Content Types

Analysis

A Public-Sector Sense of Unfairness

A retired teacher and Providence Journal contributor thinks pension reform gave her a raw deal. Looking at the numbers, it’s difficult to see her deal as a public employee as anything short of spectacular.


Insider vs. Outsider in Warwick’s GOP Mayoral Primary

While both Rhode Island gubernatorial primaries have been awash in revelations of party-switching and -line crossing, Warwick’s Republican Mayoral primary, pitting long-time Republican Mayor Scott Avedisian against political new-comer Stacia Petri, could also see widespread party-line crossing at the polls.


Sen. Conley’s Work for State Government in Ethical Gray Area

An advisory opinion from the state Ethics Commission leaves Senator Conley’s contract work for the state in an ethical gray area that ought to be resolved.


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Research

SNAP Data Sings the Rhode Island Tune

Month-to-month trends of SNAP beneficiaries in Rhode Island and across the country show another way that Rhode Island is unique and reinforces a theory of decline that seems to fit every picture in the Ocean State.


Transparency Site Brings Unprecedented Access to Tiverton

A new Web site and open-government application in Tiverton kick off the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s project to provide Rhode Islanders with a nation-leading level of transparency in local government.


July 2014 Employment: The Dream Is Over

Rhode Island’s statistical employment surge came to a screeching halt in July, but not before putting the Ocean State in company with the Deep South. (Of course, the numbers still look likely to be revised downward dramatically in January.)


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Opinion

Healey’s Oh-So-Knowing Campaign Material

MoMo gubernatorial candidate Robert Healey’s campaign-as-performance-art casts a knowing tone. The problem is, he’s wrong, and to the benefit of the wrong people.


The Incentive to Rend Communities

Data from Tiverton Fact Check shows the high school principal and his teacher wife making two-and-a-half times the town’s median household income, which is a lot of incentive to attack people who complain that a few more hundred dollars in taxes actually has to come from somewhere.


Final Word (Maybe) on the Bob Healey Thing

Wrapping up some threads from my Matt Allen appearance concerning Bob Healey’s surprise run for governor.


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Investigative Report

Contra Code of Ethics, Sen. Conley Bills State for $47,030 in 2013

State Senator William Conley (D, East Providence, Pawtucket) has served as legal counsel for the state Ethics Commission, but records show that he may have violated the Code of Ethics when he took additional work from the state after having been elected to office.


One in Six Legislators, Employers Have Received Payments from the State

Representative Peter Palumbo isn’t the only legislator in the General Assembly whose places of business have received money from the state government. The Ocean State Current takes a look at some of the others.


Tech Collective Defends the Governor’s Workforce Board… and Most of Its Own Revenue

Another organization speaking out against the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s Spotlight on Spending report appears to have a business model that charges dues for access to taxpayer-funded services.


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Liveblog

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Interviews & Profiles

10 News Conference Wingmen, Episode 42 (Providence Mayoral Primary and Church/State)

Justin and Bob Plain argue over the Democrat primary for Providence mayor and its implications for the separation of church and state.


Interview with Steve Frias, on the Work of the Constitutional Convention Preparatory Commission


The excerpt I would pick to introduce my interview with Steve Frias, about the work the preparatory commission for a constitutional convention has done, would be this one

Steve Frias: There will be an argument that there are reforms that people want in this state that are not happening, because the General Assembly refuses to give them serious consideration, for instance, the line-item veto. Rhode Island is one of the few states not to have it. On Ethics Commission jurisdiction, the Supreme Court made their decision in 2009, I believe, and five years later, while there have been votes on it in one chamber or another, it hasn’t been adopted yet….

This is a way for the people to amend the Constitution, and get things into it, that the General Assembly has shown by its behavior in recent years that it is just not willing to do.
However, when I asked Commissioner Frias directly what the most important thing he thought people could get out of the commission’s report was, his answer was
SF: That the 1973 Convention was really cheap.
(In 1973, the convention cost about $20K, to be exact)

The entire interview, including a view on what a complete cost-benefit analysis of a constitutional convention should involve, is available below the fold.


Rhode Islander into the Heart of Ebola Country

Tim Flanigan, an infectious disease specialist from Tiverton, has headed off to Liberia to fight Ebola, and he has a few simple requests.


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