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

Friday, August 03, 2012


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Who’s Hot

Gina Raimondo -> The General Treasurer again lapped the field in the fundraising department in the second quarter, pulling in over $258,000 between April and June. Raimondo will likely run her campaign account to over $1 million by the end of the year and appears well on her way to a gubernatorial run in 2014. Her top donors in the second quarter included Joel Klein from News Corp. and Arthur Levitt, the former chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

Ken Block -> Speaking of Raimondo, the Moderate Party chairman is correct to take her to task for seemingly raising money for her Governor’s race while she is supposed to be running the treasury. It’s something elected officials do all the time, but Block uses the example of Republican John Robitaille, who was essentially forced to resign from Governor Carcieri’s office when he ran for Governor in 2010, to point out that elected officials probably get too much of a head start when they want to run for a different office.

Angel Taveras -> Block didn’t criticize Angel Taveras the way he criticized Raimondo, but there is no question that the popular Providence Mayor is building his war chest as well. Taveras, who many believe is eyeing the Govenor’s office, now has over $237,000 in his account. Still, there are questions about Taveras’ future: He could run left of Raimondo and Ernie Almonte to win a Democratic primary, but would he want to take on Governor Chafee considering the two have become close allies? If Brendan Doherty wins in CD-1, don’t be surprised if Taveras chases that seat instead.

Barry Hinckley -> The Republican Senate candidate still needs to build his name recognition in the state, but he’s gaining a lot of notoriety nationally. Several top Republican Senators held a fundraiser for him in Washington this week and the campaign continues to say it will have plenty of money to purchase television time this fall.

Kate Coyne-McCoy -> Congratulations to the former Congressional candidate on opening up her own political consulting firm. It will certainly be interesting to see what kind of business she gets from Rhode Islanders.

Sam Zurier & Common Cause RI -> The Providence City Council this week voted to allow a question on this year’s ballot that could make the redistricting process more transparent, something both Councilman Zurier and Common Cause executive director John Marion advocated in favor of. Both on the state level and in Providence, redistricting was filled with far too much political maneuvering this year. Here’s hoping the voters support this cause.

Mike Napolitano -> Kudos to the State GOP for bringing on the former Robitaille spokesman to concentrate mostly on the 1st Congressional race. Napolitano will certainly add some character to the race for the Republicans.

Who’s Not

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Lincoln Chafee -> If Governor Chafee wants to run for re-election, he’ll certainly have no problem finding the money. But while Raimondo and Taveras posted impressive fundraising numbers in the second quarter, Chafee had his worst stretch since his first three months in office. One would expect him to rebound over the final two quarters of the year.

Peter Kilmartin -> Speaking of poor fundraisers, the Attorney General barely raised $4,000 in the second quarter and while his in 2014 race won’t cost nearly as much as some of the other high-profile races, he still needs to bring in a few bucks. Currently Kilmartin has less than $50,000.

President Obama -> It has to be concerning for Democrats to see the President so willing to go negative on Governor Romney. It certainly suggests that he is concerned that his record over the last four years won’t be enough to win re-election.

Christopher Cardarelli -> It was a shame to see North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi have to write a $1,600 check to cover this retired police officer’s (he’s now a firefighter) weekly medical insurance premium. According to the Valley Breeze, Cardarelli makes over $120,000 and he still wants a handout from the town.

Pawtucket Schools -> It’s bad enough that the city has two of the worst high schools in the state. Now it appears as though the district closed the year with a $1.5 million deficit.

Providence Crime -> The tragic triple homicide this week is another sign that more needs to be done about gun violence in the city. It seems clear that the police department is stretched too thin and while having additional officers might not necessarily have prevented the 12 murders that have taken place in the city this year, it certainly would go a long way to making residents feel safer.


Editor's Note: The "Hot" listing for Councilman Zurer and Common Cause has been modified for better accuracy.

Dan McGowan can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @danmcgowan.


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