House Representative Dan Reilly, (R-Portsmouth) joins this week’s Bonus Q&A to talk about curbing public corruption within campaign finance, his views on the early pool of Republicans running for President, and the PawSox proposal to build a stadium on the vacant I-195 land in Providence.


Research out of the University of Rhode Island shows that more and more, people are living in communities with a common political view. And the political sorting is becoming more polarized with each election.

Are Republicans and Democrats living side by side? That’s what URI professor Shanna Pearson-Merkowitz wanted to know, so she poured over election data and relocation patterns from 1976 to 2012. She found that communities are becoming more politically polarized, but not because people were moving.

The two candidates running for lieutenant governor differ on what should be done with the state’s health insurance exchange HealthSource RI. Right now federal dollars are funding the exchange, but soon Rhode Island will have to come up with $20 million to keep it running.

New Governor's Race Poll Results Out Tomorrow

Oct 14, 2014
Catherine Welch / RIPR

A new poll in the governor’s race comes out Tuesday from The Providence Journal and WPRI.  It’s the second poll in the governor’s race since the primary. It comes with just three weeks remaining before the general election.

The first poll came out in late September, and showed Democratic state treasurer Gina Raimondo with a slight lead over Republican Cranston Mayor Allan Fung. 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

With the primary election just a week away, Republican Mitt Romney is throwing his support behind Cranston Mayor Allan Fung.  Romney says Fung has a strong record of financial reform in Cranston.

Republican John Robitaille is expected to endorse businessman Ken Block for Governor in the upcoming primary. Robitaille ran for Governor in 2010, losing narrowly to then-independent Lincoln Chafee.  Block also ran in that election, as a Moderate.  Robitaille is scheduled to make his endorsement at the Statehouse later today.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Former governor Lincoln Almond Wednesday endorsed Cranston Mayor Allan Fung for the state’s top job.  Almond calls Fung the best-qualified Republican in the GOP primary for governor.

Almond says he reached out to Fung after being unimpressed with a recent TV appearance by Fung’s GOP rival, Ken Block. Almond says it’s not realistic to think Block can cut a billion dollars from the state budget over four years. The former governor said Fung’s experience as a mayor is what sets him apart.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

On tap this week, Republican Ken Block’s plan to rescue the Rhode Island economy, and the outlook for the settlement aimed at ending the lawsuit over the state pension system.  Host Elisabeth Harrison sits in for Ian Donnis, and is joined by Rhode Island Public Radio’s political analyst Scott MacKay, and University of Rhode Island Political Science Professor Maureen Moakley.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Block announced his “Block Plan” to “fix Rhode Island,” should he be elected governor.

Block outlined a series of major tax reforms he would pursue, including reducing the corporate sales tax from 9 percent to 7 percent.  That would make it the lowest in New England.

He also called for eliminating a $500 minimum tax for new businesses. Block said the current tax policy makes Rhode Island an uninviting place for businesses and entrepreneurs.


The new mayor of Woonsocket, Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, is slated to be inaugurated this evening Tuesday.  Baldelli-Hunt is taking on the job after winning four terms as a state representative.

House Speaker Gordon Fox plans to swear in Baldelli-Hunt during a 7 pm ceremony at the Stadium Theatre in Woonsocket.  Her uncle, Charles Baldelli, a former mayor in the city, will emcee the event.

Baldelli-Hunt beat two term Republican mayor Leo Fontaine in an election last month. The change comes as Woonsocket continues to wrestle with financial problems.

Federal Prosecutors Feel Pinch of Shutdown

Oct 2, 2013
Catherine Welch / RIPR

The federal government shutdown is having an impact on the prosecution of federal cases in Rhode Island. 

U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha has had to furlough a third to a half of his 45-person staff because of the federal government shutdown.  He said they’re managing by bringing in people who are working on the most urgent cases and then rotating them as the cases change.

file / RIPR

The federal government is edging closer to a government shutdown. President Barack Obama said he'll veto legislation coming out of the House that delays much of the Affordable Care Act for a year.  Over in the Democratic-run Senate, it has passed legislation preventing the shutdown and leaving Obamacare untouched. Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay sat down with Rhode Island’s senior senator Jack Reed to talk about what could be done to avoid a shutdown.