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As May Day approaches, a local labor movement at a crossroads

Protest Dept.
May Day, the international workers day, is just around the corner. But organized labor, here in Rhode Island, is not in a particularly celebratory mood.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  April 25, 2012
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Organized labor's big moment

How much clout do Rhode Island's unions wield, circa 2011? We're about to find out
The public discussion around organized labor's influence on Rhode Island politics is a crude business.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  September 15, 2011
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Shaking up the school system

The Reformer
Rhode Island education commissioner Deborah Gist’s take-charge style could make a winner of a state that often seems destined to fail. But critics say her free-market approach won’t work.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  April 21, 2010
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What now?

Kennedy's exit rewrites the political game book.
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.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  February 17, 2010
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What’s next for Cicilline?

After a couple of tough years — and some jabs from Buddy — how bright is his political future?
Providence Mayor David N. Cicilline rode into office seven years ago as the fresh-faced anti-Buddy. Bleach for a soiled City Hall.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  January 21, 2010
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How much do lobbyists pay to get their way?

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

Blog worthy
Earlier this year, Matt Jerzyk revealed he would be selling his almost four-year-old blog, Rhode Island's Future.
By IAN DONNIS  |  December 24, 2008
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Take Back Barack

It's time to reclaim the man we put in the White House
It's time to reclaim the man we put in the White House
By JEFF INGLIS + DEIRDRE FULTON  |  December 19, 2008
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Can the Providence schools get it together?

The answer will have a serious impact on the state’s economic future
As Rhode Island continues to struggle with budget deficits and economic development, the future of education is a piece of a large puzzle.
By IAN DONNIS  |  June 12, 2008
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Can’t anybody here play this game?

Rhode Island remains trapped between economic distress and missed opportunities
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.
By IAN DONNIS  |  May 21, 2008
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Chafee for governor?

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

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

State Rep David Segal brings some youthful cool to the general assembly
The idiosyncratic crowd indicated just how different this event was from your standard legislative money-maker.
By IAN DONNIS  |  September 26, 2007
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Can the Wobblies deliver?

The long-dormant IWW raises its profile in Rhode Island
A sense of taking it to the Man was in the air as some 200-plus supporters of Alexandra Svoboda rallied last Sunday afternoon.
By IAN DONNIS  |  August 29, 2007
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How screwed are we?

Elected officials and pundits offer their take on rhode island’s budget predicament
At a time when most state budgets are flush with surpluses, Rhode Island’s fiscal house remains in disrepair.
By IAN DONNIS  |  June 28, 2007
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The worst of your new state budget

Talking politics
The new standard is: Mom and Dad’s taxes are too high; kids should ante up.
By BRAIN C. JONES  |  June 27, 2007
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Rhode Island at a crossroads

This year’s budget could signal a major shift in the state’s underlying principles
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.
By BRIAN C. JONES  |  April 25, 2007
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Rhode Island’s billion-dollar man

Lawyer Jack McConnell took the fight to the lead paint industry
Jack McConnell grew up in modest circumstances.
By BRIAN C. JONES  |  February 28, 2007
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The new armies of the ’net

Can pop technology ramp up public interest in politics?
More than a million people have downloaded the “Hello Garci” ring tone.
By ERICA SAGRANS  |  February 01, 2007
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Whitehouse rides the Democratic tide; Fogarty falls short

Talking politics
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.
By IAN DONNIS  |  November 08, 2006
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Rebels in the general assembly

Can progressives change the debate on the issues that matter?
To the displeasure of progressives around Rhode Island, the Democrat-controlled General Assembly this year passed mammoth tax cuts for the wealthiest of Rhode Islanders — the same kind of tax cuts for which national Democrats have hammered President George W. Bush. 
By MATTHEW JERZYK  |  October 18, 2006
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Champions of the status quo

Protecting incumbents takes precedence over a reform that could diminish the influence of money in Rhode Island politics  
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.
By IAN DONNIS  |  July 26, 2006

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