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  • August 31, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    Democratic Congressional candidate Anthony Gemma's accusations of voter fraud by incumbent Congressman David Cicilline have been met with a great deal of skepticism by the Rhode Island media and the state's political elite. He's done little to substantiate them, after all.

    The appearance yesterday, on talk radio, of the woman he'd claimed was holed up in her attic with a weapon - so scared of the Cicilline machine - probably didn't help his case.

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  • August 29, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    R. Jay Magill, author of Sincerity: How a moral ideal born five hundred years ago inspired religious wars, modern art, hipster chic, and the curious notion that we all have something to say (no matter how dull), argues that the American fixation on sincerity in politics is wrongheaded.

    Politics, after all, is about dodge and artifice and posturing.

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  • August 28, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    Last night, after WPRI-TV released the first portion of its poll on the Democratic primary pitting Congressman David Cicilline against businessman Anthony Gemma, I took a stab at what the poll - which gave Cicilline a comfortable 12-point lead on Gemma - might say about a Cicilline race against Republican Brendan Doherty in November.

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  • August 27, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    A new WPRI poll gives Congressman David Cicilline a 43-31 lead on his Democratic primary challenger Anthony Gemma. The poll was taken mostly before Gemma's big news conference last week leveling voter fraud charges against the Cicilline camp, so it's possible things have shifted. But if the numbers hold and Cicilline cruises to victory, there are a couple of takeaways here to keep in mind for the general election

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  • August 23, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    It's been nine months since Ken McKay, the bomb-throwing happy warrior, stepped down as chairman of the Rhode Island Republican Party to take a job with Senator Ron Johnson, the conservative Wisconsin Republican.

    The party is missing him, it seems.

    Democratic Congressional candidate Anthony Gemma's press conference yesterday was problematic, to say the least.

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  • August 23, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    I've got a cover story in today's Phoenix on Republican Congressional candidate Brendan Doherty's little-noticed emulation of Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown, whose truck-driving, blue-collar authenticity and squishy ideology offers the most compelling model for a GOP resurgence in the northeast.

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  • August 22, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    As Republican Congressional candidate Brendan Doherty launches a radio spot calling on Congress to rein in spending, his Democratic opponent - David Cicilline - releases a new TV ad called "America," suggesting we should stop spending money in Afghanistan and Iraq and start building roads and bridges here.

    The ad also highlights Cicilline's support for legislation that would end tax breaks for companies sending jobs overseas.

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  • August 13, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    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:

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  • July 23, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    The Rhode Island Democratic Party is criticizing Republican Congressional candidate Brendan Doherty today for accepting a $10,000 donation from Citizens Action, the PAC behind the Supreme Court case that struck down restrictions on independent political expenditures.

    “The Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United does nothing but enlarge the voice of corporate America and give the special interests in Washington even more political power,” said Bill Fischer, spokesperson for the RI Democratic Party.

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  • July 03, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    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.

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  • June 28, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    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.

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  • June 20, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    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.

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  • June 18, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    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.

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  • June 06, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    Congressman David Cicilline is making women's issues a central plank in his re-election fight. His most recent foray: a fundraising appeal that calls out Senate Republicans for blocking the Paycheck Fairness Act, which aims to combat the pay disaprity between men and women.

    It’s the 21st Century but women in this country still make an average of 77 cents to every dollar men make, so I was deeply disappointed to see the Paycheck Fairness Act fail in the Senate today.

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  • May 08, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    Congressman David Cicilline, as you may have read, has helped Pawtucket World War II veteran Leo Beland get a long overdue Bronze Star. And it's not hard to imagine the campaign staff buffing that star, at this very moment, for Ciclline's first ad.

    Think of it: the story is perfectly tailored for the middle-of-the-road, tradiitonal Democrats most pissed off at Cicilline at the moment.

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