2014 governor's race

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The three major Democratic candidates for governor offered their views on jobs, education and other issues during an hour-long debate Tuesday. The forum sponsored by WPRI and the Providence Journal came with less than three months until the September 9th primary.

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo pointed to the pension overhaul she spearheaded in 2011 as proof of her leadership skills. Raimondo said the overhaul significantly reduced Rhode Island’s long-term pension bill.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A new poll shows that Angel Taveras and Gina Raimondo remain locked in tight battle in the Democratic primary for governor.  The WPRI/Providence Journal poll surveyed 506 Democratic primary voters.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Angel Taveras uses his first television commercial to emphasize family, his own humble beginnings and how hard work and sacrifice can lead to shared improvements.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Former governor Lincoln Almond Wednesday endorsed Cranston Mayor Allan Fung for the state’s top job.  Almond calls Fung the best-qualified Republican in the GOP primary for governor.

Almond says he reached out to Fung after being unimpressed with a recent TV appearance by Fung’s GOP rival, Ken Block. Almond says it’s not realistic to think Block can cut a billion dollars from the state budget over four years. The former governor said Fung’s experience as a mayor is what sets him apart.

The leading Democratic candidates for governor used a partisan event Tuesday to describe themselves as the best choice to help struggling Rhode Islanders. A little more than three months remains until the primary election on September 9.

Candidates for state and federal offices spoke to the Democratic state committee, which will decide party endorsements next month. Gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo used the occasion to preview her first TV commercial. It pays homage to her father, Joseph, who died at age 87 earlier this month.


As expected, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo is launching the television advertising portion of her deep-pocketed campaign by starting with a personal focus -- in this case, her father, Joseph, who died at age 87 earlier this month.

Pell Unveils State Infrastructure Plan

May 23, 2014

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Clay Pell says the infrastructure in Rhode Island is failing, and he wants to spend at least $200 million to fix it.

Pell released his transportation and infrastructure plan Thursday using the Providence train station as his backdrop.  Pell says the station is a good example of a transportation hub in need of repairs.  If elected, Pell says he would include a bond referendum in 2016 and 2018 to create a $200 million program to improve bridges, roads and highways.

He says other projects could be paid for with federal funding.

Taveras Unveils Plan For State's Tourism Industry

May 20, 2014

Providence mayor and Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Angel Taveras unveiled his plan for the state’s tourism industry.

Taveras says he plans to spend five million dollars a year to the industry for a total of twenty-million dollars over a four year term to promote the state. Taveras says the plan would create about 2600 new jobs in the state, helping the floundering economy.  Rhode Island’s unemployment remains the nation’s highest at more than eight percent.

A hint of summer in the air as we tap away this afternoon, so welcome back to my Friday column, where your tips and thoughts are always welcome via idonnis (at) ripr (dot). You can follow my news and notes through the week via the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Ward 14 City Councilor David Salvatore, chairman of the council's Ways and Means Committee, joins Political Roundtable to discuss the emergence of Providence's finances as a campaign issue; the impact of a "People's Pledge" in the Democratic primary; the soaring cost of growing state Medicaid enrollment; and the possible effect of eliminating the master lever.

Ian Donnis

Republican gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung wants Rhode Island to go back to having separate state boards for K-through-12 and higher education.

Fung unveiled his education plan Thursday. He said he’d make the state education commissioner report directly to the governor, and eliminate a separate post for commissioner of higher education. Fung said he believes these structural changes will improve public education in Rhode Island.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Angel Taveras recorded his best fundraising performance yet by collecting more than $500,000 in the first quarter of 2014, although rival Democrat Gina Raimondo bested that by taking in more than $1.1 million, their campaigns said Thursday.

Taveras' communications director, Dawn Bergantino, said more than three-quarters of Taveras' take for the quarter "came from within Rhode Island."

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Clay Pell unveiled Wednesday his plan for improving Rhode Island’s economy, as part of the first in what he said will be a series of forthcoming policy initiatives.

In broad strokes, Pell said if elected governor he would focus on improving the state's public schools, strengthening infrastructure, and leveraging Rhode Island's assets.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Angel Taveras on Tuesday -- Earth Day -- unveiled a seven-point environmental proposal that he called a blueprint for making Rhode Island the national leader in environmental stewardship.

Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. Your tips and thoughts are always welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and my short missives can be found on the twitters. Let's head right in: