The Scoop: Raimondo Tops Taveras by 250K, Brown Bankruptcy Forum
Friday, November 01, 2013
Raimondo Trounces Taveras in 3Q Fundraising
State Treasurer Gina Raimondo is not officially in the 2014 Rhode Island governor' race, but she continues to significantly out-fundraise all likely contenders, including declared candidate Providence Mayor Angel Taveras.
According to Raimondo's latest campaign finance filings, she raised 413,831.15 in the third quarter, which ended on September 30. The amount raised is a Rhode Island record in a non-election year—a fact which GoLocal first reported earlier this month.
Raimondo, who is expected to declare her candidacy before the end of the year, finished last quarter with just over $2.3 million in her war chest after spending $171,451.49 on campaign expenditures.
Taveras, who formally declared his candidacy for governor on Monday, raised $153,918—bringing his current cash on hand total to $759,150.22. The Providence Mayor spent $87,180.90 in the third quarter on campaign expenses.
As for the rest of the field, Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Block ended the third quarter with $547,685.26 cash on hand. Block's total includes $28,465 in individual contributions and a $500,000 personal loan from the candidate himself. Block, a former Moderate Party candidate for governor, spent 54,767.27 last quarter.
Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, who is expected to formally announce his candidacy on Monday, finished the third quarter with $336,553.93 in his war chest after raising just over $100,000. Fung, who has served as mayor of Cranston since 2008, spent 19,974.84 in the third quarter.
Source of data: ricampaignfinance.com
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City of Providence excluded from Brown University's national municipal bankruptcy conference.
Brown University’s “The Return of Urban Fiscal Crisis: Alternatives to Bankruptcy” kicked off this afternoon, and interestingly, the city of Providence, who was recently on the verge of bankruptcy, is not featured anywhere in the event's lineup.
Despite Providence's exclusion, today's conference did feature a session entitled "Central Falls and Urban Fiscal Crisis in Rhode Island.
GoLocal reached out to the event's organizers to determine why Providence, which narrowly avoided bankruptcy itself, was not included in the two-day conference, but our requests were not returned.
In 2012, Brown University agreed to voluntarily pay the city of Providence $31.5 million over 11 years, following pressure from Mayor Angel Taveras, who said the city ran the risk of going bankrupt if it didn't receive higher payments from tax-exempt institutions.
This weekend's conference includes scholars and practitioners from Rhode Island, Detroit, Stockton, Vallejo, and other fiscally strapped American cities, who will discuss the causes of and alternatives to municipal bankruptcy under conditions of economic austerity.
Richard Ravitch, co-author of the New York State Budget Crisis Task Force Report, will deliver the conference keynote address tonight at 6:15 p.m. in the Salomon Center for Teaching, Room 001.
For more information about the event, which is free and open to the public, click here.
Block Frustrated Over Fee
Block calls on Gov. Chafee and PUC to stop new transport services fee.
Republican candidate for Governor Ken Block is calling on Governor Chafee and the Public Utilities Commission to stop the new $40 minimum fee that he believes will adversely affect transport services companies like Uber, which recently expanded to provide services in Rhode Island.
"This is the type of behavior that drives companies away from Rhode Island," Block said. "We need to become an economically competitive state where businesses want to expand and create new jobs, but instead we are taking yet another a step backwards."
The new proposed regulation is the result of legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2012.
"Leaders in the General Assembly have repeatedly claimed that "moving the needle" on the economy is their top priority, but that isn't true," Block said. "By stifling competition they are ignoring the needle, and ignoring common sense."
"When elected officials base their decisions on political factors like lobbying and insider connections, the people of Rhode Island always lose," Block added.
As a Rhode Island small business owner, Block expressed frustration at what he argues is the latest example of a misguided public policy that will only reinforce the state's image as a bad place to do business.
"Rhode Island should welcome innovation and competition," said Block. "Regulators here are attempting to stifle both, and that is very disappointing - and wrong."
Block recently announced his plan for making Rhode Island more competitive by finding and saving $1 billion in wasteful spending.
"As Governor, I will attract new businesses to our state," Block said. "My plan to find and save $1 billion in wasteful spending is the first step towards making Rhode Island's economy more competitive. And as Governor, I will oppose any regulation that places an unreasonable burden on doing business in our state. We need to become business friendly, and I have a plan to make that happen."
West Endorses Elorza
Former Common Cause head endorses Elorza for mayor of Providence.
Phil West, former executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island, has endorsed Democratic mayoral candidate Jorge Elorza.
"I'm happy to support Jorge Elorza for Mayor of Providence. Jorge teaches at Roger Williams University School of Law. In his work as Housing Court Judge, he has forced some of the biggest banks in the nation to take responsibility for properties they've neglected. I believe he will lead Providence effectively and honorable," said West in a statement.
West served as the head of Common Cause, a nonpartisan government watchdog group, for 18 years before retiring in 2006.
In addition to Elorza, the likely field of Democratic mayoral candidates includes City Council President Michael Solomon, and political consultant Brett Smiley. Physician Daniel Harrop, who is the chairman of the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, is the only declared Republican candidate.
Zoning Commission sets organization meeting.
The Special Legislative Commission to Study Rhode Island’s Zoning and Subdivision Enabling Acts will hold an organizational meeting at 3 p.m. Thursday, November 7, in Room 203 of the State House.
The commission, created during the 2013 session of the General Assembly, is charged with making a comprehensive study of the zoning and subdivision enabling acts in the Rhode Island General Laws, their impact on the economic development of the state and the procedural practices of the various local boards and commissions.
Rep. Joseph K. Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick), whose House resolution created the commission, will serve as one of the panel’s five members.
Others appointed to the commission are Kevin Flynn, Associate Director of the RI Division of Planning; Felix A. Carlone, President of the RI Builders Association; Melanie Jewett Army, AICP, President of American Planning Association, and Nancy E. Letendre, Esq., of Ursillo, Teitz, Ritch, Ltd.
The commission is expected to report its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly by next February.
The agenda for the organizational meeting includes election of a chairperson; review of the establishing legislation; discussion of goals and objectives, and scheduling of future meetings.
HEW seeks public comment on DoH certificate process.
The House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare will meet Tuesday, November 5, to continue its review of the certificate of need process of the Rhode Island Department of Health as it relates to pain management services.
The hearing will be held at 4 p.m. in Room 35 of the State House and will be broadcast live by Capitol TV (Channel 15 for Cox Communications and Full Channel and Channel 35 for Verizon).
The committee – which heard from the Department of Health in its first hearing on the matter and from the Pentec company at its second meeting – has scheduled this third hearing to take public testimony on the matter.
Pentec, based in Pennsylvania, is a leader in providing specialized, in-home care for patients with implanted pain pumps. The company was informed by the Department of Health that it needed to obtain a certificate of need, offering proof that its service was wanted, affordable and safe, and also needed to open a Rhode Island office, which it did. But after spending about $100,000 to obtain state approval of an application for a home nursing care provider’s license, appearing at three hearings and waiting for seven months for a Health Department decision, the company admitted frustration with the process, withdrew its license application and terminated its services in Rhode Island.
Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) chairs the House HEW Committee.
Pictured: Rep. Joseph M. McNamara
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