John DeSimone

October beckons, with playoff baseball, autumnal beauty, and the run-up to the deciding of legislative races. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. (A quick program note: I'm taking most of next week off, so TGIF will probably not return until October 14.) Here we go.

Tuesday's (predictably) low-turnout primary (surprisingly) punched above its weight in offering a lot of grist for the political mill. So let's get right to it, after the obligatory reminder that your tips and comments are welcome, and that you can follow me through the week on the twitters.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A recount by the state Board of Elections Friday morning showed that first-time candidate Marcia Ranglin-Vassell beat House Majority Leader John DeSimone by 21 votes, rather than her initial margin of 17.

The Elections Board attributed the change to the inclusion of provisional ballots. The final tally was 682-661.

Ranglin-Vassell surprised Rhode Island's political community by upsetting DeSimone, a 24-year incumbent, earlier this week.

Happy September! The approach of fall brings plenty of fresh developments on the politics beat. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A first-time candidate is challenging one of the most powerful Democrats in the General Assembly, House Majority Leader John DeSimone. 

Enjoy the heat while you can, since we'll be complaining about the cold in four months or so. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The Rhode Island Progressive Democrats on Tuesday accused House Majority Leader John DeSimone (D-Providence) of violating state ethics regulations by not disclosing income and previous state and city past-due taxes.

RIPR FILE

While many Ocean State voters are more focused on August vacations than politics, candidates for the legislature are knocking on doors, appearing at coffee hours and pleading for votes at taverns and ethnic clubs.

Sam Bell, state coordinator of the Rhode Island Progressive Democrats, joins Bonus Q&A to discuss the possibility of a progressive challenger to Gina Raimondo in 2018; the fight in RI over abortion rights; using subsidies for economic development and much more.

RIPR FILE

As the days dwindle to 2016, Scott MacKay has some Christmas and New Year’s thoughts for Rhode Island’s politicians. With sincere apologies to Clement Moore.

Gov. Gina  Raimondo’s first budget proposes stripping about $2.5 million in state Payments-in-lieu of Taxes aid from Providence city government and another $1.1 million in such payments from Cranston. If you believe the General Assembly is going to allow these cuts you probably believe in the Easter Bunny.

Raimondo’s problem: The communities being hit on this one happen to be home to two of the most influential state lawmakers –House Speaker Nick Mattiello, D-Cranston, and House Majority Leader John DeSimone, D-Providence.

Rhode Island's crop of newly elected officials are starting to staff up as we move toward the Thanksgiving lull later this month. Thanks for stopping by. As always, feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (org) and to follow me on the twitters. Let's get to it.

On occasion the best way to pick up Rhode Island political tidbits is to head to Boston, specifically to Fenway Park on the afternoon of the home opener, aka the Big Papi show.

As usual, former Providence Democratic state and devout Sawx fan Rep. Peter Wasylyk was in his seat near the first base line cheering on the team. During a brief conversation, he confirmed that he is going back to the Statehouse to become legal counsel to the new House Majority Leader, Rep. John DeSimone, D-North Providence.

Nick Mattiello has only been House Speaker for two days. So it may not be fair to criticize his committee and leadership choices; he had to throw together his team very quickly.

But it hasn’t escaped notice that Mattiello’s new team has given women lawmakers short shrift.

The new speaker has named three committee chairs: Ray Gallison, D-Bristol, takes over the House Finance Committee; Cale Keable, D-Burrillville, assumes control of the Judiciary Committee; and Robert Craven, D-North Kingstown becomes the new chairman of the Municipal Affairs Committee.

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