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.

The end of an era is dawning, with plans by the PawSox to move to Worcester -- a story that will continue to reverberate in Rhode Island. 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. (Program note: I'm taking next week off, so TGIF will return August 31.)

The Pawtucket Red Sox drew fans to McCoy Stadium with the slogan “where the dreams begin.” With the team’s decision to move to Worcester,  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay it makes Rhode Island more like where baseball dreams die. (Advance copy of commentary that is scheduled to air Monday.)

The decision Rhode Island baseball fans and most politicians feared came Friday when the Pawtucket Red Sox brass announced they would leave for a new stadium to be built in a seen-better-days section of Worcester.

Former State Sen. Jamie Doyle, a Pawtucket Democrat, has been charged by the U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island with 31 counts of bank fraud and tax evasion, the federal Justice Department announced this afternoon.

RIP Aretha Franklin

Aug 16, 2018

The death of the great Aretha Franklin jogged this memory:

The afternoon before the start of the 1996 Democratic National Convention was a usual Chicago summer steamer. Hundreds of photographers, reporters and technicians crammed into the United Center for the air conditioning and the usual pre-convention tasks – plugging in laptops, testing the electrical hookups, checking out seating and sight lines.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Patricia Morgan appeared outside Cranston City Hall on Wednesday to urge Mayor Allan Fung to take part in more than just the one radio debate he has agreed to participate in.

Rhode Island has one of the lowest rates of fatal drunk driving accidents in the nation, according to a new study based on date from the National Highway Safety Administration.

The survey, done by Safewise.com, a research group that studies community safety issues, shows that Rhode Island has the fourth lowest DWI fatality rate among the 50 states. Just three states –New Jersey, Utah and New York –had lower rates of DWI fatal accidents based on impaired deaths per capita.

Elisabeth Harrison

The election season starts early next month with primaries in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Rhode Island Public Radio Political Analyst Scott MacKay takes this opportunity to consider New England’s history of restricting who can cast ballots. 

Mosquito samples taken in Pawtucket and Tiverton on July 30th have been confirmed positive for West Nile Virus, the first findings of the virus in Rhode Island this year, the RI Department of Environmental Management announced today.

Mosquito-borne diseases are typically more prevalent in late summer and early fall. The risk usually lasts until the first frost.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

In less than five weeks, Rhode Islanders will go to the polls for a primary election. And because the state has so few Republican voters, primaries sometimes decide who will hold a political office even before the general election. That's the case in a Providence race between a former Trump supporter and an incumbent Democrat.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

With exactly five weeks until Rhode Island's primary election, GOP gubernatorial candidate Patricia Morgan intensified her criticism of Republican rival Allan Fung on Wednesday, accusing him of hiding from voters and masquerading as a conservative.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

WPRI-TV and Roger Williams University have released a new poll on the race for governor in Rhode Island and some other issues. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison and political reporter Ian Donnis unpack the poll's findings. 

WPRI RWU Poll: Raimondo & Fung Still Locked In Close Matchup 

A new poll shows that Democrat Gina Raimondo and Republican Allan Fung are still locked in a virtual dead heat in the race for governor.

August is here, signaling the run-up to the September primary. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. 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

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimond spent campaign funds generously on broadcast and online ads during the second quarter of 2018 while remaining the pacesetting fundraiser in Ocean State politics.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

John Hill, who has spent almost 30 years as a reporter at The Providence Journal, is taking the newspaper's latest buyout offer, although he plans to continue in his role as president of The Providence Newspaper Guild. Three other newsroom staffers are also taking the buout.

Summer is zipping by, with August coming up fast and the September primary not far behind. So thanks for stopping by for the return of 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.