RI Democratic Party


Former Providence State Representative Leon Tejada  has agreed to plead guilty to federal tax and wire fraud charges.

Tejada, 50, has agreed to pay back more than $79,000 to the federal government and acknowledge that he knowingly prepared false income tax returns for clients and skimmed money from their refunds. He deposited the money into his bank account.

Cade Tompkins Projects

Lincoln Chafee’s announcement that he is seriously considering a campaign for the 2016 Democratic presidential  nomination brings to mind sports broadcaster Al Michaels’ famous call from the USA hockey team’s upset victory over the USSR in the 1980 winter Olympics: Do you Believe in Miracles?

That’s pretty much what is would take for Chafee to move into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in January 2017.

One of the highlights of the spring political calendar is Sen. Jack Reed’s Spring Breakfast . Held every year at Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet in Reed’s hometown of Cranston, this family-friendly  event is back for its 26th straight year. Reed's breakfast usually draws a throng of 1,000 or more.

This year’s edition is scheduled for April 19 from 10 a.m. until noon, according to the R.I. Democratic Party’s web site. Individual tickets are $25 and can be purchased by calling 401-277-2014. Reservations can be made at Julie@JackReed2014.com

Eighty years ago, Rhode Island Democrats took over state government with one fell swoop in a coup that became known as the Bloodless Revolution. The event has set the template for Rhode Island politics ever since.

In just 14 minutes at the State House on New Year’s Day, 1935, the Democrats took control of the General Assembly, replaced the entire Rhode Island Supreme Court,  consigned to the dustbin of history more than 80 boards and commissions and fired Republican appointees who had run state government forever.

Latest talk among Democratic operatives: Optimism about Elorza in Providence, worry about Raimondo in governor's race. If she loses there will be lots of second-guessing her general election campaign.

The Rhode Island gubernatorial election between Democrat Gina Raimondo and Republican Allan Fung has become much closer than anyone thought even a month ago. Raimondo’s lackluster general election campaign, which followed a very well done primary effort, is surely part of her problem.

Tickets are available for First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign visit to Rhode Island on Thursday, October 30. She will be speaking at the Juanita Sanchez  Educational Complex Thursday afternoon. The venue is at 182 Thurbers Avenue in Providence.

The First Lady will speaking at a Get Out the Vote Rally to support Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo.

Tickets can be obtained between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. from Monday, Oct. 27, through Wednesday, Oct. 29 at the following locations:

President Barack Obama’s campaign trip to Rhode Island Thursday has been canceled due to the Ebola situation, the White House announced a few minutes ago.

The statement issued to the press states that the president’s scheduled travel to R.I. and New York has been cancelled. ``The president will remain at the White House to follow –up on the government’s Ebola response,’’ said the White House statement.

More details will be released tomorrow morning.

President Obama may not as popular as he once was, according to the latest public opinion polls. Yet  if you were on the Rhode Island College campus his afternoon, you wouldn’t hold that view.

By 3:30 p.m., more than 500 students and many others who appeared much older than the traditional college-age students, were lined up to get tickets for Obama’s speech at 3 p.m. on Thursday. RIC political science professor Kay Israel said that interest has been high among students and faculty for the presidential visit.

Democrat Gina Raimondo clings to a narrow lead over Republican Allan Fung in Rhode Island’s campaign for governor, according to the latest poll released by Rasmussen Reports, a national pollster. The survey has Raimondo, the state general treasurer, at 42 percent, and Cranston Mayor Fung at 37 percent, with 11 percent preferring another candidate (Bob Healey is the Moderate Party candidate for governor) and 11 percent undecided. The survey of 750 likely Rhode Island voters was taken between September 23 to 25 and carries a margin of sampling error of 4 percent.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello is recommending state Representative Joseph McNamara (D-Warwick) as the next chairman of the Rhode Island Democratic Party.

McNamara was first elected in 1994 and chairs the House Health, Education and Welfare Committee, although he may be best known for championing a bill to make calamari the state's official appetizer. The legislation became law this year, after dying in the state Senate in 2013.

Rhode Islanders of a certain age well remember the `Hi Neighbor, Have a `Gansett’ television advertising campaign  that pushed Narragansett Beer, which in days of yore was brewed in Cranston. Now Gina Raimondo is using an old timey Narragansett commercial to tout her campaign for governor.

Fernand St Germain

Former U.S. Rep. Fernand  "Fred"' St Germain, who rose from modest roots in French-Canadian Woonsocket to become one of the most powerful politicians in Washington, D.C., only to meet defeat in 1988 among allegations of ethical misconduct, has died. He was 86.

St Germain, a Democrat, first elected in 1960 with President John F. Kennedy, was known for paying vigorous attention to constituent services and bringing federal programs, especially housing for the elderly, to Rhode Island.

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung moved a step closer to capturing the Republican Party’s endorsement for governor, winning support from the RI GOP Nominating Committee at a meeting Thursday evening at party headquarters in Warwick.

Fung won 9 of the 14 votes on the committee, which makes recommendations for next week’s Republican State Convention, which will convene June 26th at the Radisson Hotel in Warwick to make the endorsement. Fung also received the nod of the Hopkinton Republican Town Committee, bringing to 18 the number of city and town GOP committees to back the Cranston mayor.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island’s modern political history is filled with bitter Democratic primaries for governor. But RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay  says this campaign season it is the Republicans who are bashing each other.

Rhode Island voters have not elected a Democratic governor since 1992, when Bruce Sundlun decisively beat Republican Betty Leonard. There are many factors contributing to this Democratic Statehouse futility.

The 2014 Rhode Island campaign for governor began in earnest tonight as Democratic primary aspirants Angel Taveras, Clay Pell and Gina Raimondo met in a live televised debate on WPRI-TV that was far more remarkable for policy agreements than disagreements or the sharp, thrust-and-parry exchanges emblematic of Democratic primaries of yore.