Clay Pell

The rhetorical battle over who plays the role of "Wall Street Democrat" in this year's race for governor has started.

A fundraising ask emailed Thursday afternoon by Angel Taveras' gubernatorial campaign is subject lined, "Stand up to Wall Street." Without naming fellow Democrat Gina Raimondo, the email goes on to say: "After taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from her former colleagues on Wall Street, one of our opponents is trying to redefine herself, but it’s clear who she stands for."

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras' gubernatorial campaign is taking the initiative to publicize its fourth-quarter fundraising for 2013, two days ahead of the deadline. The campaign says Taveras raised $324,920 in Q4, bringing cash on hand to $1,025,981.62.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Then there were three*.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Democrat Clay Pell, who had already telegraphed his entry into the 2014 gubernatorial race, made it formal with a video emailed Monday night, focusing on the need to restore Rhode Island's economy and arguing that he's the one to do it.

RIPR FILE

Political pundits love to emphasize that campaigns matter.  Clay Pell better hope that adage rings true if he hopes to be Rhode Island’s next governor, says our resident pundit, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay.

Herbert Claiborne `Clay’ Pell  IV is the grandson of a legendary Rhode Island U.S. Senator, a Harvard University graduate  and at just 32 years old, possessor of a resume that would be the envy of many a decade or two older.

Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. Another busy political week looms ahead, so let's get into it. As always, feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org and to follow me all week long on the twitters.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Representative Deborah Ruggiero (D-Jamestown) joins Political Roundtable this week to talk about a legislative panel looking at the link between mental health and firearms; a new state Senate report on the addressing the skills gap; and developments in the race for governor.

file / RIPR

Gina Raimondo's campaign for governor wants to reach an agreement with Angel Taveras and Clay Pell to eliminate outside spending in the expected three-way Democratic primary, her campaign manager said Tuesday.

"We want an agreement that eliminates any and all outside spending," said Eric Hyers.

Welcome back to my weekly column. The political year is quickly gaining momentum, so let's head on in. As always feel welcome to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org and to follow me on the twitters.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Although Clay Pell doesn't plan to make a formal decision until later this month, he's already speaking as if he's mind up his mind to enter the Democratic gubernatorial primary.

"I believe that Rhode Island is at a crossroads and that we have to inject a new level of energy into moving the state forward, to thinking creatively about the economy, to thinking boldly about how we're going to equip our students with the skills that they need. And I believe we can't wait any longer; I want to take action now."

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee will unveil his last state budget during a State of the State address Wednesday at the Statehouse. As Rhode Island Public Radio political reporter Ian Donnis reports, Chafee announced last year he wouldn’t seek re-election

Chafee will present his spending plan during a public address to the legislature, which typically makes significant changes to the budget before ending its session in June. During a recent interview, Chafee said his spending priorities remain unchanged.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Gina Raimondo unveiled the next phase in her campaign for governor by outlining a series of broad policy ideas -- emphasizing the economy, education, and infrastructure -- before a packed room of supporters Monday morning at Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo started fleshing out her vision for Rhode Island as she formally announced her campaign Monday morning.

Raimondo emphasized the economy, laying out ideas that include writing off some college loans to encourage grads to stay in Rhode Island, creating a funding formula for road and bridge improvements, and establishing an institute to foster growth-sector jobs.

RIPR FILE

Governor Lincoln Chafee says he still hasn’t decided which candidate to support in this year’s gubernatorial race but he’s decided one thing.  Chafee, a Republican-turned independent-turned Democrat, said there’s no way he would endorse a Republican.

"I’m a democrat and I’m a very proud member of the democratic party now. It’s been an evolution, as you know. And I’m proud to become a democrat and stand up for the values of building the middle class and closing the disparity of wealth that exists in this country and that’s what I care about," said Chafee.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

House Minority Leader Brian Newberry (R-North Smithfield) joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the possible fate in the General Assembly of the 2011 pension overhaul; continued fallout from the failure of 38 Studios; and the intensifying race for governor.

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