Clay Pell

Welcome back to my Friday column. Thanks for stopping by and please feel free to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

Don Boorman / RIPR

Every serious candidate says Rhode Island’s poor economy is the top issue in this year’s governors’ race. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time for Rhode Island to sort economic myth from reality.

Say hello to any of the five major candidates for governor and you’ll get a marathon run of rhetoric on the need to create jobs in our struggling state.  On the Republican side, Ken Block and Allan Fung have both talked about ushering in a better business climate, lowering taxes and looking for ways to save taxpayer money.

Gina Raimondo's gubernatorial campaign says it raised $485,507 in the final three months of 2013, raising her campaign account to a balance of $2,508,647. Meanwhile, the new Democrat in the race, Clay Pell, shows a balance of $1.1 million, with more than $1 million of it coming from a loan to himself.

Here's how Raimondo touted her latest numbers.

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.

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