Lincoln Chafee

When will Rhode Islanders stop debating public employee pensions? RIPR political analyst  Scott MacKay says that won’t happen anytime soon.

As if the 2014 Rhode Island election campaigns won’t provide enough grist for everyone’s political mill, here comes the vote on the proposed public employee pension settlement crafted by their union leaders, Gov. Lincoln Chafee and State General Treasurer Gina Raimondo.

The stench of corruption has once again encircled the Rhode Island State House. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it may be time to try something different on Smith Hill.

Unless you have been living in one of those 1950s-era nuclear bomb shelters, or the old East Side tunnel, you’ve probably heard of the latest Statehouse scandal. The state police and federal IRS and FBI agents raided the offices of House Speaker Gordon Fox 10 days ago. The next day he abruptly resigned.

UPDATE: Williams (Labor) Ajello (Judiciary) Melo (Finance) out as committee chairs as Mattiello takes over.

As has been the case since its days as a British colony, Rhode Island’s florid political culture is once again enmeshed in upheaval because of chicanery in high places.

The abrupt demise of Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox of Providence means another episode of   `As the Rhode Island Statehouse turns.’

This just in: Gordon Fox has resigned as RI House Speaker. Here's why in a post that predicted this and was posted several hours before the Fox announcement:

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Once again, Rhode Island is attracting national attention for all the wrong reasons. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay has some thoughts about the federal raid on Speaker Gordon Fox’s office.

The specter of corruption in high political office haunts Rhode Island. As it has seemingly forever. For a state still in the grip of the recession, there are few things worse than the scene at the Statehouse Friday.

Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. Your thoughts and feedback are always welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can can follow me all week long on the twitters. Let's head in.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee is among the New England governors who plan to join President Obama in Connecticut Wednesday to call for raising the minimum wage.  Democrats are emphasizing the minimum wage as part of their election-year strategy.

Chafee will join the governors of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Vermont for a mid-day event at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. The governor said he plans to emphasize how boosting the minimum wage is a way the government can help the middle class.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee sounded cautious notes about legalizing recreational marijuana, when he spoke with the Huffington Post about the potential of legalizing recreational pot in Rhode Island. 

His administration saw the decriminalization of the drug in 2013, and medical marijuana has been legal for several years.

  • Gov.
Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee signed an executive order this morning to create a state climate change council. The council will advise the governor, the general assembly, and the public on a strong state strategy to address climate change threats.

Chafee says the earth's warming climate has already hit Rhode Island hard with Superstorm Sandy and the extreme floods of 2010. Those floods caused millions of dollars in damage to homes and businesses, including to the West Warwick Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility, where Chafee signed the executive order.

RIPR FILE

In the famous words of Yogi Berra, `it ain’t over till its over.’ RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay explains why that’s the case with the latest twist in Rhode Island’s public employee pension settlement.

In many a long legal  battle, a settlement reached out of court marks the end of a contentious lawsuit. The opposing parties shake hands and sometimes share an odd drop. Then they put the dispute behind them.

In the famous words of Yogi Berra, `it ain’t over till its over.’ RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay explains why that’s the case with the latest twist in Rhode Island’s public employee pension settlement.

In many a long legal  battle, a settlement reached out of court marks the end of a contentious lawsuit. The opposing parties shake hands and sometimes share an odd drop. Then they put the dispute behind them.

What a week in Rhode Island politics. Welcome back to my weekly column, and thanks for stopping by. 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 snapping.

In most protracted court battles, a settlement reached after tortuous year-long negotiations marks the end of a lawsuit and allows the parties to move forward. Often the lawyers celebrate and perhaps even share an odd drop together.

That wasn’t the case Friday. The  proposed legal settlement between the state and the unions that represent public school teachers and state employees and retirees is just the beginning of a cumbersome ratification process that is sure to become ensnared in what is shaping up as a contentious political campaign season in Rhode Island.

Now comes another high-tech blabber seeking to blame Gov. Lincoln Chafee for the Curt Schilling -38 Studios fiasco that was actually done in the waning days of Gov. Donald Carcieri’s administration.

John Smedley, president of Sony Online Entertainment, slammed Chafee in a series of twitter comments this week. But his arguments are so incongruous that it is very difficult to take him seriously.

It’s more like he has been sampling the new legal stuff in Denver or Seattle.

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