We’re offering a slight break from TGIF’s usual format this week with a look back at how 12 of the big questions of Rhode Island politics played out in 2012. As always, feel free to share your thoughts and comments on the blog or by email: idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org.
Question 1. Will Governor Lincoln Chafee offer a more coherent message that helps lift his slumping approval rating?
As the two sides in Rhode Island's pension lawsuit prepare for court-ordered mediation next month, Governor Lincoln Chafee says the authority to approve a settlement rests largely with him and the General Assembly.
You just have to wonder what John Robitaille is thinking? He decides to drop out of the running (not that he was ever in) for governor in 2014 with a blast at voters. "Voters in Rhode Island seem to want bigger government. Higher taxes don’t seem to bother them. We’re always at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to business friendliness.’’
In a signal that Governor Lincoln Chafee hopes to keep closer tabs on the state Economic Development Corporation, the governor has hired longtime ally J.R. Pagliarini for a newly created post of chief of staff at the EDC.
Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter this morning told the two sides in the legal challenge to last year's landmark overhaul of the pension system to try to settle their differences through mediation.
Court spokesman Craig Berke says the talks will be facilitated by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, a branch of the federal government. Taft-Carter is due to be updated on the status of the discussions in early February.
Governor Lincoln Chafee, as part of a statement following today’s school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, says RI officials have offered their assistance to Connecticut. Here’s the governor’s full statement:
The word “tragedy” is used often these days, but it is difficult to think of a more truly tragic turn of events than what occurred in Newtown, Connecticut earlier today.
On behalf of all the people of Rhode Island, our most sincere condolences and sympathy are with the families of the victims of this horrendous crime.
Stephen Hourahan, a top adviser to Governor Lincoln Chafee, is leaving the administration for a job as chief advancement officer with Family Service of Rhode Island.
Via news release:
Hourahan left Family Service in 2009 to join the successful Chafee for Governor campaign. He also served as Communications Director for then-Senator Lincoln Chafee and in a variety of positions for the late Senator John Chafee.