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  • November 02, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Justice Brandeis famously said that sunlight is the best disinfectant. So it is with campaign donations and the public's ability to scrutinize them.

    If people know who and what is funding their lawmakers, it makes it that much easier to guard against criminal behavior and garden-variety conflicts of interest. The public has an interest in public officials knowing that this information is publicly available.

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  • August 14, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

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    The Boston Globe today puts the value of Mitt Romney, "by far the wealthiest presidential candidate," and his wife in the neighborhood of $250 million.

    Writing last week in the Phoenix, David Bernstein noted how Romney is awash in campaign contributions from his financial-world friends. So what price is their loyalty?

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  • August 02, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    -- There's a fundraiser tonight for state Representative Grace Diaz (D-Providence) at the Roger Williams Park Casino. Matt has the details.

    -- Brian C. Jones updates how Providence's long-awaited, long delayed First Source ordinance is being implemented. (Andrew offers his view here.)

    The law is beginning to help substantial number of workers get jobs.

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  • July 31, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Frank Caprio demurred when recently asked about his political plans, but RI Report has the details of how the general treasurer has considerably strengthened his war chest. Matt also has the scoop here:

    Update 7/31: With the final numbers in, Treasurer Frank Caprio has taken the overall fundraising lead and he, along with Mayor David Cicilline, remain at the top of the Cash on Hand (CoH) category.

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  • June 07, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    That question was put forward in a story I wrote for the Phoenix in February 2005. Now, more than two years later, Common Cause of Rhode Island is hosting a forum tonight to ask whether the state is ready for Fair Elections, the new name for the campaign-finance reform backed by the good government group. In short,

    The proposal would equalize funding in races between publicly backed candidates and better financed, privately supported candidates by topping off the "Clean" candidates with additional funds.

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  • March 30, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Providence Mayor David N. Cicilline is thought to be closing a very strong quarter of fund-raising. And while we know it takes considerable money to run for mayor, it takes a lot more to run for governor.

  • February 05, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Proponents of publicly financing Rhode Island elections are slated to hold a 3 pm rally in the State House rotunda tomorrow to highlight the introduction of related legislation. This will be the third year in which Clean Elections legislation has been introduced, so we'll see if it gets any further than in the past.

    As Phil West, then the director of Common Cause of Rhode Island, told me when I wrote about this issue a few years back:

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  • January 23, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    One of Rhode Island's unsuccessful 2006 candidates recently contacted me to vent about the influence of money in politics, and how the press rates the credibility of candidates according to their war chests. Well, as I told him, welcome to the real world. It's sad, but true, that money remains the juice on which our politics runs.

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