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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Political Roundtable crew looks back at the top political stories of the year, including the race governor; the implementation of Obamacare in Rhode Island; the Ocean State's persistently high unemployment; and the emerging legacy of Lincoln Chafee.
Veteran Democratic fundraiser Amy Gabarra is assisting Clay Pell's exploratory committee to raise money, in the latest sign that Pell may pursue a run for governor in 2014.
Gabarra helped Democratic gubernatorial candidate Frank Caprio to assemble the largest war chest in the 2010 race for governor. She's also worked for David Cicilline, Lincoln Chafee and Bill Lynch, among others.