— RI Governor '14 —

December 19, 2012

Robitaille not Running for Governor

Carroll Andrew Morse

Dee DeQuattro has a post up on the WPRO (630AM) blog, reporting that John Robitaille, the 2010 Republican candidate for Governor of Rhode Island, has announced that he will not run again in 2014.

The article also sets out an initial pool of candidates who might be interested in a 2014 run...

Other Republicans who are speculated as possibilities to mount a run for Governor are Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, VIBCO CEO Karl Wadensten, and former state police superintendent Brendan Doherty.

December 9, 2012

Trust Chafee...Again?

Patrick Laverty

Ok, this is kinda funny. It seems the union leadership is falling for his tagline all over again. "Trust Chafee".

Last year, after hours of hearings and discussion the General Assembly passed a pension reform bill and Governor Chafee signed it into law. This move quickly drew the ire of the unions who supported is candidacy and helped him get into the Governor's seat. In November 2011, GoLocalProv's Dan McGowan reported:

"...top union officials say the Governor has gone back on his word by supporting a complete overhaul of the system"
“We like Candidate Chafee’s plan much better than Governor Chafee’s plan,” [NEARI's Robert] Walsh told GoLocalProv in October.
However, not much more than a year later, Governor Chafee seems to be having some second thoughts about going back on his word to labor with the bill he signed.

Governor Chafee thinks it is a good idea for the state to sit down with the unions and discuss negotiating the pension law as it goes to court. WJAR's TurnToTen.com site reported:

"Some have said that now is not the time for negotiation," Chafee said. "I disagree. The state has leverage only so long as there is still uncertainty as to the outcome of this case."

Chafee met Tuesday with Bob Walsh, executive director of the National Education Association Rhode Island, and George Nee, president of the AFL-CIO. Walsh said specifics weren't discussed but Chafee expressed interest in striking a compromise.

Wondering how the discussions went?

"We're right where we want to be with the governor," Walsh said of the hour-long discussion. "It was a good first date."
So if I have this straight, before he was Governor, Linc Chafee reportedly made some promises to some people in the area of labor. Then he got elected, went back on those promises. Now he sees that he's stabbed the labor people in the back and realizes he'll probably need at least their support to get re-elected in 2014 so he's trying the whole scheme all over again. If that doesn't sound crazy enough that Linc Chafee is trying it, the crazier part is it seems that the same people are believing it.

Like they say, politics makes strange bedfellows.

March 20, 2012

Almonte First into the Democratic Gubernatorial Void?

Carroll Andrew Morse

The Projo's Randal Edgar reported last evening that former RI Auditor General Ernest Almonte is considering running for Governor of Rhode Island as a Democrat (h/t Ted Nesi via Twitter)...

Former Auditor General Ernest A. Almonte said Monday that he is "seriously considering" a run for governor in 2014.

Almonte, who stepped down in 2010 after 15 years as auditor general, said he is talking with friends and associates about the possibility and expects to make a decision later this year....He said he would most likely run as a Democrat.

I know it seems tres early to be discussing the 2014 Governor's race, but one unknown that is going to significantly impact the fate of pension reform in Rhode Island and the state's fiscal health in general is the question of who's going to be the Democratic candidate for Governor in 2014.

If Governor Lincoln Chafee maintains about the level of support for pension reform that he has shown so far (though with all due respect to Jim Baron, I want to see the final version of municipal legislation he proposes, before giving him full plaudits for tackling the issue) and runs for a second term as an I or a D, and either Ernest Almonte or Gina Raimondo becomes a credible gubernatorial candidate on the Democratic side, it will make it significantly harder for opponents of the current version of pension reform to propel someone into the top tier of candidates. And if there's no Rhode Island Democrat willing and/or able to push a don't-worry, the system can be fixed with higher taxes and reamortization message in the Governor's race, chances increase of the changes currently being put into place taking hold.

The question accelerated by a potential Almonte candidacy is whether there is anyone from the traditional spend first, figure out how to pay for it later wing of the Democratic party in Rhode Island with the stature to run for Governor of Rhode Island.