This morning businessman and Democratic Congressional candidate Anthony Gemma announced a press conference, scheduled for next week, at which he will discuss "why his campaign hired a private investigation firm to look into voter fraud" and "how investigating voter fraud revealed other potential criminal actions by David Cicilline and his associates."
Not for Nothing is back from vacation. And the big news, whilst I was on the beach, was Mitt Romney's VP pick - Paul Ryan.
Ted Nesi, over at WPRI, tweets that he is working on an epic analysis of what the pick means for the Cicilline-Doherty race. His piece will, doubtless, be more thoughtful than mine. But I was pondering the question on my ride to work today and I've got a few quick thoughts:
Democratic Congressional candidate Anthony Gemma has made his share of mistakes this campaign season. He fled his official campaign announcement before answering questions from reporters. He made an impolitic comment about Iran's right to nuclear weapons, later retracted. And, perhaps most cringeworthy, he said he didn't have "enough information" to determine whether the United States should have intervened in World War II before Pearl Harbor to stop the Holocaust.
Last week's Supreme Court decision upholding health care reform yielded a flurry of statements from Rhode Island pols, including the three contenders in the state's marquee race this cycle: Congressman David Cicilline, his Democratic challenger Anthony Gemma, and Republican candidate Brendan Doherty.
In the swirl of events, it seemed likely that the issue would become a significant one in the campaign.
The Supreme Court's decision to uphold health care reform places the issue front and center in the national political discourse. That'll make it hard for the players in Rhode Island's marquee Congressional race to avoid it, even if they'd like.
But how will it break here?
The issue doesn't figure to be a big one in the Democratic primary.
I've got a cover story in this week's Phoenix about Congressman David Cicilline's push to woo women voters in this fall's elections.
The more I reported the story, the more I became convinced that this is the ballgame: win the women's vote by a good margin and Cicilline goes back to Congress. Fail and he goes home.
Anyhow, one element that didn't get in the story is this: the role of a newly invigorated ground game for the Rhode Island women's movement.
Republican Congressional candidate Brendan Doherty has worked hard to carve out a reputation as a moderate above party; a man disgusted with Washington's partisan gridlock.
That kind of image is vital, of course, if a GOPer is to win election in a blue state. Hence, one of the strategic imperatives of the Democratic nominee: make Doherty a Republican.
Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, in town for Netroots Nation, will headline a fundraiser tomorrow night for Planned Parenthood Votes! Rhode Island (PPVRI), the organization's local voter education initiative.
PPVRI, a 501(c)(4) organization, cannot expressly advocate for one candidate over another.
Democratic Congressional candidate Anthony Gemma is touting punditry out of DC publications Roll Call and The Hill suggesting he'd be a better candidate in a general election match-up with Republican Brendan Doherty than incumbent Congressman David Cicilline.
But would he really be a lock come November?
Gemma would, no doubt, have one significant advantage: he's doesn't come with the incumbent's heavy baggage.
Newly minted Democratic Congressional candidate Anthony Gemma came out of the gate this weekend hammering GOP rival Brendan Doherty, former superintendent of the state police. He said Doherty has been living "in a bubble" as a public servant and retired as soon as he could collect a pension.
Calling into question the integrity of a widely respected cop seems an odd way to endear himself to the moderate, middle-of-the-road voter he'll need in his Democratic primary challenge to David Cicilline and, should he prevail there, his general election contest against Doherty.
With Anthony Gemma poised to challenge Congressman David Cicilline in the Democratic primary, I've got a cover story this week on his curious Jekyll and Hyde act: a feel-good, quirky wonkery paired with angry attacks on the incumbent.
We got a taste of this approach in 2010. But Gemma was just one of four candidates for the seat and wasn't considered a significant threat to Cicilline until the closing weeks; the frontrunner, then, never really trained his fire on Gemma.
In what is surely a sign of more to come, the state's Democratic Party hit Republican Congressional Brendan Doherty yesterday for an interview on WPRI-TV's "Newsmakers" in which he suggested that the Bush tax cuts should be allowed to expire.
Doherty, the party claimed, had endorsed an "immediate tax increase for the middle class."