Ken Block

State General Treasurer Gina Raimondo -- who developed a national profile after spearheading a significant overhaul of Rhode Island's pension system in 2011 -- announced in a four-and-a-half-minute video emailed to supporters today that she is indeed running to become governor next year.

Money isn’t everything in political campaigns. Yet, it is a lot of things, explains Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay who ponders the role of campaign cash in the 2014 RI Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Jesse Unruh, speaker of the California Assembly, coined the term back in 1966. ``Money,’’ said Unruh. ``is the mother’s milk of politics.’’

Longtime GOP fundraiser Tony Bucci has joined Ken Block's Republican gubernatorial campaign as a senior adviser and finance chairman.

Block's campaign says Bucci resigned a slot on rival Republican Allan Fung's campaign committee to make the change.

File photo / RIPR

Our panel this week discusses RI's persistently high unemployment; Senator Dawson Hodgson's renewed call for an outside investigation into 38 Studios; Angel Taveras' proposal for instituting universal pre-K in Rhode Island; and Scott MacKay and Maureen Moakley's top turkeys of 2013.

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, who announced his Democratic run for governor last month, remains the best-liked politician in Rhode Island, according to a newly released WPRI-TV/Providence Journal poll.

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung has hired three consultants for his Republican gubernatorial campaign:

Via news release:

Gubernatorial candidate Ken Block, who joined the Republican Party last month, is looking to burnish his GOP credentials by attending a Republican Governors Association training session for candidates in Arizona later this month. Cranston Mayor Allan Fung also plans to attend the get-together in Scottsdale on November 21-22.

In a statement, Block says he was happy to be invited and hopes to learn from Republican governors:


What is the Tea Party’s future in Rhode Island Republican politics? Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay talks tea about two announced GOP candidates for governor.

Scott MacKay’s commentary can be heard every Monday on Morning Edition at 6:35 and 8:35 and on All Things Considered at 5:50. You can also follow his political analysis and reporting at our ‘On Politics’ blog at

Welcome back to my Friday column. Thanks for stopping by and, as always, feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org and to follow me on the twitters. Let's get to it.

What is the tea party’s future in Rhode Island Republican politics? RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay talks tea with the two announced GOP candidates for governor.

In April, 2010, at the height of the tea party insurgency, then-Rhode Island Gov. Don Carcieri addressed a boisterous rally on the south steps of the Statehouse. To 500 or  so  tea party activists, Carcieri bellowed, ``I love the tea party, I love the tea party.’’

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Republican candidate for governor Ken Block joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss his campaign; why he became a Republican; the fate of the Moderate Party; his plan to save $1 billion over four years; and more.

Republican candidate for governor Ken Block joins Bonus Q+A this week to discuss the economy, Sakonnet tolls, his view of budget savings, and a host of other issues.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Do voters really want substance in their candidates?

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Allan Fung, the three-term mayor of Cranston, unveiled himself Monday as Rhode Island's Great Republican Hope, emphasizing his plan for improving the state's economy and education system while paying homage to his family's immigrant roots in kicking off his long-anticipated run for governor.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Two days after he announced his gubernatorial campaign, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras collected the endorsement on Wednesday of the Rhode Island State Association of Fire Fighters outside a Cranston fire house.