campaign 2014

McKee, Taylor tout experience in lt. governor debate

October 31st, 2014 at 6:00 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – With just days left before Election Day, the two leading candidates for lieutenant governor touted their experience Friday as they made a final pitch to voters during their final televised debate.

Democrat Dan McKee and Republican Catherine Taylor largely agreed on ways to improve an office that has long been criticized for having little constitutional authority other than being first in line to take over if the governor is unable to complete his or her term.

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• Watch: Newsmakers Lt. Governor Debate: Catherine Taylor vs. Dan McKee (Oct. 31)


Race for RI gov now a ‘toss up,’ top forecaster says

October 31st, 2014 at 3:48 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – One of Washington’s top election prognosticators is upgrading Republican Allan Fung’s chances of winning the race for Rhode Island governor next week.

Separately, the Democratic Governors Association disclosed it has now spent $755,000 in Rhode Island on Raimondo’s behalf through Thursday; the Republican Governors Association had spent $125,000 on Fung’s behalf through Oct. 20, R.I. Board of Elections disclosures show.

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Fung, Raimondo stay on attack in last TV debate

October 30th, 2014 at 9:17 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The two leading candidates for Rhode Island governor attacked each other fiercely and frequently during their final debate on Thursday night, lobbing charges and countercharges about everything from 38 Studios to pension funding.

Democrat Gina Raimondo and Republican Allan Fung clashed throughout most of the 60-minute debate, televised live from Rhode Island College on WJAR-TV before a boisterous crowd, as they sought to press their cases to the undecided voters who are likely to decide what polls show to be a tight race.

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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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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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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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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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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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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


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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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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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


Watch Newsmakers: Political roundtable on Campaign 2014

October 19th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


For mayoral candidates, repetition is everything

October 17th, 2014 at 11:50 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – When Buddy Cianci gets upset with Jorge Elorza during a mayoral forum, he likes to say, “This isn’t your classroom, professor.”

Elorza always has the same response. “This isn’t your talk show, Buddy.”

With under three weeks to go before the Nov. 4 election, the professor, the talk show host and Republican Dr. Daniel Harrop have perfected their acts, repeating the same talking points for new crowds as they travel across the city making the case for why one of them should be elected Providence’s next mayor.

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GOP-union alliance scrambles RI lieutenant gov. campaign

October 16th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Organized labor is usually one of the most reliable constituencies for Democratic politicians in Rhode Island, but this year many unions are taking an unusual step: backing a Republican.

It reflects how the sleepy race for lieutenant governor is scrambling some of Rhode Island’s usual political alliances. A WPRI 12/Providence Journal poll released Tuesday showed Democrat Dan McKee leading Republican Catherine Taylor 36% to 27%, but nearly one in three voters – 31% – were still undecided.

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Arnold donates another $100K to pro-Raimondo super PAC

October 15th, 2014 at 8:42 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The wealthy Texas billionaire who previously backed a pro-pension-overhaul group has donated another $100,000 to a “super PAC” formed to boost Treasurer Gina Raimondo’s bid for governor, with the money set to be used against her GOP rival.

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New WPRI 12/Journal Poll: Raimondo holds a slim lead

October 15th, 2014 at 4:30 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi and Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Gina Raimondo has a slim lead over Republican Allan Fung in the race for Rhode Island governor, with Moderate Robert Healey pulling a meaningful share of the vote, an exclusive WPRI 12/Providence Journal survey released Wednesday shows.

The new survey of 505 likely Rhode Island voters shows Raimondo in the lead at 42%, Fung in second place at 36% and Healey far behind at 8%. An additional 12% of voters remain undecided.

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• Related: New WPRI 12/Journal Poll: Dems lead for 4 RI lower offices (Oct. 14)


New WPRI 12/Journal Poll: Dems lead for 4 RI lower offices

October 14th, 2014 at 5:09 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi and Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic candidates are currently on top in all four down-ballot races for Rhode Island’s statewide offices with just three weeks left before the election, an exclusive WPRI 12/Providence Journal survey released Tuesday shows.

  • Lieutenant Governor: McKee 36%, Taylor 27%
  • Secretary of State: Gorbea 41%, Carlevale 27%
  • Attorney General: Kilmartin 46%, Hodgson 32%
  • General Treasurer: Magaziner 47%, Almonte 34%

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Coming up Wednesday at 4:30 a.m.: poll results in the race for Rhode Island governor.


Study: Bond questions could cost RI nearly $400M

October 14th, 2014 at 12:01 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The price tag for four bond referendum questions on the Rhode Island ballot next month could hit nearly $400 million once interest payments are totaled up, according to a report released Tuesday by the nonprofit Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council.

All four questions have well-funded campaigns being run in support of them, using everything from lawn signs to TV ads to drum up support from voters, R.I. Board of Elections filings reviewed by WPRI.com show.

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NYT/CBS/YouGov Poll: Raimondo, Fung in tight race

October 11th, 2014 at 12:45 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Gina Raimondo holds a slim lead over Republican Allan Fung in the race for Rhode Island governor, according to a newly released online-only poll by The New York Times, CBS News and YouGov.

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Doherty backs Raimondo as Fung stays on attack

October 9th, 2014 at 5:39 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former GOP congressional candidate Brendan Doherty announced Thursday he is backing Democrat Gina Raimondo for governor, even as his fellow Republican Allan Fung launched a new TV ad attacking her as too close to the financial sector.

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Elorza: I’ll empower Ethics Commission that’s never met

October 9th, 2014 at 4:55 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic mayoral candidate Jorge Elorza pledged Thursday to jumpstart Providence’s dormant Ethics Commission, a panel that has no members and has never met since it was created by city officials in late 2006.

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Fung has financial edge over Raimondo in gov race

October 8th, 2014 at 11:12 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Republican gubernatorial nominee Allan Fung is entering the final four weeks of the campaign with a sizable financial advantage over his Democratic rival Gina Raimondo, 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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Cianci has cash lead over Elorza in race for Providence mayor

October 8th, 2014 at 10:28 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former Providence Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. has raised more than $480,000 and loaned his campaign another $200,000 in his quest to return to his old job, according to a R.I. Board of Elections disclosure filed Tuesday.

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Elorza pitches $5M loan program to rehab vacant homes

October 7th, 2014 at 4:45 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic mayoral candidate Jorge Elorza pledged Tuesday to create a $5 million revolving loan fund aimed at rehabilitating most of the city’s vacant properties within four years, a strategy he argues would improve neighborhoods and boost homeownership in Providence.

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Clay Pell spent $3.45M of his own cash to run for gov

October 7th, 2014 at 4:16 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Clay Pell loaned his losing campaign for governor a grand total of $3.45 million by the time all was said and done, according to a R.I. Board of Elections disclosure filed Tuesday.

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