Allan Fung

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.

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Second Congressional District Republican Rhue Reis joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss his challenge to Democratic Congressman Jim Langevin; arming URI police; the intensifying GOP gubernatorial primary between Ken Block and Allan Fung; and the outlook on litigating the 2011 overhaul of the state pension system.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Block used a Statehouse news conference Wednesday afternoon to present a hat trick of related assertions: 1) Rhode Island Democrats are bad for previously supporting former House Speaker Gordon Fox; 2) rival GOP candidate Allan Fung is wrong to accept campaign contributions from members of the police union Fung negotiates with as mayor of Cranston; 3) all this, combined with Block's distance from politics as usual, makes Block the embodiment of change in the race for governor.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Republican gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung on Tuesday unveiled a $200 million tax-cutting proposal that he billed as a way to jump-start Rhode Island's economy.

The race to pick Rhode Island's next governor is still up for grabs.

A new Brown University poll shows Democratic gubernatorial candidates Angel Taveras and Gina Raimondo locked in a virtual dead heat, with Clay Pell lagging behind in the race. The poll (albeit from a tiny sample size of 86 somewhat or very likely GOP voters) shows a similar scenario with Republicans Ken Block and Allan Fung.

The Rhode Island Republican Party is backing up the GOP’s two gubernatorial candidates in saying that the state pension dispute should be resolved in court.  Two of the state’s leading Democrats still support the push for a settlement between the two sides

A proposed pension settlement unveiled in February was cast in doubt Monday when one of six groups that have to offer initial approval rejected the deal. State GOP chairman Mark Smiley said he agrees with his party’s gubernatorial candidates that the pension conflict should be decided in court.

In a preview of things to come as Rhode Island's Democratic primary grows more intense, the campaigns of Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and state Treasurer Gina Raimondo are trading sharp jabs over the handling of the high-stakes state pension conflict.

file / RIPR

Cranston residents will face no property tax increase next year under a budget proposed Tuesday night by Mayor Allan Fung. He has submitted a $262 million spending plan that would fully fund the city’s annual pension obligations while not hiking property taxes.

The average Cranstonian pays $5,000 a year in property taxes. Fung admits that’s high, but says just keeping taxes from rising has been a challenge given state funding cuts and the devastation caused by the great flood of 2010.

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State Representative John "Jay" Edwards joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge; the Statehouse debate over guns; fallout from the Cranston parking ticket scandal; and the proposed state pension settlement.

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Cranston Mayor Allan Fung said the city’s police chief did not enhance his retirement benefits by briefly being reinstated before retiring earlier this week.  Former chief Marco Palombo will get an annual pension of just under $80,000.

Col. Marco Palombo, Jr. released a statement announcing that he is retiring as Cranston’s chief of police. The news comes on the heels of a police parking ticket scandal.

Col. Palombo announced his retirement after 27 years with the Cranston police in a statement to the media. In it, he said he had been considering retirement for a while and is looking forward to new opportunities, including helping to solve cold cases and teaching police science.

Whither Clay Pell’s campaign for governor? RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay has some thoughts.

How do you know your campaign is in trouble: When your car is getting more attention than your ideas.

That’s what’s happening to the infant campaign of Clay Pell, who would like to be our next governor.

Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. Your thoughts and feedback are always welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can can follow me all week long on the twitters. Let's head in.

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung joins Bonus Q+A this week to discuss his Republican gubernatorial campaign and a host of other issues, including how many debates he plans to have with GOP rival Ken Block.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, a Republican candidate for governor, joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss his plan for beating rival GOP candidate Ken Block; his opposition to Rhode Island's proposed pension settlement; the impact of Massachusetts gambling on Twin River; and Myrth York's endorsement for Gina Raimondo.

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