A. Ralph Mollis

Latest Articles


Rabble-rousers, re-enactors, and the New World Order

Charles Picerno, a disheveled rabble-rouser, stands at the back of the crowd while Lincoln Chafee is inaugurated as the state's 58th governor.
The Inauguration
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  January 07, 2011

Why Lincoln Chafee deserves your vote

Many Rhode Islanders are still undecided about the governor's race. Until this week, the Phoenix , too, was torn.
A man of expansive yet commonsensical vision, with a rare political courage
By PROVIDENCE PHOENIX STAFF  |  October 29, 2010

Down ballot drama

The race for governor and the scramble to replace retiring Representative Patrick J. Kennedy have obsessed Rhode Island's chattering class. But all the talk has obscured an intriguing set of "down ballot" races for lieutenant governor, attorney general,
Important races to watch in '10
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  March 12, 2010

More fun in Nawt Prov

Sal Mancini would be proud.
Tales of Ebay Cholly. Plus, our sorry state, kissing cops, and the GOP.
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  July 31, 2009

Battle over open space in North Providence

Will the last large piece of open space in North Providence turn into the site of 47 single family homes? That decision currently rests with the Rhode Island General Assembly and the Rhode Island Supreme Court. The outcome could jeopardize open space p
Real estate
By STEVEN STYCOS  |  May 29, 2009

How much do lobbyists pay to get their way?

In 2008, corporations spent more than $3 million to hire lobbyists to protect their interests at the Rhode Island State House.
Special interests are big spenders at the State House
By STEVEN STYCOS  |  March 18, 2009

Phillippe and Jorge: Fixing the system

The always reliable Tom Sgouros raised some interesting issues in his February 7 e-mail newsletter, "Rhode Island Policy Reporter," that P+J were unable to find space for last week.
Suggestions for the next visit to the voting booth
By PHILLIPPE AND JORGE  |  February 18, 2009

Advocates renew push for publicly-financed RI elections

During a news conference Tuesday afternoon in the State House rotunda, proponents of significantly expanding publicly financed elections in Rhode Island — a concept they call "Fair Elections" — cited a litany of reasons for why it would be good for the
Talking Politics
By IAN DONNIS  |  February 04, 2009

The battle of the smallest state

Clinton bathed in the intense affection of an adoring crowd, her every statement punctuated by wild applause, chants, and a rising sea of blue signs touting her campaign.
The Rhode Island wields a rare impact as Clinton and Obama go head to head
By IAN DONNIS  |  February 29, 2008

Pushing to replace Bush

On an overcast night in early June, nearly 100 of US Senator Barack Obama’s local supporters crowded into the Peerless Lofts in downtown Providence.
Rhode Islanders are getting busy while supporting their favorite democrats
By MATTHEW JERZYK  |  July 11, 2007

Divide grows between State House and regional coverage

The Providence Journal’s State House bureau is a fortress, an outpost singular in its ability to dig out and report important political stories of statewide interest.
As the ProJo turns
By IAN DONNIS  |  February 28, 2007


Talk show titan

The topic of the day is President George W. Bush’s nationally televised speech about increasing the number of troops in Iraq — and Dan Yorke isn’t particularly pleased.
WPRO’S Dan Yorke is making waves in Rhode Island — and Cianci may be his new buddy
By IAN DONNIS  |  January 17, 2007

For Mollis and Cicilline, it’s all relative

Is it something in the water?
Talking politics
By IAN DONNIS  |  January 10, 2007

2006 from Casa Diablo

If you travel down the Hershey Highway, turning left at the Tuna Tunnel, continuing over the Um Bridge, above the beautiful Art Lake, you will come to Casa Diablo.
 Better stock up on Pernod and grapefruit after this doozy
By PHILIPPE & JORGE  |  December 21, 2006

Whitehouse rides the Democratic tide; Fogarty falls short

For Sheldon Whitehouse, claiming the US Senate seat held by two Chafees over 30 years came down to being the right man in the right place at the right time.
Talking politics
By IAN DONNIS  |  November 08, 2006

Changing of the guard

We here in the Biggest Little tend to be self-deprecating to a fault.
Dubya gets a well-deserved comeuppance
By PHILLIPE & JORGE  |  November 08, 2006


A vote is a terrible thing to waste

Yes, in a display of self-aggrandizement that would make Tom Cruise gasp, it is time for the mighty Phillipe & Jorge to make our endorsements.
Some helpful hints for November 7
By PHILLIPE & JORGE  |  November 01, 2006

Campaign winners and sinners

It’s almost all over but the counting.
A pre-election dissection of the tasty, the terrible, and the in-between
By IAN DONNIS  |  November 01, 2006

Providence endorsements

The Providence Phoenix enthusiastically endorses Sheldon Whitehouse.
Whitehouse for US Senate; Fogarty for governor; Kennedy and Langevin for Congress; lynch for attorney general; “yes” for the casino
By PROVIDENCE PHOENIX STAFF  |  November 01, 2006

Is Rhode Island still a state for sale?

As the star witness of federal prosecutors, former state senator John Celona of North Providence has sang chapter and verse about his arrogant, shameless, and corrupt dealings while having worked for an affiliate of Roger Williams Medical Center.
The shoe yet to drop is the extent of private sector responsibility
By IAN DONNIS  |  September 27, 2006

The road to November

For all the unusual drama of Lincoln Chafee and Stephen P. Laffey’s GOP Senate primary gunfight, it was politics as usual that helped Chafee to score what many considered an unexpectedly decisive win.
Two big questions highlight the run-up to RI’s general elections  
By IAN DONNIS  |  September 20, 2006



The Republican primary for US Senate is, in many ways, a fight between the GOP of past and present.
Chafee and Whitehouse for us senate; Roberts and de Ramel for state offices; plus, Langevin, the general assembly, and the Providence city council
By PROVIDENCE PHOENIX STAFF  |  September 07, 2006

Down to the wire

So will Cranston Mayor Stephen P. Laffey prove the ascending dragon-slayer who knocks off US Senator Lincoln Chafee, a favorite target of conservatives everywhere, or will the herky-jerky heir to one of the best brand names in Ocean State politics repel
Will Chafee or Laffey emerge victorious? Plus, Rhode Island’s other top primary races
By IAN DONNIS  |  September 06, 2006

Campaign follies

You can always learn something from watching television commercials.
Faster, GOP Senate candidates! Kill! kill!
By PHILLIPE & JORGE  |  August 17, 2006

Champions of the status quo

Although the flameout in April of Matt Brown’s US Senate bid was the most prominent example, he’s hardly been the only Rhode Island candidate to run into a campaign finance-related hassle this year.
Protecting incumbents takes precedence over a reform that could diminish the influence of money in Rhode Island politics  
By IAN DONNIS  |  July 26, 2006

The hell with free speech

Phillipe & Jorge used to think that the constitutional flag-burning amendment championed by a number of Republican solons was merely a cheap sideshow.
Some patriotic thoughts on flag desecration
By PHILLIPE & JORGE  |  July 05, 2006


Mollis seeks opinion on fundraising letter sent to town employees

North Providence Mayor A. Ralph Mollis has asked for a legal opinion on whether it was acceptable for his chief of staff, who also co-manages his campaign, to send a fundraising letter to municipal employees who have given him previous campaign donations
Talking Politics
By IAN DONNIS  |  June 27, 2006

Just checking — on you

We must have missed it when Alberto Gonzales was named honorary chief of our staties.
The RI state police seek a scary level of intrusion
By PHILLIPE & JORGE  |  June 13, 2006