campaign finance

With the Democratic field for governor next year still coming into focus, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo continue to scrap over the issue of third-party spending.

On Thursday, a day after Taveras unveiled his proposal for a "People's Pledge" to squelch super PACs and other forms of third-party spending in next year's primary race, the mayor's campaign organization released a copy of a letter to Raimondo. It calls on her to sign the pledge and reads in part:

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras -- who faces a fundraising disadvantage in his expected Democratic gubernatorial primary battle next year with state Treasurer Gina Raimondo -- is calling on Raimondo to shun third-party spending by sources including super PACs and national and state party committees. Raimondo's campaign organization says Taveras' pitch "isn't a good faith offer."

Providence Mayoral candidate Brett Smiley is touting some strong fundraising numbers in the first quarter of his money hunt: $101,292 for the period ending September 30.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras has a potentially powerful message to use in seeking out of state contributions for his expected gubernatorial run next year: with the exception of former Florida governor Robert Martinez (who served from 1987-91), a Latino governor has never been elected east of the Mississippi.

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo joins Bonus Q+A to talk about her political future, education policy, campaign finance, transparency in government and other topics.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence City Council President Michael Solomon, an expected mayoral candidate next year, joins Political Roundtable this week to talk about Governor Lincoln Chafee's decision not to seek re-election; an attack by a super PAC that supports Gina Raimondo; and Moderate Ken Block's criticism about the advantages enjoyed by political incumbents.

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.

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo raised just under $400,000 in the quarter that ended June 30, pushing her campaign cash arsenal past the staggering sum of $2 million.

Meanwhile, attracting a stronger fundraising base seemed to be part of the rationale when Governor Lincoln Chafee switched from an independent to a Democrat in May. Yet Chafee raised a modest $69,765 for the quarter, according to a report filed with the state Board of Elections.

Most folks attending the Newport Jazz Festival this weekend will be at Fort Adams State Park to hear some of the best jazz anywhere. Congressman David Cicilline, the 1st District Democrat, will be use the jazz weekend as an opportunity to hoover up some campaign cash in the seaside city where houses have names.

Vice President Joe Biden is slated to headline a Newport fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee on August 22.

The setting for the event is the home of Bill and Alison Vareika. (The Vareikas' son, Christian, is leaving his post as deputy communications director for Governor Lincoln Chafee, who became a Democrat earlier this year, in August to attend law school.)

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo has proven herself a superstar at raising campaign cash. Yet as independent-turned-Democrat Governor Lincoln Chafee faces what looks like a difficult primary next year, his ability to contribute mightily to his own campaign is a definite asset.

Former RI congressman Eddie Beard got held up last October as an example of something quite rare -- a blue-collar worker who went on to serve in the hallowed halls of the nation's capital.

If you want a sense of why this situation persists, consider the latest breakdown by the watchdog group MapLight of how much it cost to win a seat in Congress in 2012:

We remain stuck in the pit of winter, judging by the forecast for the latest in a string of storms. Yet things are already percolating for our next massive political season, so let's get to it. As always, your thoughts, tips, and reactions are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org.

The informal launch of Senator Jack Reed's campaign for his fourth term is set to start  Sunday evening with a packed fundraiser at the Providence Biltmore.

Welcome back to my Friday column. (Sorry to miss you last week; there was a little snow, as you might have heard.) Your thoughts and email are welcome, as always, at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org.