campaign 2014

Taveras loses campaign field director

August 20th, 2014 at 4:14 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – With less than three weeks before the Democratic primary, Providence mayor and gubernatorial candidate Angel Taveras has lost his campaign field director.

Taveras campaign manager Danny Kedem confirmed that Whitney Larsen, who was in charge of overseeing all campaign volunteers, resigned. He declined to give a reason for her departure or say if a new field director has been hired.

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WPRI 12/Journal Poll: Raimondo takes the lead; Pell rises

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

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – General Treasurer Gina Raimondo has overtaken Providence Mayor Angel Taveras in the Democratic primary for governor and political newcomer Clay Pell is closing in on him from behind, an exclusive WPRI 12/Providence Journal poll released Wednesday shows.

The new survey of 503 likely Rhode Island Democratic primary voters shows Raimondo in the lead at 32%, Taveras slipping to second place at 27% and Pell close behind him at 26%. The number of voters who are undecided has fallen to 13% ahead of the Sept. 9 primary.

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WPRI 12/Journal Poll: Magaziner takes big lead over Caprio

August 19th, 2014 at 5:00 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Seth Magaziner has jumped out to a double-digit lead over his rival Frank Caprio in the primary for Rhode Island general treasurer, an exclusive WPRI 12/Providence Journal poll released Tuesday shows.

The poll also shows A. Ralph Mollis leading in the race for lieutenant governor and Guillaume de Ramel leading in the primary for secretary of state.

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Magaziner’s old boss defends him after Caprio attack

August 18th, 2014 at 5:48 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic general-treasurer candidate Seth Magaziner’s former boss is strongly defending his ex-employee’s investment credentials after they came under heavy criticism from his rival Frank Caprio.

“I was absolutely appalled and disgusted for a number of reasons, one of which is Seth is obviously qualified as an investment professional – otherwise I wouldn’t have hired him,” Trillium Asset Management CEO Matthew Patsky told WPRI.com in an interview.

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Watch Newsmakers: Frank Ferri; Matt Fecteau

August 17th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


Taveras knocks Pell again for lack of experience

August 13th, 2014 at 6:34 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Angel Taveras doubled down on his criticism of rival Clay Pell on Wednesday, citing a newly published WPRI.com examination of Pell’s background to suggest the 32-year-old isn’t ready to lead Rhode Island.

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$3.5M spent by RI governor candidates since July 1

August 13th, 2014 at 1:25 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The top five candidates for Rhode Island governor spent a whopping $3.5 million on their campaigns in the six weeks since the start of July, with Democrats Gina Raimondo and Clay Pell shelling out well over $1 million each.

Here’s how the money race played out through Monday for statewide offices on the ballot this year in Rhode Island.

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Clay Pell’s résumé comes under closer scrutiny

August 12th, 2014 at 10:40 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Clay Pell has compiled a lengthy résumé in the nine years since he received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, an employment history that is drawing more scrutiny as it comes under fire from one of his rivals.

Pell has actually had only two full-time permanent jobs since finishing law school, according to a WPRI.com review of public information, statements made by Pell and details provided by his campaign.

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Clay Pell launching new ad to blunt Taveras attack

August 7th, 2014 at 10:00 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Clay Pell is moving quickly to try and blunt a TV attack ad that’s being aired in heavy rotation by his rival, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, with his own spot arguing the campaign should stay policy-focused.

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Bill Clinton to campaign in Providence for Seth Magaziner

August 6th, 2014 at 10:30 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former President Bill Clinton is set to visit Rhode Island later this month to campaign for Democratic general-treasurer candidate Seth Magaziner, WPRI.com has learned.

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Angel Taveras slams Clay Pell in new TV attack ad

August 5th, 2014 at 10:36 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence Mayor Angel Taveras late Tuesday launched a frontal assault against his Democratic gubernatorial rival Clay Pell, debuting a new TV ad that criticizes the political newcomer as “inexperienced and out of touch.”

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Pell campaign loans top $3M as gov candidates spend big

August 1st, 2014 at 6:35 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Gubernatorial hopeful Clay Pell loaned himself another $1 million and spent $1 million between April and June, while fellow Democrats Gina Raimondo and Angel Taveras racked up expenses following large media buys ahead of their Sept. 9 primary showdown.

Pell has now loaned himself $3.07 million since last fall, according to his latest campaign finance report filed with the state Board of Elections. Most statewide and local candidates were required to file their quarterly report by midnight Thursday.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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• 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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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