RI Democrats

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Americans have jousted over abortion for decades. Some supporters of abortion rights thought the 1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision that permitted legal abortions would end the debate. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says they were wrong.

Scott Avedisian is leaving after nearly two decades as Warwick’s mayor. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay caught up with Avedisian last week on his final day in office.

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Former governor and U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee says it is “very unlikely” he will try to make a political comeback this year by running in the Democratic primary for governor.

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Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo faces headwinds in her reelection campaign. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses why the governor is so well-regarded outside the state but not so well-liked at home. 

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The 2018 Rhode Island political campaign season kicked off last week with announcements on the Republican side of the campaign for governor and more.  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay has some thoughts.


Mid-September is here and with it a burst of General Assembly activity. So thanks for stopping by for the return of my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and your can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

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The conventional  Rhode Island Statehouse wisdom was that the departure of Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed of Newport for a private sector job and her replacement by Dominick Ruggerio of North Providence would usher in more cooperation between the House and Senate. The theory was that Ruggerio would get along better with House Speaker Nick Mattiello of Cranston, than did Paiva Weed.  All three are Democrats, but Paiva Weed and Mattiello had differences on policy and styles of leadership.

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Sometimes it’s hard to figure who’s in charge at the Rhode Island Statehouse. This year isn’t one of those times, as RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay explains.

In case you were wondering who’s running things on Smith Hill these days, we bring you House Speaker Nick Mattiello, a Cranston Democrat who has ushered in a $9.2 billion state budget that includes his pet project, cutting Rhode Island’s  disdained car tax.

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Former Gov. and U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee is back on the scene with a series of media appearances. Chafee is thinking about running for governor again, but RIPR Political Analyst Scott MacKay wonders why. 

With an eventful election year drawing ever closer, the Rhode Island Democratic Party has hired Tolulope Kevin Olasanoye as the party's executive director, RIPR has learned.

Olasanoye has most recently served as director of purchasing for the City of Providence, a job he was hired for in May 2015.

Courtesy of Whitehouse office.

Rhode Island’s 2018 U.S. Senate featuring incumbent Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse just got more complicated. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses the latest developments. 

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R.I. U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has hired political operative Joe Caiazzo to work on his 2018 reelection campaign. Caiazzo, a Stoneham, Mass. native, is no stranger to Rhode Island politics – he was a top campaign Rhode Island aide to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 Democratic presidential primary. In the general election, Caiazzo worked in Rhode Island for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Sanders comfortably won the primary and Clinton easily carried the Ocean State in the general election.

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Longtime Latino political activist and educator Victor Capellan is stepping down as chairman of the Providence City Democratic Committee. In a news release, Capellan said he is focus on his position as school superintendent in Central Falls.

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Last week, a Democratic-fueled effort to get electoral college delegates to switch their votes failed to gain traction or block the election of Republican Donald Trump, who won a majority in the Electoral College but lost the popular vote.

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Longtime Rhode Island Congressman Jim Langevin has a new chief of staff. Kristin Nicholson is leaving Democrat Langevin’s office to take a job at Georgetown University.

Nicholson, who has been with Langevin since his first election to the House in 2000, will become director of the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown. Taking over for Nicholson as chief of staff is Todd Adams, currently Langevin’s legislative director.

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