State Republican chairman Mark Smiley issued a news release Monday, taking to task Rhode Island's Democratic legislative leaders for the moribund condition of the local economy. Smiley's message -- if we can borrow a phrase from Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential run -- is: It's (still) the economy, stupid.
A handful of GOP activists from Rhode Island are in Boston for a regional meeting of the Republican National Committee that wraps up today Friday. The get-together offers an opportunity for networking and strategizing.
The Rhode Islanders in Boston include state GOP chairman Mark Smiley, Dave Talan of the Providence GOP, and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung.
Fung, who is Chinese-American, says the regional meeting offers a good opportunity to share ideas, and to make new acquaintances.
Cranston Mayor Allan Fung said Republicans have to do a better job of staying in touch with voters to increase their presence in the Northeast.
Fung spoke while attending a regional Republican National Committee meeting in Boston that ends today Friday.
“It’s about making sure that you’re there for them and to help them especially through their times of need, especially now when we’re talking about these very difficult times in the Northeast where it seems to be lagging behind many parts of the country,” said Fung.
Democratic candidate for treasurer Ernest Almonte joins the Roundtable to discuss lingering questions about 38 Studios; the state pension fund's stake in hedge funds; and how John Robitaille could remake the GOP field for governor in 2014.
Thanks to contributions during the quarter that ended June 30th, state Treasurer Gina Raimondo has a campaign war chest of more than 2 million dollars. Raimondo is among three Democrats expected to run for governor next year.
Raimondo continued her pacesetting fundraising by collecting just under 400-thousand dollars during the most recent quarter. Her 2 million dollar-plus war chest is thought to be a Rhode Island record for a candidate yet to announce a gubernatorial campaign.
Moderate Party gubernatorial candidate Ken Block has hired a veteran of Rhode Island politics to manage his run for governor next year.
Block has hired Jeff Britt to run his latest campaign for governor. Last year, Britt managed a spirited run by an independent challenger to House Speaker Gordon Fox. Block said he thinks Britt has the ability to make a big difference in his campaign.
While Lincoln Chafee's move to become a Democrat might be utterly unsurprising to some, the governor's move nonetheless scrambled the landscape for what already looked like a riveting election fight next year. That's why Chafee leads my weekly column. Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (and) org and to follow me on Twitter. Let's go:
RI GOP chairman joins the Roundtable this week (along with guest panelist Tim White of WPRI-TV, Channel 12) to discuss the debate over state Education Commissioner Deborah Gist; Moderate Party founder Ken Block's entry in the 2014 gubernatorial race, what's next for Rhode Island Republicans, and more.