Angel Taveras

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week news director Catherine Welch and Mark talk with Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay. They discuss what Gov. Lincoln Chafee has hit and missed to boost the state’s economy and what the next governor will need to do to lift the state out of its economic doldrums.

When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

Aaron Read, RIPR

When politicians want to launch nasty, negative messages about their opponents, they often choose direct mail because it leaves fewer fingerprints than such other media as television, radio or print.

That looks like the path State General Treasurer Gina Raimondo is traveling in the waning days of the Democratic gubernatorial primary, which takes place September 9. Her camp has fired off a mail piece that blames Providence Mayor Angel Taveras for shootings in Providence.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The three major Democratic candidates for governor each say improving Rhode Island’s economy would be their top focus if they win election in November.

The trio squared off during a televised debate Tuesday sponsored by Channel 12 and the Providence Journal.

Clay Pell, Gina Raimondo, and Angel Taveras generally stuck with familiar themes during the hour-long debate. Pell said he’s the progressive candidate, Taveras called himself the candidate of working families, and Raimondo said the pension overhaul she spearheaded in 2011 shows her ability to get results.

RIPR FILE

The Providence mayoral campaign has featured more twists and turns than a Grand Prix auto race. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on what’s next in the run for City Hall.

This we know about Providence politics: One person’s backroom deal is another person’s noble gesture.

That is what voters will decide in the September 9 Democratic primary, when the favorite, City Council president Michael Solomon, faces off against Jorge Elorza, a law professor and political neophyte. (Perennial fringe candidate Christopher Young is also in the mix).

In a move to fill the late-in-campaign departure of a key staffer, Angel Taveras' gubernatorial team has made a veteran of Rhode Island politics, Ani Haroian, its field director, RIPR has learned.

Haroian will take over the role left open by the exit of Whitney Larsen, for a job with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) working on a high-profile US House race in Colorado.

Rhode Islanders of a certain age well remember the `Hi Neighbor, Have a `Gansett’ television advertising campaign  that pushed Narragansett Beer, which in days of yore was brewed in Cranston. Now Gina Raimondo is using an old timey Narragansett commercial to tout her campaign for governor.

The field director for Angel Taveras' gubernatorial campaign, Whitney Larsen, has left that job to work for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on one of the nation's most high-profile US House races, RIPR has learned.

Larsen will working on the effort to help elect Democrat Andrew Romanoff, a former speaker of the Colorado House, in his challenge to Republican Representative Mike Coffman. Larsen did not respond to a request for comment.

Aaron Read / RIPR

With three weeks to go, the Providence mayoral campaign is heating up. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on what to look for in the Democratic primary as the days dwindle down.

One of Rhode Island’s favorite spectator and participant sports has long been Providence mayor elections. A mélange of circus, street theater and rugby scrum, this year’s campaign is bound to land in the capital city’s political Hall of Fame, and perhaps, shame.

New Ordinance Cracks Down On Providence Strip Clubs

Aug 13, 2014

The city of Providence has adopted a new “one-strike” policy for strip clubs. The new ordinance is aimed at cracking down on prostitution.

The Providence City council approved the ordinance after pushback from the Mayor’s office and the police department over an incident at Cheaters Gentlemen’s club last year.  Police found a fourteen year old girl working at the club, and soliciting for sex.  The city’s board of licenses gave Cheaters a five-thousand dollar fine, and suspended their license for 45-days.  But critics said that was little more than a slap on the wrist.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Former congressman Patrick Kennedy stumped with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Angel Taveras at an elderly high-rise in East Providence Tuesday morning. The event took place with exactly four weeks until Rhode Island’s September 9th primary election, and Kennedy used the occasion to argue that rival Democrat Clay Pell is too inexperienced to be governor.

RIPR FILE

Street crime is once again a political topic in Providence. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time for nightclub owners to better control their rowdy customers.

Federal Hill is more restaurant theme park than Little Italy these days. While the Providence neighborhood is dear to older generations of Italian-Americans, it is no longer the fulcrum of such revered up-from-poverty Rhode Islanders as former Sen. John Pastore, who grew up there.

The Democratic candidates running for governor took part in a special, live edition of The Political Roundtable. Todd Giroux, Clay Pell, Gina Raimondo and Angel Taveras answered questions from our moderators and asked each other questions. 

You can hear the program in its three segments here:

Former Providence Mayor Joseph Paolino has been a stalwart booster of Buddy Cianci’s redemption tour. But now that Cianci has filed for election for Providence mayor and Charles Mansolillo has been appointed Cianci’s campaign manager, Paolino is turning his political attention to Newport, where he is part of a group that wants to buy and improve the Newport Grand gambling emporium.

(Rhode Island being Rhode Island, Paolino and Mansolillo are well-acquainted; the two ran against each other for mayor in 1986 in a campaign won comfortably by Paolino).

In Time For Hot Weather, Davey Lopes Pool Reopens

Jun 30, 2014
John Bender / RIPR

The Davey Lopes pool reopened in Providence’s Southside today.

Dozens of local officials, city council members, and political candidates were on hand to see the pool reopen after being closed for a year.

Notably absent was Providence Mayor and gubernatorial candidate Angel Taveras, who defended the pool’s initial closure last summer.

State Senator Harold Metts of Providence was a critic of the pool closing, and was influential in its reopening.

Davey Lopes Pool To Reopen In Providence

Jun 30, 2014
RIPR FILE

The Davey Lopes pool in South Providence is set to reopen for the season after extensive repairs. The pool closed last summer despite an outcry from the public.

Community leaders in the neighborhood say the pool is vital to keeping the youth of South Providence busy during the summer months.  The neighborhood has one of the highest crime rates in the city. Leah Williams Metts, is a local activist who helped spearhead the project.

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