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Darrell West

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West on the new political landscape

Darrell West, former political science professor at Brown University, moved to the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington a few years back. But he never quite left Rhode Island behind.
Q&A
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  January 04, 2013
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Not tough enough?

Amid massive deficits and escalating pension problems, a certain tough guy chic has taken hold in State Houses across the country.
While governors nationwide slash their way out of crisis, Chafee plays Mr. Nice Guy
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  April 15, 2011
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In Chafee we trust

In a year that finds most top-tier politicians promising jobs, jobs, and more jobs, independent gubernatorial candidate Lincoln Chafee is betting his political future on a different message: trust me.
But is trust enough in this volatile political season?
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  October 15, 2010
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It's on: Chafee and Caprio square off for governor

Just a couple of weeks after Attorney General Patrick Lynch withdrew from the governor's race, it is quickly shaping up as a two-man battle: independent Lincoln Chafee versus Democrat Frank Caprio.
Man vs. Message
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  July 30, 2010
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Joe Paolino weighs a different kind of mayoral run

It had been rumored for some time.
The Independent
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  April 16, 2010
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Does Scott Brown’s victory mean doom for RI Democrats?

Republican Scott Brown's stunning victory this week in the race for the late Ted Kennedy's Senate seat in Massachusetts has created something approaching panic in the ranks of Congressional Democrats.
Fallout
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  January 22, 2010


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Chafee and the hazards of a bold politics

By the time a candidate for major office steps up to the microphone to officially declare for the seat, everyone already knows his intentions.
 Tax Dept.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  January 08, 2010
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It will not be a dull year!

The New Year is shaping up as potent dope for the political junkie.
The governor’s race, gambling, drama on Smith Hill, and more is on tap in 2010
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  January 08, 2010
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Camelot: The Next Generation

Senator Ted Kennedy's months-long battle with brain cancer inspired endless commentary about the demise of Camelot.
Patrick Kennedy is a square peg in his family's historic round table
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  October 02, 2009
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State House status

Rhode Island voters, for all their supposed insularity, are an increasingly progressive bunch.
In a purportedly liberal state, the Rhode Island General Assembly has a stubbornly conservative bent. But can progressive politics make a dent in 2010?
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  August 14, 2009

Cicilline, the firefighters, and the politics of protest

It is, on some level, hard to pick any winners in the li'l Rhody's latest battle royale.
Citywatch
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  June 19, 2009


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Is the party over for the GOP in RI?

In a state known for its political obsessions, there is remarkably little in the way of rabid protest here.
A disastrous election in '08. A depleted war chest. Dismal approval ratings for the outgoing governor. Yet the faithful see hope for a Republican revival
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  May 15, 2009
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Eyes on the prize

We interrupt the Lincoln Chafee buzz fest to bring you this little nugget of news: there are a few Democrats who'd like to be governor, too.  
Hold on, Linc Chafee! Dems Frank Caprio, Patrick Lynch, and Elizabeth Roberts would also like to be governor in 2010
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  April 24, 2009
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Is RI making the most from its tourism appeal?

If you were going to promote Rhode Island's plate of idiosyncratic attractions to potential visitors in other states, what would be the best way to do it?
Critics call a variety of agencies a wasteful approach in this small state
By IAN DONNIS  |  July 23, 2008
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Can’t anybody here play this game?

The need to reinvent Rhode Island’s economic infrastructure — which remains anemic compared with most of its neighbors in New England — is more urgent than ever.
Rhode Island remains trapped between economic distress and missed opportunities
By IAN DONNIS  |  May 21, 2008
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Media rebels in the Internet age

Bloggers have “used a new and powerful medium and ‘crashed the gates’ to ensure that information — the most important ingredient in a democracy — would be available to anyone who wanted to write, read, or debate.”
The debate-defining posts of Rhode Island activists wield influence beyond their readership
By IAN DONNIS  |  May 01, 2008


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Chafee for governor?

For now, Lincoln Chafee has the luxury of discussing his political future as a riddle wrapped up in an enigma.
Running as an independent, he could thumb his nose at the worst of both parties
By IAN DONNIS  |  April 10, 2008
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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
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Patrick Lynch goes for broke

One small basketball photo lurks inconspicuously on a far wall in the spacious South Main Street office of Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch.
In gunning for Governor, the term-limited AG has little to lose
By IAN DONNIS  |  January 23, 2008
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The year of impending doom

This hardy old New England state should be able to cope with a little snow, right? Not so much...
A softening economy and the $450 million state deficit point to a painful 2008
By IAN DONNIS  |  December 19, 2007
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Why RI Republicans fail

Providence Journal op-ed columnist Edward Achorn has made repeated reference to the apparent “learned helplessness” of Rhode Islanders.
Quick to blame Democrats, the local GOP can’t seem to find candidates or a long-term plan of its own
By IAN DONNIS  |  November 14, 2007


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Recent items from Not for Nothing

You didn’t have to be a genius to realize that the publication of Steve Laffey’s new book would mark his formal reemergence on Rhode Island’s political stage.
Best of the blog
By IAN DONNIS  |  September 12, 2007
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State house stalemate

Many Rhode Islanders take an almost visceral delight in those occasions when a state worker is shown to be goofing off on the public’s dime.
Carcieri takes another run at cutting state workers, but the outlook is murky
By IAN DONNIS  |  September 12, 2007
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Buddymania!

Buddy Cianci was already making the media wait.
A Rhode Island icon sails back into the limelight  
By IAN DONNIS  |  August 02, 2007
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Is Carcieri already a lame duck?

For openers, Carcieri returned to a State House devoid as ever of fellow Republicans.
The Governor is politically skillful, but his ability to deliver remains a big question
By BRIAN C. JONES  |  June 06, 2007
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What’s next for Steve Laffey?

Can you imagine Steve Laffey — a tireless self-promoter and all-around media hog — not returning a phone call from a reporter?
With a forthcoming book about his senatorial campaign, he looms as a prospective gubernatorial candidate in 2010
By IAN DONNIS  |  May 31, 2007


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Rhode Island at a crossroads

Among the hundred young people at a recent State House rally was a 17-year-old high school student, who could find himself in one of two places — either in college or homeless — a year from now.
This year’s budget could signal a major shift in the state’s underlying principles
By BRIAN C. JONES  |  April 25, 2007
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Last Republican standing

Last year, Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian made a very smart decision by standing pat.
Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian is a rare bright spot for the RI GOP
By IAN DONNIS  |  March 07, 2007

The ’06 Guild Follies: Queen Elizabeth rules

Yes, it’s time to read about the Providence Newspaper Guild Follies, the biggest Vo Dilun cocktail party of the year, which, naturally, is held in Massachusetts.
In singing star turn, Pina wins rare standing O
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  February 28, 2007
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The brain drain

Rhode Island is lucky to have Kipp Bradford.
Rhode island needs a more robust economy to retain the young and the educated
By IAN DONNIS  |  February 15, 2007