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  • June 20, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    As first reported in the Phoenix, Netroots Nation - an annual conference of influential liberal bloggers - will be coming to Providence next summer.

    Senator Sheldon Whitehouse made it official with an announcement at this year's Netroots Nation in Minneapolis over the weekend.

    This is good for Providence: a small economic infusion, some election-year atttention, bold-faced names, and a little bump for a city attempting to build a reputation as a high-tech hub.

  • June 02, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    Attorney General Eric Holder is in town today, hosted by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. And a brief press conference at the Institutue for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence in Providence was, predictably, dominated by questions about medical marijuana.

    U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha delivered a letter to Governor Chafee in late April threatening to prosecute operators of the three medical marijuana dispensaries, or "compassion centers," set to open in the coming months.

    Read More

  • May 31, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    Sheldon Whitehouse must be smiling. Barry Hinckley, the Republican challenging Rhode Island's junior senator, is attacking the incumbent for voting against Congressman Paul Ryan's budget, which would - in Democratic parlance - "end Medicare as we know it."

    From golocalprov:

    Despite his support for Medicare and Social Security, Hinckley says Ryan’s proposed budget is a good starting point to getting the country back on firm financial footing.

    Read More

  • April 06, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    A spokesman for David Cicilline says the freshman Congressman raised approximately $125,000 in the first quarter, and should finish with about $75,000 on hand.

    The figure will, inevitably, be compared to the eye-popping $1 million-plus Senator Sheldon Whitehouse says he raised in the same period. And you can bet the gap will weigh heavily on the minds of figures like Brendan Doherty, who may be weighing a challenge against one of the two.

    Read More

  • March 14, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    PolitiFact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking enterprise that began at the St. Petersburg Times and has been franchised out to a number of news organizations across the country, has long been a target of conservatives who allege a liberal bias.

    Little surprise, then, that the relatively new local version - operated by the Providence Journal - is facing a similar critique from local conservatives.

    Read More

  • February 23, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    A new poll from Democratic firm Public Policy Polling has 50 percent of Rhode Islanders favoring same-sex marriage and 41 percent opposed. It's a good number for advocates. And the long-term picture is even better.

    Young people overwhelmingly support gay marriage, according to the poll: 62 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds are in favor and just 31 percent opposed.

    Read More

  • February 14, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    The alleged $10 million kickback scandal involving a Rhode Island-based Navy official and defense contractor Advanced Solutions for Tomorrow (ASFT) has focused attention on campaign contributions offered up by ASFT to members of the Rhode Island Congressional delegation.

    There is nothing to suggest anything untoward by members of the delegation.

    Read More

  • January 27, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    Senator Jack Reed, who serves on the Appropriations Committee, is in line to become Rhode Island's first chairman of a Senate appropriations subcommitee since John Pastore. He's expected to head up the Interior, Environment, and related Agencies Subcommittee, with budget-writing power over the Environmental Protection Agency, national parks, and National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities.

    Read More

  • January 25, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, two years away from his re-election battle, has engaged in a deliberate effort, of late, to signal his concern for the state's economic woes - an important effort for a senator whose high-profile battles, on torture and the like, aren't directly connected to his constituents' troubles.

    Read More

  • December 16, 2010
    By David Scharfenberg

    A new issue of the Phoenix hits the stands today. And I've got pieces on Teach for America, the controversial program that recruits top-tier college graduates to teach in some of the nation's toughest schools, and the outlook for the Rhode Island Congressional delegation - in Washington and back home.

    Of particular interest, I think, will be watching the trajectory of Congressman James Langevin, now that he's out of the shadow of retiring Congressman Patrick Kennedy.

  • December 14, 2010
    By David Scharfenberg

    Greg Sargent at the Washington Post argues that Sheldon Whitehouse and other liberal senators who have backed President Obama's controversial tax deal with the Republicans have made it near impossible for left-leaning members of the House to press for change:

    Here's the situation, in a nutshell. Despite their own dislike of the tax cut compromise, House Dem leaders want it to pass the House.

    Read More

  • November 29, 2010
    By David Scharfenberg

    Governor Carcieri tells talk-radio station WPRO, in an interview to be aired next month, that he is not ruling out a run against Senator Sheldon Whitehouse in two years. His comments add fuel to a fire started in recent weeks by GOP party chairman Gio Cicione, who has touted a possible Carcieri Senate run.

    Carcieri leaves office with low approval ratings.

    Read More

  • November 19, 2010
    By David Scharfenberg

    From the Huffington Post:

    Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) met with labor unions, seniors organizations, and liberal members of Congress Thursday afternoon to develop an alternative proposal to the deficit commission's draft report released last week.

    The meeting included Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Reps.

    Read More

  • November 10, 2010
    By David Scharfenberg

    Just a week removed from the 2010 election, Rhode Island's political class has already turned its attention to the 2012 races, with state GOP chairman Giovanni Cicione floating his own name for a run against US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse - and suggesting that outgoing governor Donald Carcieri or Warwick Mayor Scott Avedesian might make even better candidates.

    Read More

  • September 24, 2010
    By David Scharfenberg

    From the Associated Press - a warning from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse that Republicans may be crossing the line in their opposition to Rhode Islander Jack McConnell's nomination as a federal judge:

    Senate Democrats said Thursday that Republicans were preventing votes on some of President Barack Obama's U.S. district court nominees, a game-changing tactic that would bring retaliation against a GOP president some day.

    Read More

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