On Politics

Rhode Island Public Radio's political blog. Scott MacKay and Ian Donnis keep you up-to-date with the latest in political news from around Rhode Island.

We also have PODCASTS of regular politics coverage, too!

Pre-2013 archives of the On Politics​ blog can be found here.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Cranston Republican Steve Frias -- who almost scored a remarkable upset in 2016, coming within 85 votes of defeating House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello -- announced Monday that he's taking another shot at ousting one of Rhode Island's most powerful politicians.

"The race presents a choice between Speaker Mattiello, Rhode Island’s most powerful State House politician, and Frias, an articulate advocate for the taxpayers and for reform in Rhode Island’s government," Frias said in a statement.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

In a boost for Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, state Rep. John Lombardi (D-Providence) has decided to seek re-election to his legislative post rather than running for mayor.

Although Lombardi would have been a likely underdog in a fight for City Hall, he placed second in the 2010 Democratic mayoral primary, outpacing the better-funded Steven Costantino -- showing how has strong name recognition and a solid following in Rhode Island's capital city.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The General Assembly ended a years-long legislative debate about an envisioned PawSox stadium in Pawtucket by approving Friday what supporters called enabling legislation that will shield taxpayers from risk. But it remains unclear if the top minor league team of the Boston Red Sox will support the concept.

What appears to be the last week of the General Assembly is coming in for landing. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung's gubernatorial campaign is moving from its controversial office location at Chapel View in Cranston to a different space in Warwick.

The Carpionato Group, which owns Chapel View and pursues development throughout New England, has received attention for providing office space to Fung and Cranston Democrats without collecting rent. The stories were first reported by WPRI-TV.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island's House Finance Committee approved legislation Thursday that would help create a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox, although House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello moved to continue the debate on Friday after Rep. Moira Walsh (D-Providence) said she hadn't had adequate time to review the 21-page bill.

Brown University and a group of graduate students seeking to form a union have reached an agreement establishing terms for a possible union representation among graduate students at Brown, the university announced today.

The Carpionato Group contributed to the cost of a campaign mailer that supported Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello in 2016.

The mailer was paid for by a group called Progress RI, which was chaired by Richard Ferruccio, the president of the Rhode Island Brotherhood of Correctional Officers. The mailer identifies the "only donors" as Tasca Automotive Group, Carpionato Group and Cardi's Furniture.

General Assembly photo

Rhode Island state Rep. Thomas Winfield (D-Smithfield), one of five remaining House members from an unusually large incoming class in 1992, is not seeking re-election.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

In a significant breakthrough on an issue that has consumed attention in Rhode Island for years, the House Finance Committee is expected to vote Thursday in favor of legislation that could create a new PawSox stadium in Pawtucket.

Ian Donnis/file photo / RIPR

Two rivals of GOP gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung, Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo and Republican Patricia Morgan, filed complaints Monday against Fung with the state Board of Elections about questions surrounding Fung's campaign headquarters in Cranston. The non-partisan good government group Common Cause of Rhode Island also filed a complaint against Fung.

The complaints by the rival campaigns ask the Elections Board to probe the issue, which includes how Fung wound up for not paying rent to developer Carpionato Group for his Chapel View campaign office in 2016.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

On a 66 to 7 vote, the Rhode Island House of Representatives passed a $9.55 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 and that spells out for the first time how the state will divide revenue from the introduction of sports betting at two locations.

The Rhode Island House budget vote is monkeying with our column-writing schedule, so this week's TGIF is a bit abbreviated. But we're still checking the pulse of Ocean State politics and appreciate your stopping by. Your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Rhode Island’s last two governors - Lincoln Chafee and Gina Raimondo - were elected with far less than 50 percent of the vote. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says Maine may have a better way of electing governors.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Rhode Island gubernatorial candidate Patricia Morgan is criticizing GOP rival Allan Fung after WPRI-TV reported that Fung's campaign wound up not paying developer Carpionato Group rent for its campaign headquarters at Chapel View in 2016.

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