J. Michael Lenihan, the East Greenwich Democratic state senator and tireless advocate for open government causes, died at his home yesterday after a battle with cancer. He was 71.
Lenihan was a leader of government reform forces in the aftermath of the credit union collapse of the early 1990s. A burly high school history teacher, he played a crucial role in crafting legislation on lobbyist disclosure, open government records laws and increasing transparency in a state government not known for always being accountable to voters.
The state Senate has started scheduling confirmation hearings for four of the nomination made by Governor Gina Raimondo for her administration. The first four hearings center on holdovers from Lincoln Chafee’s time in office.
The confirmation process for Governor Raimondo’s nominees is slated to start next Tuesday. That’s when separate Senate committees will take up the nominations of Charles Fogarty as head of the Division of Elderly Affairs, and of State Police Colonel Steven O’Donnell to remain director of the Department of Public Safety.
The stench of corruption has once again encircled the Rhode Island State House. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it may be time to try something different on Smith Hill.
Unless you have been living in one of those 1950s-era nuclear bomb shelters, or the old East Side tunnel, you’ve probably heard of the latest Statehouse scandal. The state police and federal IRS and FBI agents raided the offices of House Speaker Gordon Fox 10 days ago. The next day he abruptly resigned.
Stephen Whitney is back as fiscal adviser to the R.I. Senate. Whiney worked for the Senate for 11 years until last December, when he went to the budget management office. Whitney replaces Eugene Gessow, who left the post recently. Whitney’s first day is today, according to Senate spokesman Greg Pare.