campaign 2014

Watch Newsmakers: De Ramel, Gorbea debate for SoS

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


Brown University shaking up its political polling operation

July 24th, 2014 at 11:39 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Brown University is working on a reboot of its closely watched Rhode Island political polling operation, WPRI.com has learned.

James Morone, a political science professor who took over from Marion Orr this month as director of Brown’s Taubman Center for Public Policy & American Institutions, confirmed that he is working to hire one or more new staff members to conduct the polls.

Read the rest of this story »


Clay Pell getting traction in Democratic gov primary

July 21st, 2014 at 1:48 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Could Clay Pell win the Democratic nomination for governor on Sept. 9?

No small number of people have scoffed at that suggestion. But with 50 days to go before the primary – and more than $1 million in Pell TV ads saturating the airwaves – there’s reason to think the 32-year-old political newcomer has a real, if still unlikely, shot at victory.

Read the rest of this story »


Watch Newsmakers: Ferri, McKee and Mollis debate for LG

July 20th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under General Talk, Nesi's Notes


Democratic lieutenant governor hopefuls spar in fiery debate

July 18th, 2014 at 3:17 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The three Democratic candidates for Rhode Island lieutenant governor aggressively defended the office they’re seeking Friday, arguing that voters statewide should elect the person who is first in line to take over if the governor is unable to complete his term.

Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, Cumberland Mayor Daniel McKee and state Rep. Frank Ferri also sparred over 38 Studios, corruption and education while lobbing criticism at one another regarding their respective tenures in public office, during a fiery debate on a special edition of WPRI 12′s Newsmakers.

Read the rest of this story »

• Related: Watch the full Democratic lieutenant governor debate on Newsmakers (July 18)


GOP’s Harrop wants Providence to enter receivership

July 18th, 2014 at 10:03 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – His message: “Vote for me and we’ll put Providence into receivership.”

It’s not the most conventional campaign slogan, but Republican mayoral candidate Daniel Harrop claims it’s the only cure for a city facing a massive unfunded pension liability, crippling tax rates and a crumbling infrastructure because of “Buddy Cianci’s incompetence and Democratic inaction.”

Read the rest of this story »


Rep. Hull backs Smiley in Providence mayor’s race

July 16th, 2014 at 12:05 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence mayoral candidate Brett Smiley picked up his first significant endorsement outside of the city’s East Side Wednesday, winning the support of State Rep. Ray Hull, who represents part of the vote-rich 5th ward in Mount Pleasant and Elmhurst.

Read the rest of this story »


RI governor hopefuls have already spent $2M on TV ads

July 14th, 2014 at 5:27 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The campaign to become Rhode Island’s next governor is already getting quite expensive.

The five major candidates for governor have bought $2.1 million worth of television advertising since mid-May, according to an internal campaign tracking document obtained by WPRI.com. The lion’s share of that money – $1.9 million – has been spent by the three Democrats: Gina Raimondo, Clay Pell and Angel Taveras.

Read the rest of this story »


Lorne Adrain drops out of Providence mayor’s race

July 14th, 2014 at 1:29 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The race for Providence mayor is shrinking.

Lorne Adrain, who considered running for the city’s top job as a Democrat before making a last-minute decision to run as an independent, said Monday he is pulling out of race, the clearest sign yet that liberal-minded Providence residents could attempt to rally behind one candidate in the race against former Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr.

Read the rest of this story »


Watch Newsmakers: Almonte, Caprio and Magaziner debate

July 13th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


RI Treasurer candidates back pension overhaul, settlement

July 11th, 2014 at 5:24 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The three candidates for Rhode Island general treasurer all agreed Friday that the state’s landmark pension overhaul was necessary and pledged to negotiate a settlement to a lawsuit filed by public employee unions in order to avoid years of costly legal battles over the 2011 law.

Democrats Frank Caprio and Seth Magaziner as well as independent Ernest Almonte made their comments in an hour-long debate during a special taping of WPRI 12’s Newsmakers. There is no Republican candidate in the race to replace incumbent Treasurer Gina Raimondo, who is running in the Democratic primary for governor this year.

Read the rest of this story »


Caprio’s campaign ineligible for public matching funds

July 11th, 2014 at 4:26 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Frank Caprio’s comeback campaign won’t be getting public matching funds after all.

Caprio filed paperwork with the R.I. Board of Elections on June 23 saying he would participate this year in the state’s matching funds system, which provide money to help fund campaigns on a sliding scale based on how much the candidate raises, but a state official said Friday he isn’t allowed to get the money.

Read the rest of this story »


Jorge Elorza wants to build Providence broadband network

July 8th, 2014 at 11:03 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic mayoral candidate Jorge Elorza said Tuesday he wants Providence to try its hand at the broadband business, proposing a multi-million dollar plan to build a public network that would compete with existing Internet service providers.

Read the rest of this story »


Q&A: John Sides on what really matters in Campaign 2014

July 7th, 2014 at 9:09 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

john SidesWho says political scientists are stuck in the ivory tower? In recent years, blogs like The Monkey Cage have helped popularize poli sci research, taking an academic approach to the 24-hour news cycle and debunking long-held myths about government and elections.

John Sides is an associate professor of political science at George Washington University, a Monkey Cage contributor and the co-author (with Lynn Vavreck) of a fascinating new book, “The Gamble: Choice and Chance in the 2012 Presidential Election.” Via email, Sides talked with me about what his research shows will really impact this year’s election in Rhode Island.

There are always books published soon after a major election that try to tell the story of how one side won and one side lost. What’s different about “The Gamble” from other campaign postmortems like “Game Change” or “Collision 2012″?

Other campaign postmortems do an excellent job using their access to campaigns to tell us why campaigns made the decisions they did. I think “The Gamble” helps to answer a different question, which is whether those decisions actually affected voters. To answer that question, you need the tools of social science, such as quantitative data and the ability to test hypotheses and rule out alternative explanations.

(more…)


Watch Newsmakers: Political roundtable on Cianci, 2014

June 29th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


RI Republicans endorse Fung for governor over Block

June 26th, 2014 at 10:25 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Rhode Island Republican Party voted Thursday to endorse Cranston Mayor Allan Fung as the party’s favored candidate for governor this year, choosing him over Barrington businessman Ken Block, a newcomer to the GOP.

Read the rest of this story »


Ernie Almonte now running for treasurer as independent

June 25th, 2014 at 7:44 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former R.I. Auditor General Ernest Almonte won’t be running for general treasurer as a Democrat after all.

Read the rest of this story »

An earlier version of this story listed Almonte’s former title incorrectly.


Analysis: Cianci candidacy upends RI political landscape

June 25th, 2014 at 4:06 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

More from WPRI.com: Full story | Cianci’s opponents | Timeline | Photos | In-Depth

Buddy is back.

Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. is already the most iconic Rhode Island political figure of the past half-century. But now, at age 73, the twice-convicted former-mayor-turned-radio-host-turned-mayor-turned-radio-host has decided to try and add one more “-turned mayor” to his résumé. In doing so, he’s upended everything we thought we knew about how Campaign 2014 would unfold in Rhode Island.

Good luck to the long list of down-ballot candidates – Frank Ferri, Nellie Gorbea, Ernie Almonte, and on and on – trying to get attention in elections most voters don’t know or care much about. The only two political stories that are likely to garner significant attention over the next few months are Cianci’s comeback bid and the race for governor – with the latter campaign a distant second in the coverage contest.

The motivation for Cianci is obvious: he thinks he can win, and he loved being mayor. If you’ve listened to the guy bark tips on snow-plowing to elected officials he’s interviewing from his studio during a storm, you know this is a man who still relishes the tasks of a municipal chief executive. And he’s never gotten to leave office on his own terms.

(more…)


Buddy Cianci enters race for Providence mayor

June 25th, 2014 at 3:38 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Buddy Cianci Show is moving from the Wampanoag Trail to the campaign trail.

Read the rest of this story »


RI Dems make endorsements; stay neutral in gov’s race

June 23rd, 2014 at 9:29 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island Democrats endorsed a slate of candidates for state and federal office at their party’s nominating convention Sunday, but opted to stay neutral in the state’s hotly contested race for governor.

Read the rest of this story »


Gorbea, Mattiello trade barbs after he backs De Ramel

June 19th, 2014 at 5:43 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – One of the two Democrats running for secretary of slate is less than pleased with House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello for backing her rival in the race. And the speaker isn’t taking the criticism lying down.

Read the rest of this story »


Cianci has one week to decide about mayoral campaign

June 18th, 2014 at 5:06 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former Providence Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. has until next Wednesday to decide if he’ll again seek the city’s top job, nearly 12 years after he resigned from the office following a felony corruption conviction.

Read the rest of this story »


5 takeaways from Tuesday night’s Republican RI gov. debate

June 17th, 2014 at 10:51 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Ken Block Allan Fung June debateThe two Republican candidates for governor – Allan Fung and Ken Block – met Tuesday night for their first TV debate of the primary campaign. For a full recap of what they said, check out Dan McGowan’s full story on WPRI.com. The entire video of the whole 60-minute debate is posted on WPRI.com here.

Here are five quick takeaways from this second primary debate of the season. (And here are five takeaways from the Democrats’ debate if you missed them.)

1. This primary is already very heated. The Democratic candidates were disappointingly polite when they debated last week; not so the Republicans. Right from Tim White’s first question – which, granted, was about the “Blockheads” ad – Allan Fung attacked Ken Block relentlessly for supporting Barack Obama and failing to oppose Obamacare early and often. Block responded by saying Fung was once a registered Democrat who donated to Democratic politicians, and by questioning the mayor’s stewardship of Cranston. WPRI 12 political analyst Joe Fleming thought Fung came out on top in the first half – no small achievement since he, unlike Block, had never done a prime-time TV debate before – but that Block got the better of the mayor in the second half; he literally stunned Fung into a brief silence when discussing the Cranston police scandal. Block on the other hand never really seemed rattled, though the flip side of that is he seemed uncharacteristically low-energy at times. This hasn’t hit Cicilline-Gemma levels of negativity yet, though: each man did a classy job when asked to compliment his opponent.

(more…)


Watch: The entire June 10 RI Democratic primary debate

June 11th, 2014 at 11:10 am by under Nesi's Notes


5 takeaways from Tuesday night’s Democratic RI gov. debate

June 10th, 2014 at 11:05 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Raimondo Taveras Pell June 2014 debateThe top three Democratic candidates for governor – Angel Taveras, Gina Raimondo and Clay Pell – met Tuesday night for their first TV debate of the primary campaign. For a full recap of what they said, check out Dan McGowan’s full story on WPRI.com. The full video of the entire 60-minute debate is online here.

Here are five quick takeaways from this first primary debate of the season.

1. Nobody bombed. Supporters of the three candidates will point to the best moments each of them had and the occasional stumbles of their rivals, but the truth is there didn’t appear to be any really bad moments that will become a major post-debate headache for their campaigns. Particularly in the first debate, when the candidates are still trying to get their sea legs, they likely have the Hippocratic oath in mind: “First, do no harm.” As WPRI 12 political analyst Joe Fleming put it, “I would say they all held their own tonight. But nobody had a knock-out punch.”

(more…)


The Democrats running for gov debate – tonight at 7 on WPRI

June 10th, 2014 at 12:51 pm by under Nesi's Notes


Watch Newsmakers: Political roundtable analyzes new poll

June 8th, 2014 at 12:53 pm by under Nesi's Notes


WPRI/Journal Poll: Caprio far ahead of Magaziner for treasurer

June 4th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi and Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Frank Caprio has a double-digit lead in his campaign to win back his old job as general treasurer, but nearly half of voters say they haven’t made up their minds in the race, an exclusive WPRI 12/Providence Journal poll released Wednesday shows.

The new survey of 506 Rhode Island Democratic primary voters shows Caprio in the lead at 29%, with political newcomer Seth Magaziner in second place at 11% and former Auditor General Ernie Almonte in third place at 9%. The poll shows 46% of voters have yet to decide whom they’ll support in the Sept. 9 primary.

Read the rest of this story »


WPRI/Journal Poll: Taveras still leads Raimondo; Pell slips

June 3rd, 2014 at 5:00 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi and Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The tight race between Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and Treasurer Gina Raimondo for the Democratic nomination for governor has barely budged since last winter, but their opponent Clay Pell has lost ground, an exclusive WPRI 12/Providence Journal poll released Tuesday shows.

The new survey of 506 Rhode Island Democratic primary voters shows Taveras still in the lead at 33%, with Raimondo still a close second at 29% and Pell a distant third at 12%. More than one in five voters – 22% – haven’t decided whom they’ll support in the Sept. 9 primary. Perennial candidate Todd Giroux is at 1.6%.

Read the rest of this story »


Fung under fire for lobbying against flood insurance bill

May 29th, 2014 at 5:55 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Ken Block is blasting his Republican gubernatorial opponent, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, for lobbying against a bill that would have notified homeowners they weren’t covered for flood insurance when he was working for MetLife in the 2000s.

Read the rest of this story »