providence

Providence cop connection eyed in mail-ballot probe

October 24th, 2014 at 12:17 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan and Walt Buteau

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The head of the Rhode Island State Police confirmed Friday investigators are looking into whether two men who were collecting mail ballots at the state’s largest homeless shelter were Providence police officers.

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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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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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Providence fire union attacks Elorza, praises Cianci in mailer

October 8th, 2014 at 10:29 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Two weeks after endorsing mayoral candidate Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr., the Providence firefighters’ union is taking the fight to Democrat Jorge Elorza.

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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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Cianci unveils plan to develop Providence waterfront

October 7th, 2014 at 4:33 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Dusting off a plan he pitched 14 years ago, independent mayoral candidate Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. unveiled Tuesday an ambitious vision for mixed-use development along the city’s waterfront that could include a hotel, sports facilities and a marina along Allens Avenue.

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Next Providence mayor expected to face big budget gap

October 6th, 2014 at 5:43 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The next mayor of Rhode Island’s capital city will enter office facing a shortfall of between $15 million and $24 million in his first budget, according to the City Council Ways and Means Committee’s chairman and vice-chairman.

The projection is much higher than one published last spring by the Taveras administration, which said the city’s budget shortfall was expected to be only $2.2 million in 2015-16. At the time, a spokeswoman said the deficit projection amounted to “essentially a balanced budget as it represents less than 0.5% of the budget.”

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• Related: Providence’s troubled city pension fund, in three charts (Oct. 1)


Watch Newsmakers: The Providence mayoral debate

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

• Related: Cianci was right: his final budget funded pensions at 80% (Sept. 30)


Anti-Cianci group collapses; Lorne Adrain to support Elorza

October 3rd, 2014 at 3:05 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A third-party group aimed at blocking Vincent “Buddy” Cianci Jr. from winning back City Hall has collapsed before ever getting off the ground, WPRI.com has learned.

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• Related: RI delegation holds fundraiser to help Elorza beat Cianci (Oct. 2)


Cianci wants more cops, community policing in Providence

October 3rd, 2014 at 1:49 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Independent mayoral candidate Vincent “Buddy” Cianci Jr. said Friday he wants to expand the city’s police force, pledging to find the money to add cops by conducting an audit of the city budget aimed at identifying “waste, fraud and abuse” if he defeats Democrat Jorge Elorza on Nov. 4.

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RI delegation holds fundraiser to help Elorza beat Cianci

October 3rd, 2014 at 11:10 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A who’s who list of Rhode Island’s political establishment turned out to support Democrat Jorge Elorza at a fundraiser Thursday, pledging to do whatever it takes to help the 37-year-old former Housing Court judge defeat Buddy Cianci in the race for Providence mayor.

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Providence’s troubled city pension fund, in three charts

October 1st, 2014 at 3:06 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

The sizable shortfall in Providence’s pension system for retired city workers has become a major topic of discussion in this year’s race for mayor, with facts and figures flying fast and furious.

To help you sort out facts from fiction, here are three charts that give an overview of the city pension fund’s finances over the last two decades under three mayors: Buddy Cianci (1991-2002), David Cicilline (2003-2011) and Angel Taveras (2011-present). The numbers come from the annual city audit.

First off, here’s a look at what’s called the “unfunded liability” in the pension fund – the official shortfall between how much the city has socked away and how much it would need to pay out promised benefits in full, as reported by the city’s actuary. For a variety of reasons, the shortfall grew from $137 million in 1991 to $759 million in 2012. (The latest audit isn’t out yet, but the shortfall rose to $832 million in 2013.)

Providence unfunded pension liability 1991 2012

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Tonight at 7 on Fox Providence – Cianci vs. Elorza vs. Harrop

September 30th, 2014 at 1:11 pm by under Nesi's Notes


WPRI 12/Journal Poll: Buddy Cianci on top for mayor

September 23rd, 2014 at 5:43 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi and Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former Providence Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. has a small lead over Jorge Elorza six weeks ahead of the election to replace Mayor Angel Taveras, but many voters are still undecided, an exclusive WPRI 12/Providence Journal poll released Tuesday shows.

The new survey of 503 likely voters in Providence shows independent Cianci on top at 38%, with Democrat Elorza in second place at 32% and Republican Daniel Harrop a distant third at 6%. Roughly one in five Providence voters – 21% – said they remain undecided about the Nov. 4 election for mayor.

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• Interactive: Dig into complete results of the September WPRI 12/Journal poll

Coming at 10 p.m., more poll results on city voters’ mood; at 4:30 a.m., their take on Cianci’s convictions.


Police, fire unions endorse Cianci for Providence mayor

September 23rd, 2014 at 4:51 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence’s two public safety unions have both endorsed former Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. in his bid to return to City Hall.

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Mayor Taveras: ‘Nothing left to negotiate’ on teachers pact

September 23rd, 2014 at 8:30 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Outgoing Providence Mayor Angel Taveras said Monday he refuses to saddle his successor with “an unreasonable labor contract” for city teachers, the latest shot across the bow in an escalating conflict between his administration and the union.

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RI transplants Regunberg, Gyles vying to succeed Fox

September 22nd, 2014 at 6:00 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Aaron Regunberg moved to Providence from Chicago in 2008 to attend Brown University and quickly became known as a progressive rabble-rouser who fought for healthier school lunches, helped elect Angel Taveras mayor and organized high-school students against standardized testing.

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• Related: Six months later, Gordon Fox probe moving forward (Sept. 22)


Watch Newsmakers: Buddy Cianci on his run and his record

September 21st, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


Taveras: I’ll do ‘everything I can’ to help Elorza beat Cianci

September 18th, 2014 at 10:22 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence Mayor Angel Taveras said Wednesday he plans to do “everything I can” to ensure that city government remains “free of corruption” by helping Democrat Jorge Elorza defeat Buddy Cianci in the race to lead Rhode Island’s capital city.

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Elorza, Harrop take aim at Cianci during mayoral forum

September 18th, 2014 at 10:21 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – This one got ugly in a hurry.

The first candidate forum between Providence mayoral hopefuls Jorge Elorza, Daniel Harrop and Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. quickly turned into a war of words Wednesday, as Elorza and Harrop took turns attacking Cianci over his indiscretions during his two prior tenures as mayor and Cianci fired back with criticism of his own.

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East Side secured Elorza win in Providence mayor primary

September 11th, 2014 at 11:55 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

While opponent Jorge Elorza was racking up votes on the East Side and the two Democrats were running close to even on the South Side, Michael Solomon’s base in the Mount Pleasant, Elmhurst and the Charles neighborhoods didn’t turn out to vote in numbers that would offset Elorza’s dominating performance across the city, according to a WPRI.com review of pre-mail-ballot voting tallies. In the end, Solomon won the rest of the city, but Elorza’s big East Side haul was enough to secure the victory citywide.

Around 9:45 p.m., Solomon called Elorza to concede the race. Fifteen minutes later, Elorza was ushered in a backdoor at Fete nightclub in Olneyville, the site of his victory party. While more than 150 supporters celebrated in the ballroom area, Elorza shared a moment with his closest supporters backstage. He hugged his campaign manager Marisa O’Gara, who left her position in the Taveras administration earlier this year to work for Elorza.

By 10:15, Brett Smiley, the East Side Democrat whose decision to exit the race and endorse Elorza likely helped Elorza win so heavily in Wards 1, 2, and 3, was introducing the Democratic nominee for mayor of Providence.

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Solomon, Elorza battle in heated mayoral debate

August 29th, 2014 at 8:48 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The leading Democratic candidates for mayor of Providence lobbed criticism at one another throughout a contentious debate Friday, while each made the case that the city can’t afford to elect independent candidate Buddy Cianci in the November election.

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• Related: Watch the full Elorza-Solomon debate on WPRI 12′s Newsmakers (Aug. 29)


Elorza campaign copied letter from Central Falls mayor

August 28th, 2014 at 11:16 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Mayoral candidate Jorge Elorza is blaming a “former advisor” for drafting a letter on his behalf using language that is nearly identical to a letter that was sent in 2012 by Central Falls Mayor James Diossa.

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Elorza pitches citywide arts festival for Providence

August 28th, 2014 at 8:12 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic mayoral candidate Jorge Elorza said Thursday he wants Providence to host a week-long arts and cultural festival modeled after the popular South by Southwest event in Austin, Texas.

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Smiley wants to be the ‘best pothole filler’ ever in city

August 21st, 2014 at 5:34 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence mayoral candidate Brett Smiley says he wants to be the “best chief pothole filler the city has ever seen.”

Smiley, a Democrat, unveiled a plan Thursday to create a cabinet-level position that would oversee road repairs and prevent utility companies from cutting into newly surfaced roads, a chronic complaint from City Council members and residents.

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Major city unions won’t endorse mayoral candidate before primary

August 18th, 2014 at 9:32 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The four major public employee unions in Rhode Island’s capital city are unlikely to endorse a candidate for mayor before next month’s Democratic primary, a sign they are willing to give independent Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. a second look before making a decision.

The heads of the Providence Fraternal Order of Police, firefighters union Local 799, Providence Teachers Union and Local 1033 of the Laborers’ International Union all told WPRI.com last week they don’t expect their members to throw their support behind Michael Solomon, Jorge Elorza or Brett Smiley before primary voters head to the polls Sept. 9.

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At fundraiser, Buddy Cianci warns of ‘negative campaign’

August 5th, 2014 at 5:54 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former Providence Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. told a group of supporters Monday that he’s expecting a long, “negative campaign” from well-funded opponents in the coming months as he seeks a return to City Hall.

Cianci’s comments came during a $1,000-a-head fundraiser at Al Forno Restaurant on South Main Street. The 73-year-old independent drew applause from several dozen donors and supporters as he laid out his vision for Providence during an 11-minute speech, but he also warned that an independent expenditure group is preparing to “go against us big time.”

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Cianci lists income sources, real estate portfolio in new filing

August 4th, 2014 at 5:48 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former Providence Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. drew income from commentary gigs with WPRO-AM and WLNE-TV as well as various speaking engagements in 2013, according to his first public financial disclosure filing since he left office in 2002.

The new filing with the state Ethics Commission also shows Cianci owns two lucrative pieces of commercial real estate in Providence and Warwick – he leases one to Women and Infants Hospital – as well as a residential property on Chalkstone Avenue.

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Mayoral candidates Smiley, Elorza at odds over municipal income tax

August 4th, 2014 at 3:49 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic mayoral candidate Jorge Elorza said Monday a new YouTube video that shows him expressing support for a municipal income tax in Providence “was intentionally edited to mislead voters.”

The 44-second video, released Sunday by primary opponent Brett Smiley, shows Elorza telling the Rhode Island Progressive Democrats of America that he is “very much in support of a municipal income tax.” The group later endorsed Elorza’s bid for mayor.

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