ernie almonte

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%

Read the rest of this story »

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

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 »

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.

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 »

Dems angling to succeed Raimondo all back pension deal

February 26th, 2014 at 12:53 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

The men vying to succeed Gina Raimondo as Rhode Island’s general treasurer are all supporting the proposed settlement she recently announced that would end unions’ legal challenge to the 2011 pension law.

The three Democrats running for treasurer are former Treasurer Frank Caprio, former Internal Auditor Ernie Almonte, and political newcomer Seth Magaziner. No Republican has entered the race so far.

Almonte spoke out Wednesday in a Providence Journal op-ed, describing the settlement as possibly “the best short-term option” while also criticizing how long lawmakers allowed the pension problem to fester.

“This is a worthwhile settlement because it achieves significant savings without costly litigation and uncertainty,” Almonte, who raised red flags about the pension problem as internal auditor, wrote. “But it also highlights the true cost of continuing to delay making difficult decisions that will shape our state’s future.”


Pell loans his campaign $1M; Raimondo has $2.5M

February 2nd, 2014 at 4:15 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Clay Pell has jumped to the front ranks of Rhode Island’s best-funded politicians after putting more than $1 million of his own money into his campaign for governor, as his rivals Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Mayor Angel Taveras continue to sock away six-figure sums.

Here’s a rundown of how much money all the candidates for statewide office had as of Dec. 31.

Read the rest of this story »

• Related: Ex-Enron trader Arnold gave $100K to pro-Raimondo PAC (Jan. 31)

Raimondo, McKee, de Ramel, Caprio lead political money race

August 1st, 2013 at 1:00 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The latest quarterly finance reports from Rhode Island’s state and local politicians were due to the R.I. Board of Elections by midnight last night, and the results offer a glimpse at who’s got an early advantage heading into next year’s campaign.

Read the rest of this story »

• Related: DreamWorks CEO, Facebook executive among Raimondo donors (July 31)

Almonte abandons gov campaign to run for RI treasurer

May 16th, 2013 at 8:42 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former Auditor General Ernie Almonte announced Thursday that he’ll run for general treasurer in 2014, abandoning his long-shot bid for governor against Gina Raimondo and Angel Taveras.

Read the rest of this story »

• Related: Caprio calls ‘shove it’ remark ‘stupid,’ prepares comeback (May 14)

Raimondo’s war chest hits $1.7M; Taveras tops $500K

May 1st, 2013 at 10:35 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi and Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Treasurer Gina Raimondo continued to raise campaign cash at a rip-roaring pace during the first three months of 2013, far outpacing the other leading candidates for the state’s top job.

Read the rest of this story »

Poll: Raimondo is favorite for gov; Chafee does best as a Dem

January 31st, 2013 at 9:22 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Democrat Gina Raimondo is the early favorite to win the 2014 governor’s race, according to a new poll released Thursday morning to

The Public Policy Polling survey [pdf] shows Raimondo would win anywhere from 32% to 46% of the vote depending on which hypothetical opponents she faces. She is the only candidate to crack 40% support in any of 10 ballot tests conducted by PPP.

If Raimondo is out of the picture, however, there’s no clear frontrunner: the leading candidates in non-Raimondo scenarios shift between Republican Brendan Doherty, Republican Allan Fung and Democrat Angel Taveras depending on the match-up. Moderate Party founder Ken Block starts out with double-digit support in most scenarios, suggesting his presence could have a major impact on the outcome.

Independent Gov. Lincoln Chafee faces an unsurprisingly uphill battle to win a second term, with more than half of voters saying they don’t want him to run again. His strongest shot at re-election comes if he runs as a Democrat: running under the party banner, Chafee starts out trailing Republicans Doherty and Fung by just four points. Among voters who do want Chafee to run again, 20% say he should run as an independent and 18% say he should run as a Democrat.


Almonte releases 20-page report on Pawtucket pension costs

October 25th, 2012 at 5:40 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Former Auditor General Ernie Almonte delivered a 20-page report on Pawtucket’s pension and retiree health plans to Mayor Donald Grebien on Thursday, eight months after Grebien asked him to lead an ad hoc commission studying the issue.

“The City of Pawtucket has a seriously underfunded pension system and an unfunded OPEB (other post retirement employee benefits, e.g., health insurance),” the report says. It lists a long list of options for dealing with the problem, including larger contributions from the city and suspending pension cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) until the plan is 80% funded.

Grebien described the report as “impressive in its scope and depth,” and said he will review its findings “with his administration and finance directors, in conjunction with union leaders, to determine options and recommendations that will be sent to the City Council for approval as required by the state.”

Click here to download the full Pawtucket pension report as a PDF. (Under last year’s pension overhaul, Rhode Island cities and towns are required to submit plans for shoring up their pension plans by next month.)

• Related: Pawtucket panel plans 6-week sprint to solve pension problem (Feb. 23)

Raimondo, Taveras square off on pensions at rival DNC panels

September 5th, 2012 at 2:58 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Independent Gov. Lincoln Chafee got a prime-time speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention. But elsewhere in Charlotte the two Democrats who could vie to replace him in 2014 are burnishing their rival reformist credentials.

Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras are each taking part in panel discussions Thursday to discuss their contrasting approaches to scaling back pension benefits in Rhode Island over the past year and a half. The two first-term Democrats are both expected to run for governor in two years.

Raimondo is part of a star-studded lineup of speakers hosted by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and Bloomberg LP, while Taveras will discuss Providence’s pension deal at an “All Politics is Local” forum organized by the Conference of Democratic Mayors.


Let the games begin – Almonte files to run for governor in 2014

May 14th, 2012 at 11:04 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former Rhode Island Auditor General Ernest Almonte will run for governor as a Democrat in 2014, he announced Monday morning after filing a notice of organization with the Board of Elections.

“The reason why I did that is in order to do fundraising you have to file this form,” Almonte, 56, told “A lot of people do exploratory committees – I’m not that way. This is what I’m doing.”

Almonte, a North Scituate resident who’s never run for public office before, said he has enlisted a treasurer and is in discussions with potential campaign managers. He said he will make a formal announcement at a later date.

“I am running because I can make a positive change for this state,” Almonte said. “I will exercise leadership by giving character, competition and compassion, and I will create an infrastructure for success and an infrastructure for opportunity for everyone in this state.”


Pawtucket panel plans 6-week sprint to solve pension problem

February 23rd, 2012 at 12:32 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Pawtucket joined the pension parade on Thursday as Mayor Don Grebien’s new ad hoc panel said it would deliver recommendations for fixing the city’s underfunded pension and retiree health plans by April.

“It’s bad,” former Auditor General Ernie Almonte, who is chairing the committee, said at its first meeting this morning. “It’s a bad situation, and everyone has to give something up.” The group will likely draft a report outlining the situation and suggesting potential solutions.

Almonte said he wants to ensure Pawtucket avoids the “rather disgusting” outcome in Central Falls, where pension were cut up to 55% after the city declared bankruptcy. ”There should have been a better plan on how to deal with that,” he said. “But there should have a plan 20 years ago on having the money that wasn’t there.”

“Many of our urban areas are on the brink of bankruptcy,” warned Gary Sasse, another panel member, who was former Gov. Don Carcieri’s director of administration.