President Obama is attracting a lot of attention today for a sweeping gun control package that would ban assault weapons, place limits on high-capacity magazines, and expand background checks.
But Rhode Island Congressman James Langevin, who was left a quadriplegic after he was shot in a gun accident at age 16, is making a push of his own in the wake of the Newtown shootings.
The race to succeed Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, expected to be confirmed as Secretary of State, got a little smaller today.
Congressman Michael Capuano, a Somerville Democrat, announced he won't be running in the special election for the soon-to-be-vacated seat. That leaves Congressman Ed Markey, backed by Kerry and other leading Democrats, and Congressman Stephen Lynch as the likely bold-name contenders for the party's nomination.
I've got a new cover story, on the web now and in print tomorrow, on WPRI-TV's ambitious play for Rhode Island's screens: television, the web, and mobile.
In the course of reporting the piece, I spoke with Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute. He had a lot of interesting things to say about the evolution of local television news - many of which didn't make it into my story.
With openly gay Speaker of the House Gordon Fox expected to push a same-sex marriage bill through his chamber this month, all eyes have been on the Senate - and, specifically, Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed's appointments to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will have jurisdiction over the matter.
Well today, Paiva Weed - an opponent of gay nuptials - finally named 10 members to the panel
I haven't taken a deep dive into the state of the local television news since this cover story in 2009, when the recession was wreaking havoc on newsroom.
I'll return to the subject in this week's Phoenix, which is on the street Thursday. But in the meantime, I wanted to offer up the latest ratings. There's a lot to pore through - faced with diminishing audiences, local television stations in Providence and across the country have multiplied their newscasts in a bid to reach viewers when it is most convenient for them.
Former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy has devoted much of his time, since stepping down in 2010, to mental health concerns. Now, Reuters reports, a new, related crusade: he's leading the liberal opposition to the legalization of marijuana.
Kennedy's new advocacy group is called SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana).
Some interesting on-air news.
Word this morning that long-time Channel 10 news anchor Gene Valicenti is set to take over talk radio station WPRO's morning news program - to be called the "WPRO Morning News with Gene Valicenti" - on Monday.
Valicenti will remain on air at Channel 10.
WPRO says Tara Granahan, who has co-hosted the radio station's morning news show until now, will become assistant program director.
Darrell West, a former Brown University political science professor now at the Brookings Institution in Washington, will deliver a talk on the post-election political landscape at the Newport Art Museum on January 5.
I did a Q&A with him in advance of his appearance. It'll run in this week's Phoenix. But I wanted to highlight one of his most interesting points here.
This morning, I taped an appearance on WPRI-TV's "Newsmakers" to discuss my recent cover story calling out the biggest problem in Rhode Island public life circa 2012: amateurism.
The story, among other things, suggested that the part-time General Assembly is ill-equipped to vet the big - and sometimes bad - ideas foisted upon it.
My new cover story, sizing up the 2014 gubernatorial race, discusses the early jockeying for labor's support, among other topics. And my basic conclusion is this: public employee unions have no "fair-haired child" in the race, as one Chafee aide put it.
All the leading contenders have ticked off union leaders in one way or another in the last couple of years.
My new cover story, gaming out the 2014 governor's race, lands today. What struck me most, in reporting the piece, was the fluidity of the contest.
Many have already written off Governor Chafee, whose approval ratings are stuck in the 20s. But his team made a reasonably convincing case for the power of incumbency. If he can articulate a compelling economic development message and sign a gay marriage bill, his stock could rise.
The New Year will mark the de facto start of the 2014 governor's race. And while much of the nascent campaign will be about fundraising, the public policy fights waged by the would-be candidates will have no small bearing on their evolving images.
We're already getting glimpses of what the bold-faced names might pursue in the coming months.
In today's Phoenix - our year-in-review spectacular - I've got a cover story on the amateurism coursing through Rhode Island politics. We saw it in spades in 2012r: from the epic collapse of the taxpayer-supported 38 Studios video game company to the misguided Congressional campaigns of Democrat Anthony Gemma and Republican Michael Riley.