providence politics

This week marked the one-year point until Rhode Island's decisive 2014 primary. Welcome back to my Friday column. Feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org and to stay posted via Twitter. Let's head in.

Raymond S. DeLeo, a central figure in a 1983 incident that became a storied part of Rhode Island's political history and that led to Vincent A. "Buddy" Cianci Jr.'s first departure from City Hall, has died at age 89.

As he prepares for a possible mayoral run in 2014, Providence City Council President Michael Solomon has a big fundraising edge over his 14 council colleagues.

Solomon’s war chest was reported at almost $114,000 in a third quarter filing with the state Board of Elections — up from $84,923 at the end of Q1.

Campaign watchers have long anticipated a spot criticizing Congressman David Cicilline’s 2010 evaluation of Providence’s supposedly “excellent” fiscal condition. Republican challenger Brendan Doherty has now launched such a commercial, entitled “Cover Up.”

Via news release, the Doherty campaign says:

Brown University’s Taubman Center is out with a new Providence-based survey. Some highlights:

– Mayor Angel Taveras has a 60 percent approval rating in the survey of 425 registered voters, up 10 points from last year, according to Brown. (MoE is just under five percentage points.)

– President Obama’s approval rating in Providence is 68 percent.

A few updates since we last month floated 16 names to consider for the 2014 Providence mayoral race (assuming Angel Taveras runs for another office).

Buddy Cianci made our original list, and Scott has the chatter touting a third Cianci comeback.

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and state Treasurer Gina Raimondo could be headed for a seismic clash in the 2014 Democratic primary for governor. If that happens, who will be in the hunt to suceeed Taveras at City Hall?

To stand a shot, candidates will need to build a strong East Side base while develping crosstown support. Being a solid fundraiser is important, although not necessarily decisive, considering how Taveras was outspent by Steven Costantino in 2010.

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras is understandably downplaying dissension on the City Council, and he denies that he’s losing support among the majority of councilors who’ve backed him since he took office.

Here’s a tangible sense of how things are going sideways with the Providence City Council: a Finance Committee meeting with a litany of important items, originally scheduled for 5:30 today, was cancelled at 9:32 this morning.

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras is “completely opposed” to a plan by some city councilors to use a ward-based approach in allocating money for road repairs, says spokesman David Ortiz:

Ortiz says the council proposal would claim half of the money from a planned $40 million money road-repair bond “to break into pots of money they can spend at their discretion.”

He adds:

A special meeting at 6 pm today will take up a push by some Providence City Councilors to use a ward-based approach in making $40 million in envisioned road repairs.

Ward 12 Councilor Terry Hassett says councilors plan to review the bonding authority for the improvements:

Providence City Solicitor Jeffrey Padwa is backing the ability of the City Council’s Finance Committee to change its chairman.

Longtime former Providence city councilor John Lombardi is set to make formal on Thursday his run for the House seat held by state Representative Michael Tarro (Libby Kimzey is also in the running):

John Igliozzi announced during a meeting this evening of the Providence City Council’s Finance Committee that he’ll be stepping down as FinCom chairman, effective July 1.