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  • January 02, 2013
    By David Scharfenberg

    Darrell West, a former Brown University political science professor now at the Brookings Institution in Washington, will deliver a talk on the post-election political landscape at the Newport Art Museum on January 5.

    I did a Q&A with him in advance of his appearance. It'll run in this week's Phoenix. But I wanted to highlight one of his most interesting points here.

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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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  • June 28, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    Former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy, in an email fundriasing blast for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee yesterday, warned of a Tea Party "rampage" if the Supreme Court upheld healthcare reform. Here's the text:

    As I write you, the Supreme Court of the United States is preparing to issue its decision on the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care law.

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  • June 06, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    The tiny House Republican caucus sustained a blow, last week, when Representative John Savage disclosed that he'd left the GOP. Now, it appears, another defection. Here's Representative Dan Gordon's tweet:

    Well gents. May as well say it. I'm leaving the Party. This is the last straw. Press release Monday.

    The tweet came in the midst of an online conversation about the Rhode Island GOP holding a fundraiser in Massachusetts.

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  • May 11, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    Lincoln Chafee's post-Senate indictment of a Republican Party gone off the rails, Against the Tide, gets new life in a book from Geoffrey Kabaservice on the demise of the GOP's moderate wing. Here, Kabaservice writes of (recently ousted) Senator Richard Lugar:

    Angry as the Tea Party became with him, Lugar had also been disowned by the moderate faction of which he was once a part.

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  • April 06, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    Theda Skocpol, the well-known Harvard political scientist, and Vanessa Williamson, a PhD student at Harvard, have won wide praise for their book The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism, a crack piece of sociology and political analysis rooted in extensive on-the-ground interviews with Tea Partyers.

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  • November 28, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    Republican Congressional candidate Brendan Doherty's decision, last month, to hire former Rhode Island GOP Chairman Giovanni Cicione as his campaign manager and spokesman has created an interesting subplot in his simmering primary battle with former state Representative John J. Loughlin II.

    Cicione, after all, is something of a controversial figure in Republican circles.

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  • November 22, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    With election season just around the corner, the focus has been on Congressman David Cicilline and his opponents - Republican and, possibly, Democratic.

    But it appears that Congressman James Langevin may have at least one Republican opponent. Michael Riley, who ran unsuccessfully for Narragansett Town Council in 2008 and lost a GOP primary for the state Senate seat held by Democrat James Sheehan last year, has been telling Republican activists that he is planning a Congressional run.

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  • October 17, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    Occupy Providence is getting the ink, but the Rhode Island Tea Party keeps plugging along. The latest: the group is sponsoring a boot camp for potential candidates next month that will bring in trainers from the non-profit American Majority.

    The group, based in Purcellville, Virginia, is the brainchild of twin brothers Ned and Drew Ryun, sons of former Congressman Jim Ryun, a Kansas Republican.

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  • October 03, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    Former Rhode Island GOP chairman Giovanni Cicione is among the consultants retired police Col. Brendan Doherty has named to his campaign team for the Republican primary in the First Congressional District.

    Cicione has been talking up Doherty's candidacy for some time now and critiquing former state Representative John J.

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  • September 26, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    Word on Smith Hill is that Representative Daniel Gordon, despite his extensive legal problems, is unlikely to be booted from the General Assembly.

    Minority Leader Brian Newberry and Minority Whip Joseph Trillo have suggested the legislature turn its rarely invoked power to expel against Gordon, a fellow Republican.

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  • September 19, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    Republican Senate candidate Barry Hinckley has struggled to get his name in the news to date. Today, a little help: Representative Daniel Gordon, hauled into court on charges of fleeing justice in Massachusetts, had a single word emblazoned on his t-shirt: Hinckley.

    It's been a tough few months for the freshman legislator.

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  • September 12, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    Republican John J. Loughlin II's Congressional campaign formally trotted out the endorsement of House Minority Leader Brian Newberry today. No great surprise. Newberry has been on record supporting Loughlin, a former colleague in the General Assembly, for some time now.

    But the statement Newberry offered up was telling.

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  • August 26, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    New York Times columnist David Brooks has an interesting piece today on why we need to take Texas Governor Rick Perry's presidential ambitions seriously. Among the prime considerations - and this could have implications in the looming GOP primary in Rhode Island's First Congressional District between former State Representative John J.

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  • August 11, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    I've been blogging a bit, of late, about the GOP push to unseat Congressman David Cicilline next year. One of the perpetual challenges for Rhode Island Republicans is attracting national money - and getting it early enough to make a difference. GOP activists say the party will have to fare better this time than it did in 2010 if the Republican nominee - be it former state Representative John J.

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