Welcome back to my weekly column. The news doldrums of summer are getting left behind (see item 1), So hang on to your hat, it's going to be quite a ride, Rhode Island. Your tips and thoughts are always welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me throughout the week on Twitter. Let's head in.
The demolition of six flood-prone Cranston homes has begun. The homes on Perkins Avenue were badly flooded three years ago and the federal government has bought the homeowners out. It was a bittersweet moment for some Perkins Avenue residents.
With Cranston Mayor Allan Fung at the wheel, an excavator made quick work demolishing a two-story bungalow on Perkins Avenue in Cranston. It’s one of six flood-prone homes that are being torn down. Watching from the sidelines was Brian Dupont, whose home next door is also coming down.
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.