What you think of Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s decision to become a Democrat probably depends on where you stand on his two and a half year record as the nation’s only independent governor and whether you believe he deserves a second term.
Margaux Morisseau became a leader in the fight against payday lending after seeing its impact in the Constitution Hill neighborhood of Woonsocket. She works there as a community advocate for a nonprofit agency. This blue-collar neighborhood was once full of boarded up homes, and it has seen a comeback in recent years. But a payday lending shop moved in about three years ago and Morisseau says things have taken a turn for the worse.
The sophisticated grassroots campaign in support of same-sex marriage offers a tangible reminder of the value of field work makes in Rhode Island politics. So as we move closer to an expected Democratic gubernatorial clash between Angel Taveras and Gina Raimondo next year, keep an eye on their level of outreach to young political activists.
Moderate Party founder Ken Block has announced that he’ll be a candidate for governor next year. Block calls himself a problem-solver who can move the state forward.
Block thinks he can significantly improve on his showing in 2010, when he got six and a half percent of the vote for governor. He says he’s running because Rhode Island’s problems are abundantly clear.
Roger Williams University Law School professor Jorge Elorza, a housing court judge in Providence and prospective mayoral candidate, joins the Roundtable this week. We talk about what's next for the Superman Building, growing interest in the 2012 race for treasurer, and debate over investing the state pension fund in hedge funds.
Fundraising specialist and lobbyist Brett Smiley is joining those looking at a run for mayor of Providence if Angel Taveras moves on next year.
"I am seriously exploring a race for mayor in 2014," Smiley tells RIPR. He says he has started meeting with people to talk about a possible run and plans to make a decision this summer about whether to move forward.
Rhode Island, you do us proud with your ceaseless stream of unexpected political developments. Happy Friday, and welcome back. You're tips and thoughts are always welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Here we go:
1. Former state treasurer Frank Caprio's is on the comeback trail after his gubernatorial campaign melted down in 2010: he's planning to run for treasurer next year, regardless of who else might be in the race.