When I heard a couple of days ago that Cranston's Board of Canvassers was denying a ballot to a voter it deemed mentally ill, I had a bit of deja vu.
I was once a reporter for the Providence Journal, where I covered Cranston City Hall. And one of the most interesting stories I worked on involved the board, led by the blunt and bareknuckled chairman Joseph A.
Sometimes it's nice having a fancy Ivy League school in town. At least for nerdbombs like me.
Pretty good run of speaker at Brown in the coming days. Today at 4 pm, sociologist Charles Murray - he of the controversial Bell Curve and the fascinating Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 - speaks at MacMillan Hall.
I've got a cover story in this week's Phoenix asking whether Rhode Island's gay marriage advocates should consider putting the question on the ballot.
Advocates have resisted the idea to date, and for good reason. In 32 states, voters have rejected same-sex nuptials at the polls. And the campaigns can get nasty, taking a personal toll on gay and lesbian families.
Republican Congressional candidate Brendan Doherty entered his Tuesday night debate with Congressman David Cicilline on a bit of a hot streak.
Campaign finance filings show Doherty has more than twice as much cash on hand for the homestretch of the campaign. And the morning of the debate, he released a joint statement of support from former Republican Senator Alan Simpson and Democrat Erskine Bowles, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton (this AP story raises questions about whether the statement of support is really a full-fledged endorsement, but it counts as a coup, nonetheless).
Providence artist Peter Glantz directed this shimmering new Wilco video.
Republican Congressional candidate Brendan Doherty is trumpeting a new joint statement of support from former Republican Senator Alan Simpson and Democrat Erskine Bowles, former chief of staff for President Clinton.
Simpson and Bowles co-chaired a commission, chartered by President Obama, that pressed to find a bi-partisan solution to the nation's deficit problems, combining cuts and new tax revenue.
This morning, Providence Monthly convened a panel of political reporters and editors to dicuss the state of political reporting - and, really, all kinds of reporting - in Rhode Island.
It was a good group - Tim Murphy, assistant managing editor for public policy at the Providence Journal, reporters Tim White and Ted Nesi of WPRI-TV, Rhode Island Public Radio political reporter Ian Donnis, reporter Erika Niedowski of the Associated Press, news editor and reporter Dan McGowan of golocalprov, and myself.
Yesterday, I taped an episode of Rhode Island PBS's public affairs show "A Lively Experiment" with a sparkling panel that included University of Rhode Island political science professor Maureen Moakley and Rhode Island Public Radio's Ian Donnis and Scott MacKay (particularly good discussion, I think: watch it tonight at 8:30 or on replay this weekend).
Providence Journal management wants to cut $1.2 million in costs, which could mean up to 16 layoffs from Rhode Island's paper of record.
John Hill, a reporter who serves as president of the Providence Newspaper Guild, says the paper has indicated that it would be willing to accept concessions from union workers in lieu of layoffs.
For the past seven years, the Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting has doled out the $75,000 Grantham Prize for Excellence in environmental reporting.
Now, the prize is no more.
The Grantham Foundation, which funded the prize - developed and administered by the Metcalf Institute - has elected to divert the funding to training for journalists.
Congressman David Cicilline has a slight edge on his Republican opponent, Brendan Doherty, 46-40, in a new poll out of Brown University.
The poll, conducted September 26-October 5, is the first to collect at least some public opinion data since the launch of Doherty's television advertising campaign on October 1 attacking Cicilline, the former Providence mayor, for his handling of the city's finances and his less-than-forthcoming declarations on those finances during the 2010 Congressional campaign.
Back in May, the US Chamber of Commerce paid to run a TV ad promoting Republican Congressional candidate Brendan Doherty. "This lawman has a plan," the spot said of Doherty, former superintendent of the state police, trumpeting his call for lower taxes and infrastructure improvements.
But until now, at least, that spot appears an outlier.
Republican Congressional hopeful Brendan Doherty is out with a new ad, "The Cicilline Cover Up," attacking Congressman David Cicilline for misleading voters about Providence's finances.
This is a tough ad - ominous music, dark skies, the words "incompetent, irresponsible, deceitful" flashing up on the screen at the end.
Women voters may very well determine the outcome of the race pitting Congressman David Cicilline against Republican challenger Brendan Doherty.
Indeed, Cicilline's six-point edge on Doherty in a recent WPRI-TV poll is powered by his 13-point advantage among female voters. And Doherty's camp appears hyper-aware of its need to cut into the incumbent's margin.
The Washington Post reports that Rhode Island is among 19 states that will have no exit polling on Election Day this year. This marks a break from tradition; for the last five presidential elections, there have been exit polls in all 50 states.
The National Election Pool - a consortium of the Associated Press and the major networks - made the decision because of the rising cost of surveys.