The Scoop - Chafee Drops Out - RI News and Politics at 4 pm

Wednesday, September 04, 2013


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Welcome to The Scoop, the 4 p.m. report on everything politics in Rhode Island – the inside daily report exclusively on

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Gov. Chafee Not Seeking Reelection in 2014

Governor Lincoln Chafee has announced that he will not be seeking reelection in 2014. Chafee – who made the announcement at press conference outside of the DMV in Cranston – faced a tough reelection fight in 2014, and suffered from poor approval ratings.

Chafee, a one-time Republican U.S. senator, was elected governor in 2010 as an Independent. In May, Chafee switched his party designation from Independent to Democrat.

One of the first politicians to comment on Chafee's decision was Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts, who issued the following statement:

"I respect Governor Chafee's decision not to seek re-election for another term, and knowing his dedication to our state and his commitment to public service, I trust it was not an easy decision. For the remainder of our terms in office, I look forward to continuing my close partnership with the Governor toward full implementation of HealthSource RI and other important health reforms that will improve the lives of Rhode Island's families and strengthen our small businesses."

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Rep. Shekarchi: Half of Budget Surplus Should Go to Cities and Towns

In the wake of the recent announcement that the state ended the previous fiscal year with a surplus, Rep. K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick) said he intends to prefile legislation later this year to require that 50 percent of any state budget surplus go to cities and towns, distributed according to the existing state aid formula.

“I believe this money should go back to cities and towns, but I also believe it should not be used for new goods or personnel,” said Shekarchi, who is serving his first term in the House. “Our communities are struggling financially largely because of unfunded or under-funded liabilities, such as pension plans, and every extra dollar that can be used to address that fiscal situation should be. Doing that will be more beneficial for our municipalities and their taxpayers in the long run than hiring more staff.”

According to preliminary figures reported last week, the state ended Fiscal Year 2013 (which ended June 30) with a $97 million surplus, which is about $3.6 million more than the $93.4 million surplus that was built into the current (FY14) budget.

Rep. Langevin Considers Constituents’ Opinions on Syria

In addition to reviewing information provided by President Barrack Obama, U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin is also weighing the sentiments of his constituency regarding the President’s proposed military strike in Syria. With this in mind, Langevin issued the following statement:

“My constituents have expressed a strong objection to any U.S. military response that would involve American boots on the ground, and I share that position. Any response should be targeted, limited in scope and duration, and the result of international cooperation. Just as importantly, this response should come after a thorough consultation with Congress, and I applaud the President’s decision to seek a vote in advance of military action.”

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Block Takes Issue with New Taveras Billboard

Ken Block, a candidate in next year’s Rhode Island Governor’s race, has come out sharply against a new billboard promoting the musical Evita, which also features a prominent photo of Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, and the following caption: “We are delighted that your national tour is opening here in our Creative Capital.”

Block took to Twitter to voice his displeasure with the advertisement issuing multiple tweets including: “Is this billboard about selling Evita tickets??” and “I would not try to sell Evita tickets on a billboard with my face on it. #ineffective marketing”

The gubernatorial candidate also criticized the billboard for the free exposure it gives Taveras. “I wonder if @boblain thinks its OK 4 some of my vendors to put up a billboard with my pic and a msg of thanks 4 all of my biz over the yrs?” The last tweet comes from an exchange Block had with owner/editor Bob Plain.

GoLocal reached out to Mayor Taveras’ Office via email to get their response, but our requests were not returned.

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Sen. Whitehouse’s PAC to Play Key Role in 2014 Congressional Elections

Political action committees (PACs) serve a significant role at both the federal and state level when it comes to raising campaign funding candidates, legislation or ballot initiatives. In Rhode Island, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s PAC Rhode Island Hope has already begun shaping the upcoming 2014 election. Not only is Rhode Island Hope helping to fund Congressional candidates hailing from Rhode Island, it’s assisting numerous candidates nationwide.

Here’s the list of 2014 candidates that Whitehouse is supporting so far:

Chris Coons (D-DE) $5,000; Al Franken (D-MN) $5,000; Mary L. Landrieu (D-LA) $5,000; Ed Markey (D-MA) $7,500; Gary Peters (D-MI) $2,500; Mark Pryor (D-AR) $5,000; Brian Schatz (D-HI) $2,500; Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) $5,000; Tom Udall (D-NM) $2,500; Mark Warner (D-VA) $2,500; Corry Westbrook (D-FL) $1,000.

Whitehouse’s PAC has also given Rep. Jim Langevin and Sen. Jack Reed $5,000 each to help fund their respective campaigns.

Stay tuned to see how Whitehouse's PAC impacts the 2014 elections, as well as who might owe the senator a favor if elected.

Source of data:

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