scott mackay

For some indication of what Sen. Jack Reed’s reelection campaign will look like: Today’s  announcement of top Obama Administration officials who will be visiting Rhode Island in the coming weeks.

On Monday, August 18, Jane Chu, chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Arts will touch down in Pawtucket, Providence and East Providence to meet with non-profit and community leaders and local artists.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate has inched down again, from 7.9 percent in June to 7.7 percent in July, according to data released today by the R.I. Department of Labor and Training.

The 7.7 percent rate is the lowest level since June, 2008, according to figures compiled by the DLT.

The number of Rhode Island based jobs increased by 1,200 from June 2014 and 5,600 since June 2013.

The estimates for nonfarm payroll in the Ocean State was 477,800 in July, the highest number since September 2008.

U.S. Sen Jack Reed, D-R.I., supports President Barack Obama’s military air strikes against Islamic militants in Iraq.

In a statement, Reed, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that while he supports the president’s   current air strike policy, he does not back sending ground troops back into Iraq for a extended period.

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Street crime is once again a political topic in Providence. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time for nightclub owners to better control their rowdy customers.

Federal Hill is more restaurant theme park than Little Italy these days. While the Providence neighborhood is dear to older generations of Italian-Americans, it is no longer the fulcrum of such revered up-from-poverty Rhode Islanders as former Sen. John Pastore, who grew up there.

Republican U.S. Rep. Peter King, one of the last of the true moderate Republicans in the U.S. House, is headed to Rhode Island for a fund-raising event for the RI GOP.

King, a Long Island Republican,  will speak at RI Republican Party headquarters on Post Road in Warwick on August 15. The cost is $125 per person or $200 per couple for a VIP lunch and discussion with Congressman King. There is also a $50 per person lunch option ($90 per couple). For further information call 401-732-8282.

In December, 1991 Bill Clinton swooped into Providence for a University Club fund-raiser for his nascent presidential campaign. He arrived at Green Airport in a small  private plane and was met by former Providence Mayor Joseph Paolino, Suzanne Magaziner and her young son.

As Clinton got off the plane, he reached out and patted the young boy on the head. ``Hey Seth, how areyah?, said the Arkansas governor in the drawl that would become known around the world after his 1992 election as president.

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U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I.,  has joined with fellow Democratic senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Dick Durbin of Illinois in urging President Obama to use an executive order to reduce or get rid of tax breaks for companies that move their headquarters overseas to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

In  letter to the president the three Democratic senators stated that while Congress considers a legislative solution there is a need for swift action by the president.

State Rep. Edie Ajello, D-Providence, a veteran Democratic East Side lawmaker, says that former Democratic Mayor Joseph Paolino Jr., was behind recruiting a candidate to run against her in the September 9 Democratic primary.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The televised air wars have started in the Democratic primary for governor. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if voters are paying attention yet.

As the weeks dwindle towards the September primary, the advertising rhetoric among the major Democratic candidates has heated up. This is especially true of the campaigns of Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo.

The mother of former House Speaker Gordon Fox, D-Providence, died this morning. Mary Fox, who lived with her son at his East Side home for many years, was 92.

A domestic worker, Mary Fox was known for her devotion to family and her good nature. She lived with her son until just a few weeks ago, when she went to a nursing home facility. Funeral service plans have not been completed, according to House spokesman Larry Berman.

Rhode Island  Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein has upheld an initial legal settlement in Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s 38 Studios lawsuit over the $75 million state loan guarantee granted to the failed video game company started by Curt Schilling, the former  Boston Red Sox pitcher.

In an opinion released this afternoon, Silverstein approved a $4.4 million settlement reached with the Providence law firm of Moses, Alfonso and Ryan, a firm that advised the state on bonds of the ill-fated loan program.

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Just when you thought you knew the candidate field in the Providence mayoral campaign, things changed. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay’s thoughts on the capital city’s revised City Hall election.

Another week, another new twist in the Providence mayor campaign. The departure of independent Lorne Adrain from the race has set off a scramble for his supporters, most of whom hail from his home neighborhood on the city’s affluent East Side.

FILE / RIPR

Lorne Adrain is leaving the Providence mayoral election in hopes that his departure gives a candidate other than former mayor Buddy Cianci a clearer path to victory.

In a statement, Adrain did not mention Cianci, but announced why he is ending his independent candidacy.

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It’s election year in Rhode Island. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses the one issue that never goes away in our small state – casino gambling.

There’s an old gallows humor joke about banks and creditors. If you owe the bank $30,000, the bank owns you. If you owe the bank $300 million, you own the bank.

The US Supreme Court made two high-profile decisions this week, and civil liberties again made for a hotly debate subject at the General Assembly this year. The head of the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, Steve Brown, stopped by our studios to discuss those and other issues.

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