letter on his official stationery, Chafee crossed out “Treasurer Raimondo” salutation, replacing it with a handwritten “[Dear] Gina”:

With anticipation swirling about a possible Democratic primary clash between Gina Raimondo and Angel Taveras in the 2014 governor’s race, the only announced candidate — former auditor general Ernest Almonte – says he’s in the campaign for good.

Brendan Doherty doesn’t intend to run for the House again, but he may be open to seeking some other office, according to Doherty’s campaign manager, Ian Prior.

Following his concession remarks at the Providence Marriott last night, Doherty seemed to rule out another political run. RIPR’s Flo Jonic provided this transcription:

Jonic: Do you see another political run in your future?

Doherty: This was no dress rehearsal.

Jonic: By you saying this was no dress rehearsal, you mean ‘not again’?

How many Ken Block-style voters are out there?

That’s a big question, since Block says he plans to split his ticket on Tuesday, voting for President Obama and Republican CD1 candidate Brendan Doherty. If Doherty is going to prevail as Rhode Island’s great GOP hope, he needs tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders to do the same thing.

Block explained his stance during a taping of RIPR’s Bonus Q+A, which will air Friday at 6:40 and 8:40 am:

Another outburst of Raimondomania flared when state Treasurer Gina Raimondo was a guest last week on Greater Boston, a Hub-centric public affairs show on WGBH-TV. Getting the attention of Bostonians is no small accomplishment.

When news broke last week that Governor Lincoln Chafee would speak at the Democratic National Convention, it no doubt caused some head-scratching here in Rhode Island; Chafee’s approval ratings have been poor, and the governor, while sometimes praised for his candor, isn’t exactly the smoothest of public speakers.

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras has struck a tentative agremeent with unions representing city workers and retirees that could move the B-word — bankruptcy — out of the lexicon in the capital city.