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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
A 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.
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.