Political news

Providence, R.I. – The Senate Judiciary Committee has postponed the debate over a Providence lawyer and activist up for a spot on the federal court in Rhode Island.

John McConnell Jr., who was nominated by President Barack Obama for the position in March, will have to wait until next week for the debate.

The hearing was postponed to give McConnell's opponents more time to discuss his history of leading lawsuits against manufacturers and businesses - a history they say makes him unsuitably partisan for a federal court.

Providence, R.I. – The state Legislature is trying to wrap up business before adjourning the year.

The General Assembly worked late into the night on Wednesday with the House passing legislation giving the Public Utilities Commission a say in a proposed wind farm.

A House committee also endorsed a bill that would let voters decide on whether to expand the state's two slot parlors into full-scale casinos.

Providence, R.I. – Six candidates running for governor will meet for their first debate.

Thursday's debate hosted by WPRI-TV will be the first chance for voters to see the candidates go toe-to-toe on issues such as the economy and education.

The candidates include two Democrats - General Treasurer Frank Caprio and Attorney General Patrick Lynch - independent Lincoln Chafee, Moderate Ken Block and Republicans John Robitaille and Victor Moffitt.

They are vying to replace Republican Don Carcieri, who is term limited.

Providence, R.I. – Rhode Island lawmakers are expecting to take up a measure to let voters decide on expanded gambling.

The House Finance Committee on Wednesday night endorsed a voter referendum on converting the state's two slot parlors into full-blown casinos.

Newport Grand in Newport and Twin River in Lincoln offer video lottery terminals but not the table games found at traditional casinos.

Providence, R.I. – In a bill signing ceremony yesterday, Gov. Don Carcieri put his signature on a new law cutting state income taxes for the highest earners. Proponents say the new measure will make the state more competitive.

Gov. Carcieri has been calling for tax cuts since he came into office in 2003, so he was happy to sign the new law.

Providence, R.I. – Good government advocates fear the state Senate may adjourn for the year without acting on a bill to restore the strength of the state ethics commission.

Voters created the state Ethics Commission in 1986 through a constitutional convention to monitor the ethical behavior of public officials. Common Cause Director John Marion says the commission still has an important role to play in Rhode Island.

Providence, R.I. – Democrat Frank Caprio is preparing to formally launch his campaign for governor.

The general treasurer says he'll declare his candidacy at a small business forum on Wednesday and will release his jobs plan there.

Attorney General Patrick Lynch, also a Democrat, officially entered the race on Saturday.

Other candidates include Republicans John Robitaille and Victor Moffitt; former Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee, who is running as an independent, and Ken Block of the nascent Moderate Party.

Providence, R.I. – The House Finance Committee plans to vote today on a bill that would ask voters next November to approve casino gambling in Rhode Island.

Gambling is the state's third-largest source of revenue. So plans to create three resort-style casinos in Massachusetts have added fresh urgency to the casino issue here in Rhode Island - according to Gary Sasse, who used to be the state's revenue director.

Providence, RI –

Don Carcieri's web site

Providence, RI – Mark Degon talks with Congressman Jim Langevin (D). He is seeking his second term as the representative of Rhode Island's 2nd congressional district.

Jim Langevin's web site

wrni – Mark Degon talks with Democratic candidate for governor Myrth York.

Myrth York's website:

Providence, RI – Mark Degon talks with Republican candidate for Rhode Island's 2nd Congressional district John Matson.

John Matson's web site:

Providence, RI – Deborah Becker talks with Congressman Patrick Kennedy. He is seeking his fifth term as the representative of Rhode Island's 1st congressional district.

Patrick Kennedy's website:

Providence, RI –

William Harsch's website:

wrni –

Patrick Lynch's web siteB>