Lincoln Chafee

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay sat down with host Elisabeth Harrison to discuss Governor Lincoln Chafee's decision to join the Democratic party.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee plans to visit Warwick City Hall Thursday morning to change his party affiliation from unaffiliated to Democrat and to make a brief statement.

Chafee plans to make the switch at 10:30 am Thursday, according to spokesman Christian Vareika (who emphasized he was speaking on personal time, on a personal phone).

Vareika denied that Chafee's move is an opportunistic one in advance of a tough re-election fight:

The Chafee administration is conducting a financial analysis on the cost of not paying back the moral obligation bonds that funded a $75 million loan guaranty for failed video game maker 38 Studios, the governor's spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Chafee spokeswoman Christine Hunsinger says the governor remains a strong believer that paying back the investors who bought the bonds is the right thing to do.

Don Borman / RIPR

Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s administration is doing a financial analysis on the cost of not paying back investors who underwrote the state’s loan guarantee for failed video game maker 38 Studios.

The governor has said it’s important for the state’s reputation to pay back the 38 Studios loan. Chafee’s spokeswoman, Christine Hunsinger, said several state agencies and department heads are conducting an analysis on the cost of not paying back those bondholders.

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.

Former Cranston Mayor Stephen Laffey, who had a meteoric rise in Rhode Island politics before losing a Republican primary challenge to then-US Senator Lincoln Chafee in 2006, is headed toward a GOP run for governor in his adopted state of Colorado.

Via KDVR (h/t Kathy Gregg):

file / RIPR

A handful of open government groups are urging Gov. Lincoln Chafee to block legislation that would shroud school safety plans in secrecy. 

Pablo Rodriguez joins the Roundtable this week as we discuss the 2014 race for treasurer; Governor Lincoln Chafee's recent judicial nominations; lower-than-expected state revenues; and the trio of controversies facing President Obama.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee’s choice to lead the state Economic Development Corporation appears on a fast-track to approval, following his unanimous approval Tuesday by a state Senate committee.  Marcel Valois is calling for more support for small innovators and entrepreneurs.

Valois says Rhode Island’s business climate doesn’t have to remain the butt of bad ratings in national surveys. Invoking the state motto of “hope,” he says Rhode Island can prosper by bringing a sharper focus and new approach to economic development.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s choice to lead the state Economic Development Corporation faces approval by a state Senate committee Tuesday. The vote comes amid debate over whether to reorganize the EDC.

Chafee’s choice, Marcel Valois led the EDC back in the 1990’s during Lincoln Almond’s tenure as governor. Valois is the vice president of an economic foundation. He was previously chief operating officer of the Penske Automotive Group.

Twenty businesses in Rhode Island received grants from the state to help pay for employee training.

The Governor’s Workforce Board doled out $60,000 worth of matching grants to help businesses pay for training. Employers can either match the $5,000 grants or provide an approved internship to cut their match in half.

This round of grants will help pay for training in such areas as medical billing, software training and welding technology. The governor calls the grants ideal for small businesses.

In a move that will be interpreted as a kiss to the leadership of the state Senate, Governor Lincoln Chafee on Friday unveiled his nomination of former Senate president Joseph Montalbano as a Superior Court judge. Chafee is also nominating Patricia Asquith as associate justice of the Family Court.

Via statement:

Roger Williams University kicks off the state celebration of the 350th anniversary of the Rhode Island Colonial Charter tomorrow with a panel discussion about the 1663 charter on campus.

Five members of Governor Lincoln Chafee’s Rhode Island 1663 Charter Commission will bring their perspectives to a discussion of the landmark document and how the ideas of Roger Williams influenced American constitutional development and indeed, resonate to the 21st century.

May rolls in with history being made in Rhode Island. Welcome back to my weekly column. As always, your thoughts and tips are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's head in:

Providence already has too many underused office buildings. RI political analyst Scott MacKay on what can be done to prevent the Superman building from going dark.

Maybe you were driving home from a night Celtics, Bruins or Red Sox game. Or perhaps you visited friends in Boston or were returning from summer vacation on a lake in Vermont or New Hampshire.

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