John Chafee

On Politics
5:18 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

R.I. House finally Ratifies 17th U.S. Constitutional Amendment: direct election of U.S. senators

At the behest of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Cale Keable, D-Burrillville, the Rhode Island House has finally voted to ratify the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,  which reqired direct election of U.S. Senators.

Before the amendment took effect in 1913, senators were elected by state legislators. That system was widely criticized for breeding corruption as senate aspirants bribed lawmakers to secure the votes needed to win senate seats.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
2:59 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: Rhode Island Needs More People Like The Pells

Nuala Pell in her Newport home.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

Rhode Island pays its final respects this morning to Nuala Pell, widow of  Sen. Claiborne Pell at services in Newport. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on why the passing of Mrs. Pell signals the end of an era.

Sen. Claiborne Pell represented Rhode Island for 36 years in the United States Senate. Few senators have ever better served a state.

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On Politics
3:13 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

Nuala Pell, Spouse And Political Partner Of Sen. Claiborne Pell, Dies

Nuala Pell in her Newport home.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

Nuala Pell, widow of revered Sen. Claiborne Pell, confidante of Pastores, Kennedys and European royalty, a force in Rhode Island politics for decades and a woman who was as at ease at a Democratic Party rally at a Portuguese Club as she was with the well-born swells of Newport society at Bailey’s Beach, died early this morning at Newport Hospital. She was 89.

The Pell family has announced a memorial service to be held Monday, April 21 at Trinity Episcopal Church in Newport, at 11 a.m.

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Environment
2:35 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Sen. Whitehouse Introduces Legislation To Continue National Estuary Program

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse
Credit RIPR File

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has introduced legislation to re-authorize the National Estuary Program, which would benefit Narragansett Bay.

The program was first established in 1987 by the late Republican Senator John Chafee. It aimed to protect and restore estuaries from pollution and overdevelopment. An estuary is the area where fresh water meets the ocean.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
5:01 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: The Clay Pell Dilemma In RI Governor's Race

Will Clay Pell be sitting in the Governor's office in 2015?
Credit 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.

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On Politics
1:44 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Herb DeSimone Sr. and Richard Nixon

Herb DeSimone was a respected Rhode Island Republican politician and lawyer. He died last week after a long and distinguished career in the law and politics, having served as RI Attorney General, in the federal government during Richard Nixon’s administration and  twice was the GOP’s standard bearer for governor.

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On Politics
5:10 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Mighty Muffy: RIP Susan Farmer

Susan Farmer, who in 1982 became the first women elected to statewide office in Rhode Island when as a Republican she ousted a longtime Democratic incumbent to become secretary of state, has died after a protracted battle with cancer. She was 71.

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On Politics
5:05 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Chafee's departure

In a Rhode Island political career spanning nearly 30 years, Lincoln Davenport  Chafee has marched, Thoreau-like, to his own drummer. This afternoon, the state’s 74th governor, a man who tried to do his best in the worst of times, showed the state once again that he follows his own compass, announcing  he will not seek reelection in 2014 to the governorship he won narrowly in 2010.

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On Politics
5:06 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Reed + Whitehouse well-positioned to gain Senate seniority

With a wave of departures in the US Senate, Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse are positioned to expand their seniority -- a potent coin of the realm in Congress.

Aaron Blake reports at The Fix on the turnover:

Currently, 24 senators have called it quits between 2010 and today — just three less than the previous high of 27 retirements between 1992 and 1996.

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