Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in RI Politics?

Friday, July 13, 2012


Who’s Hot

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Ernie Almonte -> It looks as though the first candidate to throw his hat in the ring in the 2014 Governor’s race is picking up a little steam after announcing that he has hired one of nation’s top pollsters (Jef Pollock) for his campaign. The Democrat is likely to face a difficult primary (Treasurer Raimondo and Mayor Taveras are considered potential opponents), but he has raised over $100,000 in the two months since announcing his candidacy and has a head start on building his name recognition.

Sheldon Whitehouse -> Money isn’t everything, but with $3.5 million in the bank, Senator Whitehouse remains the overwhelming favorite in his re-election bid. The Senator is also drawing praise for his work on a campaign finance disclosure bill set to be voted on next week.

Barry Hinckley -> The Republican Senate candidate will never be able to match Whitehouse dollar for dollar, but he has continued to post impressive fundraising numbers himself. The candidate reported raising around $275,000 in the 2nd quarter and still maintains that he’ll have plenty of cash to saturate the market with commercials after Labor Day.

David Cicilline -> Speaking of fundraising, Congressman Cicilline reported that he raised over $300,000 in the 2nd quarter and now has over $825,000 in his war chest. The question for the Congressman has always been whether he’ll be able to refuel after a tough primary, but he’s certainly having no problems in the fundraising department right now.

Joe Trillo -> The outspoken Republican State Rep. is running unopposed after the son of one of the state’s largest Democratic Party contributors (Mark Weiner) dropped out of the race. Trillo, who has always been rumored as a potential Warwick Mayoral candidate at some point, probably wasn’t sweating, but he still has to consider this a major win for the Republican Party.

Robert Flanders -> Say what you want about Judge Flanders, but the man deserves credit for helping to get Central Falls back on track. It looks as though the city will be out of receivership by September and while it was a tragedy to see so many retirees take such deep pension cuts, here’s hoping the city can move forward.

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Who’s Not

RI Board of Elections -> The Board of Elections was probably trying to do the right thing when it called an emergency meeting to make voter information confidential, but critics were spot on to point out that it was a shortsighted idea that would have overwhelmingly benefited incumbents.

Curt Schilling -> After he took to the airwaves and social media to whine about what a bad guy Governor Chafee is, it turns out the former Red Sox star wasn’t exactly telling the whole truth about the popularity of 38 Studios’ first game. Schilling ripped Chafee for calling “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning” a flop, but representatives from the company admitted this week that its sales did not meet their expectations.

Anthony Gemma -> Well, it wasn’t quite “shove it,” but Anthony Gemma refusing to endorse Senator Whitehouse and Congressman Langevin certainly doesn’t help his cause. Gemma probably has a point when he criticizes the Democrats for not waiting until after the primary to support a candidate, but going on talk radio to air out his frustrations with the Party doesn’t do much to solidify is Democratic credentials.

Hanna Gallo -> The Journal reports that Senator Gallo is in a pickle after Cranston’s Board of Canvassers noticed that the same person signed six sets of nominating papers acknowledging that he witnessed every signature. It’s probably a small-time issue, but it’s certainly something her opponents can use against her as they walk door-to-door this summer.

Vinny Paz -> Every time Rhode Island’s favorite boxer talks, he reminds you why boxing isn’t exactly the most brilliant career choice. Paz took to talk radio this week to discuss allegations that he hit a woman in a Federal Hill bar and somehow chose to defend himself by pointing to all the women he’s been with. Classy guy.

Joseph Caramadre -> It’s still beyond me why we haven’t seen any elected officials return the thousands of dollars in campaign contributions this “philanthropist” gave them. This is a man accused of stealing millions from the sick and elderly who is now trying to pull every string he can to save himself before his trial.

Dan McGowan can be reached at [email protected]


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