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Stephen P. Laffey

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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

A neighborhood theater is reborn

It took quite a while, and north of $10 million, but last month the long-closed Park Cinema in Cranston opened as the ambitiously named Rhode Island Center for Performing Arts.
The Arts
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 13, 2009

Gubernatorial agonistes

On Tuesday, WRNI political reporter and former Phoenix news editor and master of the Casa Diablo elbow bend, Ian Donnis, broke the news that veteran political communications specialist, Bill Fischer, head ramrod at True North Communications, had sign
Caprio makes a big move. Plus, reasons to block the LNG terminal
By PHILLIPE & JORGE  |  August 07, 2009
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Ticket to ride

In April 1999, two weeks after I started on the job at the Providence Phoenix , the FBI raided City Hall, formally unveiling the federal investigation that would land Vincent A. "Buddy" Cianci Jr., Rhode Island's rascal king, behind bars.
Reflections on 10 years at the Phoenix
By IAN DONNIS  |  February 11, 2009
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The year the crap hit the fan

For a good metaphor of the year experienced by Rhode Island in 2008, consider the economic-development summit called by Governor Carcieri in November.
RI political mediocrity couldn't compare with the excesses of the fiscal meltdown
By IAN DONNIS  |  December 23, 2008

It's not OK with us

The utter arrogance of the CEOs of the Big Three auto companies was on full display last week when it was pointed out that they came to Washington with their hats in hand for a bailout by flying in on their individual corporate jets.
Those arrogant US auto execs need a major comeuppance
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  November 25, 2008


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Mod on the move

The Brown University class being taught this semester by Lincoln Chafee, the Republican US senator-turned-independent supporter of Barack Obama, has an up-to-the-moment title: “Whither America.”
Obama supporter Lincoln Chafee talks about the post-election landscape
By IAN DONNIS  |  November 05, 2008

RI ’08: Prelude to 2010

During a national election season in which “change” remains the dominant motif, Rhode Island politics is locked in a holding pattern marked by a Democratic stranglehold on state and federal offices.
In a national year of change, stasis is likely to prevail at the General Assembly
By IAN DONNIS  |  October 29, 2008
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Fung and Fogarty vie to succeed Napolitano in Cranston

Without Laffey, it’s just not as fun.  
Outside Providence
By MARION DAVIS  |  October 22, 2008
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Why Rhode Island is hurting

If the nation’s fiscal crisis confirms that Rhode Island isn’t alone in facing serious economic woes, the state doesn’t suffer from a lack of other challenges.  
Bad days are here, and there is little in the past to make the future seem hopeful
By IAN DONNIS  |  October 02, 2008
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Cicilline: A go or no for governor?

Call it a case of art imitating life.
His rough patch shows how the mayor’s office remains a tricky launching pad
By IAN DONNIS  |  July 09, 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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Avedisian, Trillo challenge Manning for GOP post

Since the RNC is “basically a seniority-based organization,” he says, a change in the post would mean “we’re going to [have to] start all over again.”
Talking politics
By IAN DONNIS  |  April 30, 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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Revealed at last: The curious similarities of Steve Laffey and Greg Palast

Never seen former US Senate candidate Steve Laffey and lefty investigative journalist Greg Palast in the same place at the same time?
Oddities
By IAN DONNIS  |  February 14, 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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Will King have a hangover? Plus, Palangio,RI Nexus, and Chafee

King’s unsuccessful primary campaign featured sharp criticism of some leading legislative Democrats.
Politics + media
By IAN DONNIS  |  September 26, 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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Giuliani highlights hypocrisy of the church and Catholic pols

Giuliani, a former seminarian, is twice divorced and remarried, a public philanderer and arguably a political slut.
Lightning strike
By MARY ANN SORRENTINO  |  June 12, 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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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
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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
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Cicione emerges as contender for GOP chairmanship

Giovanni Cicione, a lawyer and Republican activist who paid his dues by running against US Representative Patrick J. Kennedy in 1996, has emerged as a leading contender to succeed Patricia Morgan as chairman of the Rhode Island Republican Party.
Talking politics
By IAN DONNIS  |  December 27, 2006
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Rhode Island in ’06: same as it ever was

Imagine a year when the Narragansett Indians were energetically pitching a casino, cynical Rhode Islanders had plenty of reason to reinforce their jaundiced views, and state house Democrats maintained the upper hand over hapless Republican opponents with
Democrats on top, a casino quest, and a dose of corruption
By IAN DONNIS  |  December 20, 2006
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Violet’s rude ouster is a loss for RI

Considering Arlene Violet’s 16-year run on talk-radio in Rhode Island, not to mention her unmistakable local accent, the way in which WHJJ (920 AM) abruptly jettisoned her last week came as an unpleasant surprise.
 Media
By IAN DONNIS  |  December 13, 2006


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The national GOP could take some tips from Chafee

Given Washington’s prevailing partisan gridlock in the late ’90s, George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign pledges — to be a uniter, not a divider, and to pursue a humble foreign policy — struck Lincoln Chafee as harbingers of something better.
Last of the moderates
By IAN DONNIS  |  November 15, 2006
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Déjà vu all over again for RI GOP

Lincoln Chafee should be the next head of the Rhode Island Republican Party.
Carcieri faces failure in having fostered a real two-party system
By IAN DONNIS  |  November 15, 2006
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Separated at birth

Six years ago, when Lincoln Chafee won the US Senate seat to which he’d been appointed after his father’s death, it wouldn’t have been surprising if Sheldon Whitehouse approached him during the victory celebration at Providence Marriott to offer his cong
The partisan difference is the big thing dividing Chafee and whitehouse   
By IAN DONNIS  |  October 25, 2006
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Having cut runners, PROJO lagged on primary returns

In an apparent effort to save money, the Providence Journal abandoned its traditional use of runners to gather election tallies during Rhode Island’s September 12 primary.
Media
By IAN DONNIS  |  September 20, 2006