gina raimondo

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)


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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Super PAC aiding Gina Raimondo after ban ruled out

October 8th, 2014 at 3:24 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A “super PAC” formed to support Democrat Gina Raimondo announced Wednesday it’s going on the air with a TV ad attacking Republican Allan Fung, just weeks after Raimondo’s campaign refused to discuss a ban on outside spending in the race.

John Marion, executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island, told WPRI.com he was asked by Fung campaign manager Patrick Sweeney to set up a meeting to discuss the possibility of a so-called “People’s Pledge” agreement between the two sides to limit outside spending in the gubernatorial race, but Raimondo campaign manager Eric Hyers refused to discuss the idea when Marion approached him.

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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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Fung attacks Raimondo on 38 Studios in new TV ad

September 29th, 2014 at 5:16 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Republican gubernatorial nominee Allan Fung released the first TV attack ad of the fall campaign on Monday, criticizing his Democratic rival Gina Raimondo for supporting repayment of the 38 Studios bonds. The campaign is putting $93,000 behind the ad over 10 days.

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First Raimondo TV spot ties her to Jack Reed

September 28th, 2014 at 8:40 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic gubernatorial nominee Gina Raimondo is leaning on party elder statesman U.S. Sen. Jack Reed to give her a boost as she launches her first television commercial of the fall campaign. The state party is spending $90,000 on the ad this week.

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Poll: Raimondo has slim lead over Fung for gov

September 27th, 2014 at 12:41 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Gina Raimondo has a small lead over Republican Allan Fung in the race to become Rhode Island’s next governor, according to a new poll released Saturday by Rasmussen Reports that did not include Moderate Bob Healey.

The survey of 750 likely voters in Rhode Island shows Raimondo on top at 42%, with Fung a relatively close second at 37%. An additional 11% of voters said they were supporting a different candidate, while 11% said they were undecided.

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A handful of RI cities powered Raimondo and Fung victories

September 17th, 2014 at 11:59 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Raimondo Fung primary night 2014Rhode Island may have 39 cities and towns, but the state doesn’t have an Electoral College, so it doesn’t matter how many different municipalities a candidate wins – run up the score enough in a few and you could conceivably win an election while losing a majority of the 39.

That’s not what happened in last week’s Democratic and Republican gubernatorial primaries; both Gina Raimondo and Allan Fung came out on top in a majority of the 39 cities and towns, with Raimondo winning 36 of them and Fung winning 28 of them.

But a closer look at the results shows a majority of Raimondo’s votes came from just seven cities and towns, while a majority of Fung’s votes came from only eight.

Raimondo’s top three cities for votes matched the state’s top three cities for population precisely: Providence (9,738 votes), Warwick (4,387) and Cranston (3,593). Her fourth-best community was Cumberland, only the eighth-biggest by population, which gave her 3,150 votes. Add in Pawtucket (2,912), North Providence (2,599) and East Providence (2,527), and you have a majority of Raimondo’s 54,041 accounted for. Her biggest outlier was probably Central Falls, which ranks 19th by population but was 30th for Raimondo votes. (Angel Taveras won the city with help from Mayor James Diossa.)

Raimondo got 50,041 votes total; here are the rankings with cumulative percentages:

  1. Providence: 9,738 (18%)
  2. Warwick: 4,387 (26%)
  3. Cranston: 3,593 (33%)
  4. Cumberland: 3,150 (39%)
  5. Pawtucket: 2,912 (44%)
  6. North Providence: 2,599 (49%)
  7. East Providence: 2,527 (54%)

Fung’s vote totals don’t match up as precisely with population centers. His top cities were his hometown of Cranston (3,040 votes) and Warwick (2,428), which together contributed almost one in three Fung votes. But his third-best town was North Kingstown (834), which ranks 13th by population, whereas the state’s biggest city, Providence, gave him only 616 votes, even fewer than Coventry (734). Another town with outsized impact was East Greenwich (512 votes), 26th by population but sixth for Fung votes. The rest of his majority came from South Kingstown (506) and East Providence (477).

Fung got 17,531 votes total; here are the rankings with cumulative percentages:

  1. Cranston: 3,040 (17%)
  2. Warwick: 2,428 (31%)
  3. North Kingstown: 834 (36%)
  4. Coventry: 734 (40%)
  5. Providence: 616 (44%)
  6. East Greenwich: 512 (47%)
  7. South Kingstown: 506 (49.5%)
  8. East Providence: 477 (52%)

The results in Central Falls were even more striking for Fung than for Raimondo. He won more votes on Block Island (36) than he did in Central Falls (26), even though the latter has 18 times more residents.

Ted Nesi ( tnesi@wpri.com ) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com and writes the Nesi’s Notes blog. Follow him on Twitter: @tednesi


Raimondo’s primary victory cost $2.3M more than Coakley’s

September 11th, 2014 at 12:20 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Massachusetts’ population is six times bigger than Rhode Island’s, but it was actually less expensive for Martha Coakley to win a nomination for governor this year in the Bay State than for Gina Raimondo to do so in its small southern neighbor.

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Clay Pell campaign spent $111 for every vote he got

September 10th, 2014 at 1:19 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Clay Pell finished the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial primary right where he started, in third place – but not before dishing out more than $3.4 million of his own money in a failed attempt to win.

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Raimondo, Fung set to face off for RI governor

September 10th, 2014 at 1:05 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island is set to elect its first female governor or its first Asian-American governor this November after General Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung won their party’s nominations on Tuesday.

More than 153,000 registered Rhode Island voters cast a ballot in the primary election, with roughly 123,000 votes cast in the Democratic gubernatorial primary and about 31,000 votes cast in the Republican race, according to preliminary results. That would put voter turnout in the primary at roughly 20%.

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More winners in Tuesday’s primary elections:


RI governor hopefuls’ campaign spending tops $10M

September 3rd, 2014 at 12:23 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The top five candidates seeking to become Rhode Island’s next governor have spent more than $10 million over the last five months jockeying for advantage in the Democratic and Republican primaries, according to a review of campaign-finance filings by WPRI.com.

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Analysis: 5 takeaways from the Democratic gov debate

August 26th, 2014 at 11:00 pm by under Nesi's Notes

Click here to read my five takeaways from the debate on the new WPRI.com website »


Democrats for RI gov battle in aggressive TV debate

August 26th, 2014 at 8:01 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – With two weeks until the primary, the three leading Democratic candidates for Rhode Island governor questioned each other’s records while laying out their plans for job creation and education during a fiery debate Tuesday.

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• Related: Watch the full debate on WPRI.com | Analysis: 5 takeaways from the debate


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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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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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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Providence pension investments beat state’s again

July 25th, 2014 at 5:02 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Providence pension fund’s investment performance beat the state’s once again in the fiscal year that just ended, and it wasn’t particularly close.

The City of Providence Employee Retirement System’s roughly $272-million portfolio earned 17.5% during the 12-month fiscal year that ended June 30. The Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island’s roughly $8.2-billion portfolio earned 15.1% over the same period.

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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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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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Raimondo stands by hedge-fund adviser canned by Mass.

June 24th, 2014 at 12:10 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – General Treasurer Gina Raimondo is keeping for now the California financial adviser that helps her office pick hedge funds for the state’s investment portfolio, despite a recent decision by the Massachusetts pension board to cut ties with the same company.

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Watch: The entire June 10 RI Democratic primary debate

June 11th, 2014 at 11:10 am by under Nesi's Notes


5 takeaways from Tuesday night’s Democratic RI gov. debate

June 10th, 2014 at 11:05 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Raimondo Taveras Pell June 2014 debateThe top three Democratic candidates for governor – Angel Taveras, Gina Raimondo and Clay Pell – met Tuesday night for their first TV debate of the primary campaign. For a full recap of what they said, check out Dan McGowan’s full story on WPRI.com. The full video of the entire 60-minute debate is online here.

Here are five quick takeaways from this first primary debate of the season.

1. Nobody bombed. Supporters of the three candidates will point to the best moments each of them had and the occasional stumbles of their rivals, but the truth is there didn’t appear to be any really bad moments that will become a major post-debate headache for their campaigns. Particularly in the first debate, when the candidates are still trying to get their sea legs, they likely have the Hippocratic oath in mind: “First, do no harm.” As WPRI 12 political analyst Joe Fleming put it, “I would say they all held their own tonight. But nobody had a knock-out punch.”

(more…)


WPRI/Journal Poll: Taveras still leads Raimondo; Pell slips

June 3rd, 2014 at 5:00 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi and Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The tight race between Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and Treasurer Gina Raimondo for the Democratic nomination for governor has barely budged since last winter, but their opponent Clay Pell has lost ground, an exclusive WPRI 12/Providence Journal poll released Tuesday shows.

The new survey of 506 Rhode Island Democratic primary voters shows Taveras still in the lead at 33%, with Raimondo still a close second at 29% and Pell a distant third at 12%. More than one in five voters – 22% – haven’t decided whom they’ll support in the Sept. 9 primary. Perennial candidate Todd Giroux is at 1.6%.

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Key Raimondo aide Brumberger leaving for private sector

May 29th, 2014 at 5:44 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

A longtime member of Treasurer Gina Raimondo’s State House team is heading for the exit.

Josh Brumberger, who is currently Raimondo’s deputy treasurer of policy and financial empowerment, said Thursday he will leave the treasurer’s office next month to do business development for Utilidata Inc., the Providence-based energy-management startup.

Brumberger, 35, was hired by Raimondo shortly after she took office in February 2011 and played a key role in developing policies such as the 2011 pension reform and a statewide push to improve financial literacy. His departure comes as a bit of a surprise, with Raimondo in the thick of a campaign for governor.

Brumberger also worked on former U.S. Sen. John Edwards’ 2004 presidential campaign, and was called to testify during Edwards’ 2012 trial for campaign finance fraud. He was also featured in “Game Change,” the popular campaign book penned by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann.

Brumberger is the second key Raimondo aide to leave Treasury this month. Joy Fox, Raimondo’s spokeswoman throughout her tenure there, moved over to her gubernatorial campaign this week. Raimondo’s former chief of staff, Joe Pratt, was shifted to a different job in 2012 and left her office last year.

Heather Hudson will take over as Raimondo’s director of financial empowerment and Rebecca Webber will become her policy director at Treasury once Brumberger leaves.

Ted Nesi ( tnesi@wpri.com ) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com and writes the Nesi’s Notes blog. Follow him on Twitter: @tednesi

An earlier version of this post incorrectly said Brumberger worked on John Edwards’ 2008 presidential campaign; he worked on his 2004 campaign.


Dems sign ‘People’s Pledge’ to limit spending in gov race

April 28th, 2014 at 10:21 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Democratic candidates for Rhode Island governor said Monday they have reached an agreement to limit outside spending during the campaign, a deal that could significantly limit the influence of Super PACs and other special-interest groups this year.

Known in politics as the “People’s Pledge,” the agreement requires any candidate who benefits from an outside group’s advertisement to contribute 100% of the ad buy to a charity selected by their opponent within three days of the ad’s discovery. In the event that two candidates benefit from the ad, they will each contribute 50% of the cost to the third’s candidate’s charity of choice.

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WPRI 12, Projo will host 2 TV governor debates in June

April 28th, 2014 at 10:19 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Get out your calendars.

WPRI 12 and The Providence Journal announced Monday they will host two Rhode Island gubernatorial primary debates in June. Democrats Angel Taveras, Gina Raimondo and Clay Pell will debate on Tuesday, June 10 at 7 p.m.; Republicans Allan Fung and Ken Block will debate the following Tuesday, June 17, also at 7.

The debates will be moderated by Tim White, with yours truly and Journal political columnist Ed Fitzpatrick joining him to ask questions. Both debates will be held at PPAC and air live on WPRI 12.