Democrats

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Coffee mugs, tote bags, and t-shirts: it’s the Presidential campaign swag ubiquitous during election years. This round, you can buy “Feel the Bern” Mugs, ‘Kasich” stickers, and of course, “Make America Great Again” ball caps.

These trinkets are prized mementos for politicos, and they’re big business for the companies who make them. One of those companies is based here in the Ocean State.

RIPR FILE

The Rhode Island primary is just one week away, and for some voters it will be the first opportunity to cast a ballot in any election. As our RhodyVotes ’16 coverage continues, Rhode Island Public Radio’s Chuck Hinman sits down with three students who all plan to vote for the first time next Tuesday. 

Martin Gallogly / RIPR

Rhode Island’s presidential primary is less than two weeks away, and we are listening to voters from across the State. Rhode Island Public Radio producer Martin Gallogly talked to husband and wife Mimi and Bruce Bartlett at Gary's Handy Lunch, a diner in Newport.

The Bartletts say one of their biggest concerns is national security, but they disagree with Donald Trump's proposals to deport immigrants, and build a wall along the Mexican border. They plan to vote for a Democrat but they are still unsure which one.

John Bender / RIPR

Rhode Islanders have long supported Democrat Hillary Clinton. She won the 2008 primary against future President Barack Obama, but are residents ready to vote for her again?

RIPR

Former governor Lincoln Chafee announced his departure from the presidential race Friday morning, six months after he launched what proved to be a quixotic bid for the nation's top office.

"As you know I have been campaigning on a platform of Prosperity Through Peace," Chafee said, in prepared remarks for an address to a group of Democratic women in Washington. "But after much thought I have decided to end my campaign for president today.  I would like to take this opportunity one last time to advocate for a chance be given to peace."

RIPR file photo

Congressman David Cicilline joins Political Roundtable to discuss efforts to reduce gun violence; fallout from Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate; and the GOP search for a new House speaker.

There will be a day when Rhode Island moves beyond 38 Studios, but that day is a long time off. The public release Thursday of tens of thousands of pages of documents is just one more step toward trying to get a better understanding of Rhode Island's most recent scandal. So with that in mind, thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. Your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me all week on the twitters. Here we go.

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While the Donald Trump surge in the Republican presidential sweepstakes has dominated media coverage among GOP hopefuls, the Democratic side has been suffused with reports about Hillary Clinton’s foundering campaign and her drop in public opinion poll favorability ratings.

State Rep. Joseph McNamara (D-Warwick), chairman of the state Democratic Party, joins Bonus Q+A to discuss education, former House speaker Gordon Fox, how Democratic dominance of the General Assembly has affected the state, and other issues.

For more McNamara, check our Political Roundtable session with him. 

Notes from Iowa: Chafee Plugs On, Despite a Lack of Support

Aug 4, 2015
Chafee campaign

Antonia Noori Farzan, a Rhode Island-based freelancer writer, recently caught up with Lincoln Chafee as he campaigned in Iowa. Here's her guest report for On Politics:

At Milio’s Sandwiches, next to the convention center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Lincoln Chafee’s name drew a blank.

“I don’t even know who that is,” Dustin Heller, who was working the register as a steady stream of campaign staffers, reporters, and off-duty Secret Service agents wandered in, said.

Chafee campaign

Former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee is expected to formally announce his candidacy Wednesday evening for the Democratic presidential nomination. He’ll make the announcement at George Mason University in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Chafee left the governor’s office in January with low approval ratings. And there’s debate about whether Chafee can actually impact the Democratic presidential race.

The difficulties of his one term as governor seem far away as Lincoln Chafee drives north to to look for support among voters in New Hampshire.

Whitehouse Office

Climate change is real, not a hoax. That’s according the U.S. Senate, which is now on record about the reality of climate change.  The Senate voted 98 to 1 on an amendment recognizing climate change in the Keystone Pipeline bill.  

Ian Donnis / RIPR

West Warwick native Paul Tencher, who has managed winning Democratic US Senate campaigns in Indiana and Michigan, joins Roundtable to talk about the national challenges facing Democrats; Lincoln Chafee's legacy as governor; the latest administration moves by Governor-elect Gina Raimondo; and more.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Gina Raimondo made history Tuesday night as the first woman to get elected as governor of Rhode Island. Raimondo is also the first Democrat to win the state’s top job in 22 years.

Raimondo beat Republican rival Allan Fung with unofficial numbers showing her with 40 percent to Fung’s 36 percent, with Moderate Party candidate Robert Healey drawing 22 percent of the vote.

RIPR FILE

Republican gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung and Democratic rival Gina Raimondo sharpened their tone toward one another during their final televised debate Thursday.

Raimondo criticized Fung for being too timid in raising the funding level of one of Cranston’s municipal pensions – from 16 to about 20 percent, she said.  Raimondo accused Fung of not making the city’s full payments into the pension system.

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