Content Types

Analysis

Legislator Contracts and Contractors for Ethics Commission Purposes

Whether it violates the Code of Ethics for legislators or their employers to take money from state agencies depends on the specifics of the case and requires clarification from the state Ethics Commission.


The World the West is Creating with Vladimir Putin


Is there a better way than political authoritarianism and stunted economic growth that Vladimir Putin’s subjects (including high-ranking oligarchs) might want to consider? Western elites might not like to admit this, but ratcheting up an “uncivilized” tribal strategy may be an effective way for Putin and current Russian leadership to answer this question in the negative, by boosting the morale (at least in the short term) of his Russian followers, and by frightening an “internationalist” coalition away from being willing to take the steps necessary to slow his expansion.

The ultimate effectiveness of this strategy depends on the strength and the nature of the coherence of the adversary that Russia faces.


Fact-Checking Sheehan’s Anti-Gist Attack

Sen. James Sheehan uses official State House channels to issue an attack on Education Commissioner Deborah Gist and winds up illustrating the mentality that teachers unions foster.


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Research

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.)


About That Part-Time Job Theory

Whatever is generating the strange statistics in the labor market, a shift toward part-time work doesn’t appear to provide a satisfactory explanation.


The Education Legacy of the Chafee Era

NAEP scores and comparisons of trends across the country suggest that the stall of education reform during the Chafee era has not been good for Rhode Island’s children.


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Opinion

Pell, PolitiFact, and Poking

PolitiFact’s election season coddling of Clay Pell raises points about its own biases and his worldview.


Gist: Let Another Full Grade Go Through High School Without System Accountability

RI Education Commissioner Deborah Gist has decided it’s reasonable to hold off on standardized testing as a graduation requirement until the next decade, and Rhode Islanders should expect it to be delayed again, and again.


Don’t Abort a Constitutional Convention Over Scare Tactics

Government insiders want to do to the constitutional convention what they do to any opposition that comes their way — kill it before it can be born.


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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 40 (Public Funding of Art)

Justin and Bob Plain discuss the morality and economics of funding art through the government.


10 News Conference Wingmen, Episode 39 (A Providence Income Tax)

Justin and Bob Plain discuss the notion of a municipal income tax in Providence


10 News Conference Wingmen, Episode 38 (Funding Transportation)

Justin and Bob Plain talk transportation infrastructure funding.


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