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Steven Costantino

Latest Articles

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The death of Irish-Italian political entitlement

Angel Taveras may soon be Providence’s first Latino mayor. But his victory in the recent Democratic primary is much more than a triumph of the city’s growing Hispanic population.
Tribes
By MARY ANN SORRENTINO  |  September 24, 2010
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Flying blind: A primary-season post-mortem

With little public polling on the most hotly contested races in memory, Rhode Island’s pundit class was in the dark as the primary approached. But could the presence of a high-profile gay candidate make opinion surveys suspect anyway?
With little public polling on the most hotly contested races in memory, Rhode Island’s pundit class was in the dark as the primary approached
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  September 17, 2010
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David Cicilline for Congress

All elections are important, of course. But Rhode Island voters have a rare opportunity this fall to remake the state’s political hierarchy in sweeping fashion.
Plus, Taveras for mayor of Providence, and Fernandez for attorney general
By PROVIDENCE PHOENIX STAFF  |  September 10, 2010

Holy Everglades, Batman!

What a shock to see the discovery of an alligator at Sissons Pond in Portsmouth! Based on the photographs, Phillipe and Jorge reckon it has to be the largest reptile ever seen in the Biggest Little outside of the State House.
A 'gator in the biggest little; angry Americans are still angry; a few great women
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  September 03, 2010
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Providence's mayoral candidates, on bended knee

In a parallel universe, where serial candidate Christopher Young's antics are simply an ingenious bit of performance art — and not evidence of a worrisome and often obnoxious instability — his display at the recent Providence mayoral debate might quali
Wedding Bells
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  August 27, 2010
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An angry electorate? Eh, whatever

Whither the rage? Rhode Island's Great Recession — greater, even, than the national model — was supposed to conjure a once-in-a-generation anti-incumbent fever. But so far, it's looking more like a modest headache.
Dud Dept.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  August 20, 2010


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An education funding formula, hailed as a breakthrough, faces its critics

For years, Rhode Island was one of just two states in the union without a funding formula for its public schools. And then, for a time, it was the only state with that dubious dis-tinction.
Fuzzy math
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  June 25, 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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The first Latino mayor?

Until recently, to talk about Angel Taveras was to talk about the future.
Angel Taveras’s moment suddenly arrives
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  April 16, 2010
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What now?

Representative Patrick J. Kennedy's campaigns were always about something far larger than Rhode Island's First Congressional District, which snakes from Burrillville down through the Blackstone Valley and into Newport.
Kennedy's exit rewrites the political game book.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  February 19, 2010
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A gadfly eyes public office

Rhode Island's gubernatorial tilt is attracting more attention than any other of the state's budding races.
Pursestrings
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  January 15, 2010


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Governor Ghoul

Phillipe and Jorge are coming late to this fight, as last week’s column was already filed when the announcement was made that Governor Donald Carcieri — Governor Ghoul to you — had vetoed a bill giving domestic partners the right to claim the bodies of a
 Sinking to new lows
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  November 20, 2009

Our Pazmanian Devil

Phillipe and Jorge often think of how nice it would have been if Warren Zevon's "Boom Boom Mancini" ("Hurry home early, hurry on home/Boom-Boom Mancini's fighting Bobby Chacon") had been about local boxer Vinny Paz, nee Pazienza.
Vinny's early days. Plus, a lame land grab, and more budget madness.
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  June 26, 2009

Carcieri pushes for Medicaid waiver

With the impact disputed, Carcieri pushes for his Medicaid waiver.
Talking Politics
By IAN DONNIS  |  January 15, 2009

With the impact disputed, Carcieri pushes for his Medicaid waiver

There's a certain audacity to Governor Carcieri's drive to put a global Medicaid waiver in place in Rhode Island.
Talking Politics
By IAN DONNIS  |  January 14, 2009
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Plan languishes for garage at Garrahy courthouse

The Providence Foundation and some other boosters have been championing a plan to create a multi-story parking garage behind the Garrahy Judicial Complex in downtown Providence.
Parking Wars
By IAN DONNIS  |  June 18, 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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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 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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It’s a bleak budget season — with no relief in sight

The reams of paper pouring from industrial-strength copying machines at the State House were still warm to the touch as they were distributed to a packed hearing room.
Talking politics
By BRIAN C. JONES  |  June 12, 2007
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Can RI back away from the war on drugs?

When Rhode island voters narrowly approved a measure last November to allow felons on probation to vote, it marked an important step away from the kind of supposedly “tough on crime” policies that have long typified American criminal justice policy.
Deficits and prison crowding propel the search for a more effective approach
By IAN DONNIS  |  January 24, 2007