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.

Rhode Island’s state employee pension fund returned about 8 percent on investments for the fiscal year ending June 30, State General Treasurer Seth Magaziner announced Monday.

Elisabeth Harrison

Gov. Gina Raimondo said Monday that if reelected she will revive her proposal to grant Rhode Island residents two years of free tuition at the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island college.

Raimondo also called for additional job training for mid-career workers and increasing programs that link workers with potential employers by expanding trade and non-trade appreticeships.

The governor, running for reelection, is seeking to underscore the jobs and economy message that she used in her successful 2014 campaign for governor.

ThisIsBossi / Flickr

Truckers are now paying tolls on the Rhode Island side of on Interstate 95. They've racked up more than a half million dollars in just the first month of the tolling program.  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says that’s hardly the end of this debate.

  

‘Tis the season of road and bridge construction. It seems like you can’t drive anywhere without encountering the pungent odor of fresh asphalt, the drone of backhoes and long lines of the unofficial summer state tree --- the orange highway cone.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Six years have passed since the bankruptcy of the video game company 38 Studios. But two of the firms sued by Rhode Island over 38 Studio’s demise continue to perform lucrative work for a quasi-public state agency.

Elisabeth Harrison

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-RI, in a blistering attack on President Donald Trump, called the president’s handling of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, “disgraceful.”

Said Reed, “At times, Trump sounded more like Putin’s press agent than president of the United States. Some of his comments could have come straight from a Russian disinformation operation. The propaganda, dissembling and denials fit right into Russia’s hybrid operations against us.”

RIPR File

The Rhode Island Chapter of the National Organization for Women has announced endorsements for RI legislative campaigns. The women’s rights organization says in a news release that the endorsements reflect five primary goals: advancing abortion rights; promoting economic justice; ending violence against women, securing LGBTQ rights and ending racism.

Time always seems to speed up in summer, right? It'll be August before we know it, then September, and the political milestones of November and January won't be far behind. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column, Your tips and comments remain welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. (Program note: I'm taking some time off, so TGIF will return later this month.) Here we go.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Island politics is once again enveloped in the economic rating game. Some national rankings show the state’s economy to be doing well, while others don’t. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay is skeptical of all the rankings, ratings and lists.

The CNBC business network recently ranked Rhode Island at 45 out of 50 on its 2018 list of the top states for business. Business Insider's web site put Rhode Island much higher, stating it has the ninth best business climate in the country.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has imposed a $100,000 fine on a California investment company for violating pay to play rules meant to prevent political contributions from influencing investment decisions. An executive with the company, Oaktree Capital Management, made a $1,000 contribution to Gina Raimondo when she was running for governor in 2014, but it was refunded a few weeks later.

RIPR file photo

A Brown University national  public opinion survey shows that Democrats hold a nine-point advantage over Republicans  on a generic 2018 congressional ballot with President Donald Trump’s job approval rating at 37 percent.

RIPR File

Rhode Island Democrats have been beset by battles over women’s rights and the direction of the party. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says voters -- not party bigwigs—will decide these issues. 

Portsmouth Democrats, at the Portsmouth Democratic Town Committee meeting on July 5th, unanimously adopted a resolution urging the Rhode Island Democratic Party to change the way party General Assembly candidate endorsements are approved.

The resolution urges the state committee to “craft a plan to proactively educate all Democratic candidates about the procedures and timelines involved in endorsement, as well as taking steps to improve the transparency and accountability of the process.”

Moira Walsh

After a backlash that attracted national attenion, the Rhode Island Democratic Party has rescinded endorsements for two primary candidates, including one for a former Republican who supported Donald Trump in 2016.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Fallout from Democratic endorsements -- including one for a former Republican who supported President Donald Trump in 2016 -- continued swirling Tuesday, as some prominent Democrats voiced their support for incumbent Rep. Moira Walsh.

Steve Ahlquist

Rhode Island progressives are expressing outrage about some of the candidates endorsed in legislative elections, including a man who supported President Donald Trump in 2016 and is now running a primary challenge to state Representative Moira Walsh (D-Providence).

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