Allan Fung

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Lawyer, commentator and former attorney general Arlene Violet joins Political Roundtable this week 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung apologized to city residents Tuesday for a host of problems related to the Cranston Police Department. 

Happy Friday, and thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. There's plenty of news, even in the peak of summer, so we're ready to dive in. Your tips and thoughts remain welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Stephen Neuman, chief of staff for Governor Gina Raimondo, joins Political Roundtable to discuss some positive economic news in Providence; what's next for the Providence stadium proposal; and the state police report examining the Cranston Police Department.

Ian Donnis

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung’s response to a police controversy could damage his political prospects, according to Brown University political science professor Wendy Schiller. Schiller said it will take time for the fallout to settle from a state police report, which alleges the mayor interfered in the Cranston Police Department.

Mayor Fung has declined, at least for now, to release the report, pointing to confidentiality issues. Schiller said that could be a mistake.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung is opposing the immediate release of a State Police review that found "deep problems" within the Cranston Police Department, including complaints about political interference by Fung and his staff.

Michael J. Sepe, Cranton's longtime Democratic City Chairman, is running to be mayor in Cranston's November 2016 election. The move comes as Mayor Allan Fung faces the fallout of a State Police report criticizing management of the city's Police Department and the city administration.

TGIF is back in the swing of RI politics after a relaxing summer break. So thanks for stopping by, and feel free to share your tips and thoughts at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters. Let's dive in.

Gov. Gina  Raimondo’s first budget proposes stripping about $2.5 million in state Payments-in-lieu of Taxes aid from Providence city government and another $1.1 million in such payments from Cranston. If you believe the General Assembly is going to allow these cuts you probably believe in the Easter Bunny.

Raimondo’s problem: The communities being hit on this one happen to be home to two of the most influential state lawmakers –House Speaker Nick Mattiello, D-Cranston, and House Majority Leader John DeSimone, D-Providence.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung has named a new Director of Administration for the city.  Robert Coupe is a corporate lawyer with a private practice.  

Coupe also served as an attorney for the state of Massachusetts under former governor Mitt Romney.  Coupe served as spokesman for Fung during his unsuccessful bid for Rhode Island governor.     

Mayor Fung said he selected Coupe because, “he offers the right combination of strong public policy experience with a private-sector commitment to promoting greater efficiency and accountability in city government.” 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Jorge Elorza this afternoon will be inaugurated Providence’s mayor. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses the challenges the new mayor faces.

After impressive primary and general election  victories, law professor Elorza takes over the spacious second-floor office in the capital city’s Beaux-Arts City Hall. Since his election he has wisely reached out to the city’s warring political and ethnic tribes as he prepares to govern a 21st Century ancient New England port that had its beginnings in the 17th Century.

Rhode Island bade farewell and paid tribute today to former state Sen. Lila Sapinsley, a liberal Republican who became the first woman Senate Minority Leader, at funeral services at Temple Beth-El  in the Providence East Side district that she so ably represented.

Sapinsley, who died earlier this week at her Laurelmead home at 92, was eulogized by Rabbi Leslie Y. Gutterman as a path breaking woman of compassion, accomplishment and conviction.


Democrat Gina Raimondo outspent Republican rival Allan Fung by a more than 2-to-1 margin during the 2014 campaign. Raimondo will be sworn in as governor January 6th.

Raimondo spent more than five million dollars as part of her winning run for governor. She beat Fung on a 4-point margin in the November 4th election. Fung himself spent about $2 million during the campaign.  The two candidates have almost exhausted their accounts. Raimondo has just less than $50 thousand left in her war chest, while Fung has about $66 thousand.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Once again, Rhode Islanders have elected a governor with far less than a majority of the vote. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders what we can do about this.

The boisterous cheers among delirious Democrats crammed into the Providence Biltmore’s 17th floor ballroom on election night have barely quieted. You can’t blame them for hoisting drinks and shouting themselves hoarse:  Gina Raimondo became the first woman to win election as Rhode Island's  governor and the only Democrat to capture the state’s highest elected office since 1992.


Allan Fung said despite losing his bid for governor, he’s proud of the race he ran. Fung’s democratic rival Gina Raimondo won the race with just 40 percent of the vote. Fung said maybe it’s time for runoff elections.

"The moose was on the loose," is how Fung describes the 22 percent gleaned by Moderate Party candidate Bob Healey, referring to Healey’s days as the cool moose candidate.  Fung’s main opponent, Gina Raimondo, is the second consecutive governor elected with less than 50 percent of the vote.