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

Friday, July 27, 2012

 

Who’s Hot

Brendan Doherty -> Offering to return all PAC contributions if David Cicilline does the same was the perfect way for the Republican Congressional candidate to stand up to criticism from the Congressman and the Democratic Party. It appears the Doherty campaign is beginning to hit its stride just as Rhode Islanders are beginning to pay attention to the race.

Lincoln Chafee -> Once again, Governor Chafee looks like the only winner to come out of the entire 38 Studios saga. By the time this issue is all said and done, he’ll be able to say he stopped the state from needlessly dishing out more money to the company through tax credits and if it leads to a complete revamp of the EDC, he’ll have that feather in his cap as well.

Angel Taveras -> Mayor Taveras remained undefeated when taking on the City Council this week when he claimed he would veto his own $40 million bond proposal to repair roads and sidewalks if the Council split the money up by ward. Council President Michael Solomon deserves credit for his last-minute work to flip a few Council members who wanted the money to be divided up as well.

Jim Langevin -> With all eyes on the 1st Congressional race, it’s easy to forget that Jim Langevin has a race as well. The Congressman kicked off his re-election campaign this week and while the likely Republican candidate Mike Riley might be his toughest opponent yet, it seems as though he’ll cruise to another term in the House.

David Salvatore -> The first-term Providence Councilman continues to make a name for himself as he looks to save the city from paying over $12 million in prescription drug costs. Salvatore, who is closely aligned with Mayor Taveras and Council President Solomon, is calling for an outside company to analyze the claims process and believes the city could save up to 15 percent in the long run.

Harry Winthrop -> Congrats are in order for the new Mayor of Newport. After Stephen Waluk resigned to take a job a chief clerk of the state’s District Court, Winthrop received unanimous approval from his City Council colleagues to take over.

Guillaume de Ramel -> As first reported by RIPR, yet another potential candidate has emerged in the 2014 Secretary of State’s race. de Ramel finished a close second to Ralph Mollis in 2006 and should be able to outspend the other Democrats (most notably Terry Hassett and Jamie Doyle) considering taking a shot at the seat. Still, this could be a prime opportunity for the Republicans to pick up a general office if Catherine Taylor decides to throw her hat in the ring again.

Who’s Not

Barry Hinckley -> After a strong week last week, the Republican Senate candidate got a little off track this week when WPRI reported that in 2009, he told a group of businessmen that running for office is good PR. While it is clear that Hinckley is running for more than just PR purposes (the guy is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money) this was just one of those inconvenient stories that helped Senator Sheldon Whitehouse win the week.

Gordon Fox -> There aren’t too many people who believe the Speaker won’t win re-election this fall, but his opponent got a ton of free press this week when he called for an investigation into the 2007 fundraiser co-hosted by Michael Corso that was never paid for until Tuesday. Nobody will ever know if it was simply an oversight on the Speaker’s part, but it just doesn’t look good from a public perception standpoint.

Anthony Gemma -> Speaking of public perception, if the Democratic Congressional candidate’s only earned media is going to be reporters looking into his legions of fake followers on Twitter, he’s probably in trouble. It may still be too soon to count Gemma out, but he’s done a poor job communicating his message beyond door-to-door campaigning so far.

Curt Schilling -> The brilliant Boston Magazine piece on 38 Studios this week certainly doesn’t make you feel for the former Red Sox ace. It’s clear now that Schilling knew his company was going under and completely screwed over his employees by holding out hope that he would be bailed out by the state.

Joseph Giammarco -> Local politics 101: Don’t swear at people in restaurants.

 

Dan McGowan can be reached at dmcgowan@golocalprov.com. Follow him on Twitter: @danmcgowan.

 

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