democrats

Rep. Gordon Fox still receiving salary, health benefits

April 4th, 2014 at 6:51 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Tim White

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Newly minted Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said Friday he spoke with Gordon Fox two days after the dramatic law enforcement raids that shook up the state’s political power structure, but said he remains in the dark about what the investigation is about.

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Watch Newsmakers: Guillaume De Ramel; Rep. Jay Edwards

March 9th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


Myrth York, former Taveras ally, backs Raimondo for gov

March 5th, 2014 at 8:30 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi and Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The woman who made three unsuccessful runs for governor of Rhode Island is throwing her support behind a new contender for the job.

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Taveras, Raimondo exchange harsh words over pensions

February 25th, 2014 at 3:49 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The campaigns of Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo exchanged fire Tuesday about the two Democrats’ records on pensions, signaling Rhode Island’s ongoing battle over retirement benefits will be a battleground in this year’s primary for governor.

“Not only has the mayor failed to solve Providence’s pension problem, for most of his term he was too busy to bother with it,” Raimondo campaign manager Eric Hyers told WPRI.com. “He skipped 80% of the meetings of the board that oversees the city’s pension fund in the first half of his term.”

“We’re not surprised that she’s attacking him now since her constantly evolving positions and statements prove that she will say or do anything to get elected,” Taveras campaign manager Danny Kedem told WPRI.com.

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Watch Newsmakers: Congressman Joe Kennedy III

February 16th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


New WPRI/Projo Poll: Taveras 31%, Raimondo 27%, Pell 15%

February 12th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi and Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and Treasurer Gina Raimondo are locked in a tight battle for the Democratic nomination for governor, with Taveras holding a slight lead but one in four primary voters still undecided, an exclusive WPRI 12/Providence Journal poll released Wednesday shows.

The new survey of 503 likely Rhode Island Democratic primary voters puts Taveras on top at 31%, with Raimondo close behind at 27% and political newcomer Clay Pell further back at 15%. An even larger share of primary voters – 25% – haven’t decided whom they’ll support in the Sept. 9 election.

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• Interactive: Dig into the full results and crosstabs for the new WPRI/Journal poll


New WPRI/Projo Poll: 46% of primary voters back pension law

February 11th, 2014 at 5:00 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi and Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Fewer than half of Democratic primary voters in Rhode Island support the 2011 pension overhaul championed by one of the party’s leading candidates for governor, Treasurer Gina Raimondo, an exclusive WPRI 12/Providence Journal poll released Tuesday shows.

The new survey of 503 likely Democratic primary voters also shows 70% of them think it’s important that a candidate for governor has prior elective experience, a key question for Raimondo rival Clay Pell, while 55% think Providence’s financial problems have been only somewhat solved by Mayor Angel Taveras, another Democratic candidate for governor, since he took office in 2011.

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• Interactive: Dig into the full results and crosstabs for the new WPRI/Journal poll

Tomorrow at 5 a.m. – find out whether Raimondo, Taveras or Pell holds the lead among primary voters.


Watch Newsmakers: Clay Pell, Democratic gov candidate

February 2nd, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


Clay Pell, flanked by Kwan, kicks off campaign for RI gov

January 28th, 2014 at 12:57 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Herbert Claiborne “Clay” Pell IV, a political newcomer with a famous grandfather and an even more famous wife, jumped into Rhode Island’s race for governor Tuesday with a promise to bring a new approach to state government.

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Pell, senator’s grandson and Kwan’s husband, running for gov

January 27th, 2014 at 4:02 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By David Klepper

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s already contentious race for governor is about to get a lot more complicated with the entry of Clay Pell, the grandson of the late U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell and the husband of Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan.

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Taveras, Raimondo back higher minimum wage; GOP opposed

January 23rd, 2014 at 4:48 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Both announced Democratic candidates for governor agreed Thursday that Rhode Island should raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. They just don’t see eye to eye on when to do it. But the two Republican candidates disagree.

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• Related: Watch gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo on Newsmakers (Jan. 23)


Raimondo puts focus on jobs, education at campaign kickoff

January 13th, 2014 at 10:20 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) – Treasurer Gina Raimondo kicked off her campaign to become the next governor of Rhode Island on Monday morning with a pledge to reinvigorate the state’s economy by using the same approach she took in spearheading the 2011 pension overhaul. She also unveiled a series of policy proposals.

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East Side Dem Brett Smiley enters Providence mayor’s race

December 3rd, 2013 at 11:44 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – After seven years playing a behind-the-scenes role in Rhode Island politics, Brett Smiley stepped out on his own Tuesday, formally launching his campaign to become the 38th mayor of Providence.

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Cumberland’s McKee launches 2014 campaign for lt. governor

November 13th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Yet another Rhode Island mayor is seeking a promotion.

Democratic Cumberland Mayor Daniel McKee on Wednesday formally launched his campaign for lieutenant governor, becoming the third municipal leader to announce he will run for statewide office next year.

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Watch Newsmakers: Providence Mayor Angel Taveras

November 3rd, 2013 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


Taveras taps Kedem, who quit Weiner’s campaign, for gov bid

October 30th, 2013 at 6:25 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras has found his campaign manager.

Taveras has hired Danny Kedem – who made headlines in July when he quit Anthony Weiner’s doomed comeback campaign over renewed sexting allegations – to lead the first-term Democrat’s bid for the gubernatorial nomination, a person with direct knowledge of the decision told WPRI.com on Wednesday.

Kedem started work on the Taveras campaign late last week, this person said. Before taking the job in Rhode Island he was a strategist for Human Rights Campaign, the gay-rights advocacy group. Taveras kicked off his campaign on Monday and was in Washington for a fundraising trip on Wednesday.

The news about Kedem’s hiring comes the same day as the resignations of two of Taveras’s most influential aides at Providence City Hall, Arianne Lynch and Matt Jerzyk. They will not be joining his campaign.

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Clay Pell says he’ll decide on RI gov bid in coming weeks

October 28th, 2013 at 4:34 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Herbert Claiborne “Clay” Pell IV confirmed Monday that he’s actively exploring whether to jump into the 2014 Democratic primary for governor of Rhode Island and expects to make a decision within weeks, as he makes the round to sound out how much support he could win.

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Providence Mayor Taveras kicks off campaign for governor

October 28th, 2013 at 10:02 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence Mayor Angel Taveras formally entered Rhode Island’s 2014 race for governor on Monday, hoping to become the first mayor of the capital city to win the state’s top job in more than 60 years, as he prepares to face Treasurer Gina Raimondo and possibly Clay Pell.

In a speech delivered to dozens of supporters gathered in the library of the Meeting Street School on the city’s South Side, the 43-year-old Democrat talked about how his financial management helped Providence avoid filing for bankruptcy and pledged to be the candidate who will best represent “working families” in Rhode Island.

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Susan Pegden out as legal counsel to House Speaker Fox

October 8th, 2013 at 10:55 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

House Speaker Gordon Fox’s chief legal counsel is out of the job after just one legislative session.

Susan Pegden stepped down as Fox’s top lawyer and started work Monday as director of the General Assembly’s Law Revision Office, House spokesman Larry Berman confirmed Tuesday morning in response to an inquiry from WPRI.com. Pegden succeeds Joseph Abbate, who won Senate confirmation to become a Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal magistrate in June, as the Law Revision Office’s leader.

Fox informed the 69-member House Democratic caucus about Pegden’s new job during a closed-door caucus they held Monday in West Greenwich, where they also received briefings from fellow Democrats Gov. Lincoln Chafee, Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras.

Berman said Pegden’s new job accompanies a broader reorganization of parts of the Assembly staff, though she was the only member of the speaker’s senior team who is changing roles. “I think it was a mutual agreement,” Berman said. “It was a vacancy that Sue was interested in, and there are also going to be some expanded duties.”

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Southern New England Dems mostly back Pelosi on shutdown

October 3rd, 2013 at 10:29 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

In the battle over the government shutdown, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi continues to receive support from all but one of the four Southern New England Democrats who serve in the U.S. House.

Congressmen David Cicilline, Jim Langevin and Joe Kennedy III all stood by Pelosi on Thursday and voted against measures sponsored by the Republican leadership that would have restored funding for veterans and the National Guard. Democrats are refusing to agree to those and other GOP proposals that would only partly end the government shutdown that began Tuesday.

Only 157 of 435 congressmen – all Democrats – voted against the funding for veterans, a roll-call vote tailor-made for attack ads in next year’s campaign. The local exception was Democratic Congressman Bill Keating, who represents Cape Cod and is occasionally mentioned as a possible Republican target in 2014.

Keating broke with Cicilline, Langevin and Kennedy on Thursday to back both military funding measures, after also breaking with the Democrats Wednesday and voting to restore funds for the National Institutes of Health. But he joined the other Democrats in opposing a GOP bill to provide funding to reopen the national parks.

Each of the measures is expected to be dead on arrival in the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate.

The bills to restore funding for popular federal functions were designed by GOP leaders to make their opponents feel the heat, and the fact that Cicilline, Langevin and Kennedy voted no anyway suggests they are among the most loyal – and politically safe – Democrats in the country.

Democrats hold an advantage in all four congressmen’s districts: President Obama won 66% of the vote in Cicilline’s district, 60% in Langevin’s, 57% in Kennedy’s and 56% in Keating’s last year.


Top Chafee aide Richard Licht eyes Superior Court judgeship

October 3rd, 2013 at 12:40 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Richard Licht, director of the R.I. Department of Administration since Gov. Lincoln Chafee took office and a prominent Democratic politician, has asked the R.I. Ethics Commission to examine whether he can seek “an appointment to the Rhode Island Superior Court.”

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RI delegation will give up pay if federal workers lose wages

October 2nd, 2013 at 5:52 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – All four lawmakers in Rhode Island’s congressional delegation will forgo their pay if federal workers lose their wages as a result of the government shutdown, WPRI.com has confirmed.

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Watch: Here’s how the shutdown could impact Rhode Island

September 30th, 2013 at 6:01 pm by under Nesi's Notes


Watch: Jack Reed discusses the looming federal shutdown

September 30th, 2013 at 4:40 pm by under Nesi's Notes


Reed: ‘Extreme’ Republicans may force government shutdown

September 27th, 2013 at 5:29 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – U.S. Sen. Jack Reed said Friday he’s concerned that “extreme elements” of the Republican Party in the U.S. House of Representatives may be pushing the country toward a government shutdown next Tuesday.

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• Related: Whitehouse: Prepare for possible government shutdown (Sept. 23)


Whitehouse: Prepare for possible government shutdown

September 23rd, 2013 at 5:12 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

By Tim White

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said Monday people should be prepared for the federal government to shut down on Oct. 1, saying there is “sufficient enough chance” it could happen.

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• Video: Watch today’s full interview with U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (Sept. 23)


Q&A: Sen. Whitehouse on a government shutdown, debt limit

September 23rd, 2013 at 3:37 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site


Taveras poll shows him beating Raimondo in Dem gov primary

September 18th, 2013 at 5:06 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

taveras_NM_5-11-2012_smallA new poll commissioned and released by Providence Mayor Angel Taveras shows the first-term Democrat would start with a lead over Treasurer Gina Raimondo, his main rival for the party’s 2014 gubernatorial nomination, in a primary race.

The survey by Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group shows Taveras at 49% and Raimondo at 30% among likely Democratic primary voters, with 21% undecided, according to a polling memo released to WPRI.com by Peter Baptista, the mayor’s campaign operative.

“Our survey findings show that Providence Mayor Angel Taveras is extremely well-regarded by Rhode Island Democrats, and that he would enter a potential primary election for governor with a healthy lead over [General] Treasurer Gina Raimondo,” pollster Frederick Yang wrote in the memo.

The Taveras campaign did not release the full results of the poll.

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Watch Newsmakers: House Speaker Gordon Fox

September 15th, 2013 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


How LBJ eased out Rhode Island’s US Senator T.F. Green

September 3rd, 2013 at 1:25 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Richard Baker, the U.S. Senate’s historian emeritus, relates a classic story about a local legend:

When Senator Theodore Green of Rhode Island became chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1957, he was 90 years old. Intelligent, hard-working and well-liked, Green was no longer up to piloting this important cold war-era committee. Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson lacked the authority to remove committee chairs, but he found his opening when a Providence newspaper in 1959 demanded that Green retire. Johnson told the beleaguered senator that he shouldn’t put up with such abuse. Green agreed and decided to step down. But then the leader overplayed his hand and the elderly senator decided he should stay. L.B.J. finally engineered a face-saving way for Green to yield with dignity intact.

For a longer version of Baker’s story, check out this terrific little bio of Green (via Ian Donnis).

• Related: New Year’s Day marks 78 years since RI ‘Bloodless Revolution’ (Jan. 1)