Ted Nesi

Mayoral candidates stay on the attack in final debate

October 30th, 2014 at 12:22 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Keeping with the tone of the entire campaign, the three candidates for mayor of Providence didn’t lead with the issues during their final televised debate Wednesday evening.

Instead independent Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr., Democrat Jorge Elorza and Republican Dr. Daniel Harrop used the hour-long debate at Rhode Island College to squawk about mail ballot fraud and defaced signs while hurling insults at one another. The debate was aired on WJAR-TV.

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RI Democrats have 10-to-1 financial edge over GOP

October 29th, 2014 at 7:25 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Republican Allan Fung had a big edge over rival Democrat Gina Raimondo judging by how much money was in their campaign accounts at the start of this week. But Raimondo’s political party will go into the final days of the race far better-funded.

R.I. Board of Elections filings reveal how Raimondo and other top Democrats have moved to take advantage of the higher limits on contributions to state party committees, which can get up to $10,000 from an individual, compared with the limit of $1,000 on donations to individual candidates.

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Mail ballots suggest a big turnout in Providence this year

October 29th, 2014 at 5:30 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Wondering how many people will show up to vote in next week’s Rhode Island election? Try looking into the same crystal ball used by local political professionals: mail ballot requests.

Figures obtained by WPRI.com this week from the secretary of state’s office show 15,509 mail ballots have been requested across Rhode Island to cast votes in next week’s election, a sizable increase from the last gubernatorial election in 2010, when 13,485 were requested. But the increase is almost entirely due to a whopping 123% jump in the number requested in Providence.

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Fung keeps big cash advantage over Raimondo

October 29th, 2014 at 1:10 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Republican Allan Fung continues to hold a big financial advantage over Democrat Gina Raimondo in the race to be Rhode Island’s next governor, with just a week left before voters cast their ballots, according to R.I. Board of Elections disclosures filed Tuesday.

Here’s how the money race is playing out for statewide offices on the ballot this year in Rhode Island.

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Spending on Providence mayor’s race tops $3 million

October 29th, 2014 at 12:01 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Six candidates for mayor of Rhode Island’s capital city combined to spend more than $3 million over the last 14 months, according to WPRI.com review of campaign filings with the R.I. Board of Elections.

Of the three candidates still in the running, independent Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr., the last man to enter the race, has spent the most, shelling out $745,802 in just four months. Democrat Jorge Elorza nearly matched Cianci by spending $726,584, but his first expenditure came in Sept. 2013. Republican Daniel Harrop has spent just under $83,000 on his campaign.

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Raimondo, Fung break little new ground in 2nd debate

October 28th, 2014 at 9:08 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The two leading candidates for Rhode Island governor clashed over familiar topics and themes in their second debate on Tuesday night, just as a new poll showed an extremely tight race between them with a week left until the election.

Democrat Gina Raimondo and Republican Allan Fung sparred over their records and plans during much of the 60-minute debate televised from Roger Williams University, but it was Moderate Bob Healey who frequently stole the show by turning in a much more animated performance than in last week’s debate on WPRI 12.

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RI Dems seek $652K fine against ‘dark-money’ group

October 28th, 2014 at 5:17 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Rhode Island Democratic Party filed a formal complaint Tuesday with the R.I. Board of Elections against an Ohio nonprofit that’s spending nearly a half-million dollars on TV attack ads but won’t disclose its donors.

WPRI.com first reported Monday that the Government Integrity Fund Inc. – a Grove City, Ohio-based 501(c)4, that contributed to Mid America Fund Inc., another Ohio nonprofit, to help defeat Democratic gubernatorial nominee Gina Raimondo – has not filed paperwork revealing its financial backers, unlike other outside groups making major independent expenditures in the race.

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Poll: Raimondo, Fung ‘effectively tied’ for governor

October 28th, 2014 at 12:47 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Gina Raimondo and Republican Allan Fung are “effectively tied” in the race to be Rhode Island’s next governor, with Moderate Bob Healey now winning double-digit support, according to a new survey released Tuesday by Brown University.

The results are in marked contrast with the Brown poll released last week that showed Raimondo with an 11-point lead; however, that survey was 44% Providence voters, even though the city only made up about 10% of the vote in the 2010 election, and was strongly criticized by Fung’s campaign manager.

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Providence Journal circulation continues to slide

October 28th, 2014 at 9:41 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Providence Journal’s print circulation continued to slide over the last six months, while online readership continued to grow, new data released Tuesday shows. Local papers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island also reported lower sales.

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Anti-Cianci campaign has defined Providence mayor’s race

October 28th, 2014 at 7:04 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Five days before Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. entered the race mayor of Providence, then-Democratic candidate Lorne Adrain wrote an op-ed for The Providence Journal calling for the city to “move on from its Buddy fixation” and “shout a final no to a culture of corruption.”

And so began the relentless effort to block Cianci, a two-time felon who served as mayor for nearly 22 years between 1975 and 2002, from winning back his old job.

Over the next four months, the widespread – although not necessarily coordinated – campaign to defeat the 73-year-old former mayor would see Adrain and Democrat Brett Smiley cite Cianci as their reason for dropping out of the race, the state’s leading newspaper run a barrage of anti-Cianci editorials and the Republican candidate in the race donate $1,000 to Democratic nominee Jorge Elorza.

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Wealthy developer funding anti-Elorza effort

October 27th, 2014 at 6:52 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A New Jersey-based multimillionaire who specializes in waterfront development is funding a last-minute television campaign targeting Democrat Jorge Elorza in the race for Providence mayor.

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Donors backing anti-Raimondo group still a mystery

October 27th, 2014 at 3:48 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – For nearly a week, an Ohio nonprofit called the Mid America Fund Inc. has been airing TV ads attacking Democratic gubernatorial nominee Gina Raimondo. But Rhode Island voters still don’t know who’s actually paying for them.

The nonprofit’s biggest funding source – a second Ohio nonprofit, this one known as the Government Integrity Fund Inc. — is the only one of the major outside groups spending big on the race for governor that has failed to disclose its underlying donors.

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President Obama endorses Elorza over Cianci in race for mayor

October 27th, 2014 at 10:38 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Even President Obama wants Buddy Cianci to lose the race for mayor.

The president on Monday endorsed Democrat Jorge Elorza for Providence mayor, calling the 37-year-old former Housing Court judge the candidate who will bring “honest leadership” to city government.

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NYT/CBS/YouGov Poll: Raimondo maintains lead over Fung

October 27th, 2014 at 10:30 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Gina Raimondo continues to hold a small but clear lead over Republican Allan Fung in the race to be Rhode Island’s next governor, according to a new online-only poll released Sunday by The New York Times, CBS News and YouGov.

The new results came the same day the Alliance for a Better Rhode Island, an outside group partly funded by the Democratic Governors Association that’s been attacking Fung in TV ads, disclosed nearly doubling its total spending in the state to $561,776 as of Thursday.

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Bishop Tobin takes abortion off the table for convention

October 27th, 2014 at 5:01 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Roman Catholic Bishop of Providence Thomas Tobin says he wouldn’t push for a Rhode Island constitutional convention to tackle social issues such as abortion, potentially depriving opponents of a key argument they’ve been using to sway voters.

“If there is a constitutional convention, I don’t think it would or should deal with cultural/moral/religious issues,” Tobin told WPRI.com in an email sent through his spokeswoman. “These particular, discrete issues are better dealt with in the normal legislative process.”

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Watch Executive Suite: Rob Atkinson and Laurie White

October 27th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


Poll: Jack Reed has a 45-point lead for re-election

October 26th, 2014 at 11:02 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – U.S. Sen. Jack Reed continues to hold a massive lead in his bid for a fourth six-year term ahead of next month’s election, according to a new online-only poll released Sunday by The New York Times, CBS News and YouGov.

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Watch Newsmakers: WPRI 12/Journal RI Governor Debate

October 26th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


The Saturday Morning Post: Quick hits on politics & more in RI

October 25th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site, The Saturday Morning Post

Click here to read this week’s Saturday Morning Post on the new WPRI.com website »


Clinton swings through RI to boost Raimondo bid

October 24th, 2014 at 5:28 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi and Susan Campbell

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a full-throated endorsement to Democratic gubernatorial nominee Gina Raimondo on Friday, using a campaign rally to tie Raimondo’s themes to those Clinton may run on in a 2016 presidential bid.

Raimondo’s Republican opponent, Allan Fung, dismissed the Clinton rally as something that isn’t a big deal to most voters. He spent the morning visiting Brutopia, a brewery and restaurant in Cranston that he said demonstrated how his stewardship of that city has prepared him to improve the state’s economy.

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Providence cop connection eyed in mail-ballot probe

October 24th, 2014 at 12:17 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan and Walt Buteau

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The head of the Rhode Island State Police confirmed Friday investigators are looking into whether two men who were collecting mail ballots at the state’s largest homeless shelter were Providence police officers.

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New Brown U. polls give Raimondo, Elorza the lead

October 23rd, 2014 at 12:45 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Gina Raimondo has a double-digit lead over her Republican opponent Allan Fung in the race for Rhode Island governor, with less than two weeks to go before voters head to the polls, according to a new survey released Thursday by Brown University.

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By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – With less than two weeks before Election Day, Democratic Jorge Elorza holds a commanding lead over independent Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr in the race for Providence mayor, according to a poll released Thursday by Brown University.

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Cianci files complaint against group attacking him in ad

October 22nd, 2014 at 5:59 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The race for Providence mayor has its first cease-and-desist letter.

Lawyers for independent candidate Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci filed a complaint with the R.I. Board of Elections Wednesday accusing a prominent East Side political figure of breaking a slew of campaign finance laws, including one that prohibits third-party advocacy groups from coordinating directly with campaigns.

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Outside groups pouring big money into RI gov race

October 22nd, 2014 at 10:32 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A huge amount of outside money is suddenly pouring into Rhode Island’s tight race for governor.

In the last 24 hours, two groups with no previous history in the state – one backed by the Democratic Governors Association and one backed by the Republican Governors Association – have dropped a combined $849,014 into the race to air TV ads attacking the top two candidates, Democrat Gina Raimondo and Republican Allan Fung, according to a WPRI.com review of R.I. Board of Elections filings.

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Analysis: 5 takeaways from the RI governor debate

October 21st, 2014 at 11:45 pm by under Nesi's Notes

Click here to read my five takeaways from the debate on the new WPRI.com website »


Fung, Raimondo go on the attack in first TV debate

October 21st, 2014 at 11:42 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The two leading candidates for Rhode Island governor questioned one another’s leadership skills during their first televised debate Tuesday evening, launching attacks at political decisions each has made in recent years while touting their plans to create jobs and turn the state’s lagging economy around.

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• Related: Watch the full debate on WPRI.com | Analysis: 5 takeaways from the debate


For Elorza and Cianci, South Side is the key battleground

October 21st, 2014 at 2:44 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – With two weeks to go before Election Day, Providence mayoral candidates Jorge Elorza and Buddy Cianci are sprinting to lock up votes on the city’s South Side, the majority-minority community that campaign experts say could be the deciding factor in what appears to be a tight race.

Democrat Elorza, independent Cianci and Republican Dr. Daniel Harrop have spent much of the last four months attempting to make inroads on the South Side, which includes Washington Park, Upper and Lower South Providence, Elmwood and South Elmwood, Reservoir and part of the West End. In political speak, the South Side spans Wards 8, 9, 10 and 11.

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Mayoral candidates want to change Providence car tax

October 20th, 2014 at 2:53 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A 2011 decision by city officials to impose a tax on all vehicles worth between $1,000 and $6,000 while reducing taxes on vehicles valued at more than $25,000 has become a hot topic in the race for mayor, with all three candidates pledging to do what they can to fix a policy they say unfairly targets Providence’s poorest residents.

Independent Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr., Democrat Jorge Elorza and Republican Daniel Harrop all say they want to reduce – or outright eliminate – the city’s current tax on motor vehicles, but none of the candidates have released a plan explaining how they’ll get it done in a city that is projecting a budget gap of between $15 million and $24 million for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2015.

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Watch Executive Suite: Philip Eil, Providence Phoenix

October 20th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


GOP’s Harrop donates $1,000 to Elorza in race for Providence mayor

October 19th, 2014 at 7:11 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – First it was the state’s congressional delegation. Now Democrat Jorge Elorza is getting financial support from one his opponents in the race for mayor of Providence.

Elorza’s campaign confirmed Sunday that Republican candidate Dr. Daniel Harrop recently contributed $1,000 to the 37-year-old Democrat, the latest sign that the two rivals have formed an unlikely alliance to help block independent Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. from winning back City Hall.

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