Congressman David Cicilline's "Make it in America" block grant proposal, which would provide old-line manufacturers with grants to retool, retrain, and modernize, has largely been viewed through a political lens until now. It was featured in a campaign ad in 2010; the proposal has an obvious appeal to voters living through a punishing recession; and given Cicilline's position as a freshman Congressman in the minority party, the measure has had no chance of actual passage to date.
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.
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.
With the London Olympics just around the corner, the US Olympic Committee has come under fire for outfiting its athletes with uniforms made in China. This sort of thing is, of course, catnip for the media. A national story or two is to be expected.
But I was a little taken aback to see the Providence Journal run a front-page story today on Congressman David Cicilline's press conference at Northwest Woolen Mills, calling on the USOC to swap out its Chinese-issue berets for Woonsocket-made models
Congressman David Cicilline has made reviving Rhode Island's ailing manufacturing sector a central focus of his brief Washington career. And his push has dovetailed nicely with the Democratic leadership's "Make it in America" agenda, which calls for a national manufacturing strategy and tax policy that incentivizes "insourcing" over than "outsourcing."
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.
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
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.
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.
Today's announcement of a deal that has tax-exempt Brown University offering the cash-strapped city of Providence an additional $31.5 million in payments over the next 11 years is a big win for Mayor Angel Taveras, as he moves closer to averting bankruptcy.
But Congressman David Cicilline is undoubtedly feeling good this morning, too.