providence politics

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Former Providence mayor Joseph R. Paolino Jr. sat down at his Dorrance Street real estate office earlier this week to talk about his recent property acquisitions; downtown Providence; the city's economic challenges; the Superman Building; a possible mayoral run by Buddy Cianci; and the future of the Providence Journal.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Democratic businessman and lobbyist Brett Smiley formally launched his Providence mayoral campaign Tuesday morning, vowing to make Rhode Island's capital city a more equitable place. He also called for a supplemental tax on statewide gun and ammunition sales to fund expanded anti-violence efforts.

Speaking before an enthusiastic group of supporters at the Mount Hope Community Center on Camp Street, Smiley touted his progressive credentials while pledging progress in creating jobs and improving schools.

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras continues to enjoy strong support from Providence voters, but most of them also consider city's economy to be rough shape, according to a new Brown University poll.

The poll shows that 59 percent of respondents think Taveras is doing a good or excellent job, down from 60 percent last year. About 40 percent don't think Taveras is doing a good job.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

After progressives won mayoral races in New York City and Boston, does Jorge Elorza hope to become Providence's equivalent of Bill de Blasio and Martin Walsh next year?

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Pablo Rodriguez joins the Political Roundtable this week as we discuss the troubled rollout of Obamacare; back and forth over pensions; the merits of tax stabilization in Providence; and the Democratic race for lieutenant governor.

Andrew Annaldo, the longtime chairman of the powerful Providence Board of Licenses and a top Rhode Island political insider, plans to leave the board after it came under sharp criticism from city officials for its handling of the latest case involving an underage stripper at Cheaters Gentleman's Club.

In a telephone interview, Annaldo says the criticism of the board was "not at all" a factor for why he asked Providence Mayor Angel Taveras not to re-appoint him when his current term expires in January.

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.

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