campaign finance

Ian Donnis

State Representative Joseph Shekarchi, who still has more than $82,000 in his campaign account after aggressively raising money during his rep run last year, is keeping a close eye on City Hall in Warwick.

The freshman Democrat from Warwick says he'd "absolutely" consider seeking the mayor's office if incumbent Scott Avedisian doesn't seek a ninth term in 2014.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Law enforcement officials have tried without success for years to make Rhode Island’s gun laws more stringent. They say tougher laws would help to deter gun-related violence. Now, in the aftermath of the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, the question remains whether Rhode Island will beef up its gun laws. For starters, gun control supporters will have to overcome powerful opposition from the National Rifle Association.

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo lived up to her reputation as a high-flying political fundraiser in 2012, closing the year with an increase of more than $1 million in her campaign account.

Raimondo's Q4 report shows her with a balance of $1,359,191. That's an increase of $1,049,153 from where her campaign account stood ($310,038) at the start of 2012. It also puts her considerably ahead of Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, who closed 2012 with a balance of $413,283 (a gain of $288,148 from the start of the year).

As he prepares for a possible mayoral run in 2014, Providence City Council President Michael Solomon has a big fundraising edge over his 14 council colleagues.

Solomon’s war chest was reported at almost $114,000 in a third quarter filing with the state Board of Elections — up from $84,923 at the end of Q1.

Batten down the hatches for Sandy and get ready for another version of my Friday column. Thanks for reading, and feel free to send me tips, comments, and the like: idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let’s get to it:

A law firm representing House Speaker Gordon Fox’s re-election campaign has written to WPRO general manager Barbara Haynes, asking that the radio station stop playing a “Fox in the Henhouse” mystery ad whose sponsor remains unknown.

A group calling itself Concerned Rhode Islanders Against Gordon Fox is using a radio commercial to urge voters not to support Fox in the November 6 election.

UPDATE: WPRO tells RIPR the ad was placed by an agency from Woodbridge, Connecticut. The contact for the agency, Harvey Adelberg, didn’t return a call seeking comment; he is a URI grad and formerly worked for WPRO.

With less than two weeks until Election Day, Republican Brendan Doherty’s campaign is criticizing Democratic Congressman David Cicilline for having accepted what it says is about $12,000 in campaign contributions from people connected to strip bars and other adult entertainment businesses. Cicilline’s campaign calls the criticism “a new low” and a distraction from the bread-and-butter issues facing struggling Rhode Islanders.

City Councilor James Diossa has by far the largest war chest among the 4 Central Falls mayoral candidates who have filed updated campaign finance reports. Five hopefuls are set to square off November 6.

Former Rhode Island congressman Edward Beard gets a shout-out in today’s New York Times as an example of something quite rare: a one-time blue-collar worker who won election to Congress.

Nicholas Carnes, a professor of public policy at Duke University, uses his op-ed piece to argue that we really don’t get to choose whether we’re governed by the rich:

Abel Collins, the independent candidate in CD2, plans to deliver a petition with more than 1100 signatures protesting his exclusion this evening from a televised debate on Fox Providence. (UPDATE: I should have noted in my initial post that the debate was set to be taped this morning,)

Republican congressional candidate Brendan Doherty had a strong fundraising quarter, raising about $308,000 in Q3, according to an estimate provided by campaign manager Ian Prior. The estimate for Doherty’s cash on hand is $506,000.

Numbers for Q3 weren’t avaiable yet from Democrat David Cicilline’s campaign. Cicilline pulled in more than $300,000 in Q2.

Providence lawyer David Vogel, the independent candidate in the First Congressional District, has mostly gained attention for attracting 8 percent of the vote in a recent Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee poll.

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo’s impressive fundraising prowess will be among her assets if — as many expect – she runs for governor in 2014. Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, another prospective contender for the post,lagged behind Raimondo ($258,155) in Q2 even though he had solid numbers ($114,810).

But money isn’t everything in some contests, and there’s no guarantee the candidate with the biggest war chest will win the next gubernatorial election.