Common Cause of Rhode Island

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John Marion, executive director of the good government group Common Cause of Rhode Island, joins Political Roundtable to discuss an SEC probe with a Rhode Island link, the recent General Assembly session, and fallout from recent endorsement controveries.

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.

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Common Cause of Rhode Island executive director John Marion said a fundraising agreement between Governor Gina Raimondo and the Providence Democratic City Committee does not appear to violate any laws or ethics guidelines.

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A good government group is questioning Rhode Island’s process for picking magistrates. Those are members of the court system who perform some judicial functions, although they don’t preside over trials. Three politically connected individuals were appointed this month.

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In the aftermath of a month-long budget dispute, a top Rhode Island legislative leader says the state needs a new approach to avoid future stalemates.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A coalition of groups staged a Statehouse news conference Wednesday to call for modernizing local elections. The effort is organized by the good government organization Common Cause of Rhode Island.

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Serious financial challenges continue to dog Rhode Island’s capital city. And now, there’s a cloud hanging over the Providence City Council, with two councilors  facing close public scrutiny.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A state representative’s account of drinking by lawmakers at the Statehouse is attracting media attention beyond Rhode Island. But it’s not easy to pin down the actual amount of drinking on Smith Hill.

John Marion, executive director of the good government group Common Cause of RI, joined Bonus Q&A this week to talk about the ongoing battle to improve state government in the Ocean State. We discuss improvements at the state Board of Elections; the relative amount of corruption in RI; how changes are working out at the state Ethics Commission; and much more.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

John Marion, the executive director of Common Cause of Rhode Island, joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the recent spate of corruption cases involving former lawmakers; the good government concerns raised by President Trump; and the impact of a stronger progressive caucus in the RI House of Representatives.

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The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island is opposing a move to increase ethics oversight at the state legislature. A ballot measure would restore some powers to the state Ethics Commission.

The Ethics Commission is a body tasked with investigating complaints of corruption, abuse of power, or potential conflicts of interest in state and municipal government.

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Once again, Rhode Island lawmakers are ensnared in a joust over extending ethics oversight of the General Assembly. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says the measure isn’t likely to usher in change on Smith Hill.

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Rhode Island ranks fifth nationwide in a survey of government integrity. But the rank comes with a grade of just a D+. No state scored higher than a C.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Members of Governor Gina Raimondo’s staff are set to meet with representatives of five open government groups Tuesday afternoon at the State House to discuss recent criticism about a lack of government transparency.

Raimondo’s chief of staff, Stephen Neuman, is slated to lead the 4:30 pm meeting, according to spokeswoman Marie Aberger. The governor's legal counsel, Claire Richards, and communications director, Joy Fox, and/or Aberger are also expected to attend the meeting in Neuman's office.

Phil West, the longtime former director of Common Cause of Rhode Island, joins Bonus Q+A to talk about fallout from 38 Studios, the fight for better government, criminal-justice reform, and much more.

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