Gov. Lincoln Chafee isn’t running for a second term, he said Wednesday in an announcement that surprised his political opponents and closest advisers alike and takes him out of what was expected to be a fierce primary in his new Democratic Party.
The governor, who became a Democrat in May, has struggled with poor approval ratings and is a reluctant fundraiser, who faced a strong field of challengers in next year’s race.
Rhode Island Health Insurance Commissioner Christopher F. Koller has approved 2014 health insurance rates that he called “significantly lower” than those requested — but that still involve increases in premiums.
For the majority of Rhode Islanders who get health insurance from large employers, rates will go up, on average, 9.5 percent to 12 percent.
I was going to write something about Lincoln Chafee’s Hail Mary conversion to Democrat, prior to the 2014 RI gubernatorial election, but this passage about something entirely different made me chuckle too much:
Psst! – Barack Obama, there IS a Democrat running for Governor in New Jersey, as Shush Walshe reports: While President Obama played arcade games Tuesday with Gov. Chris Christie at the New Jersey shore, there was no sign of the Democrat who’s challenging Christie for governor. Instead, state Sen. Barbara Buono was reduced to tweeting, “@BuonoForNJGov It was great to meet with @BarackObama today as we cheer the shore’s re-opening: a testament to all we accomplish when we work together. -BB” http://abcn.ws/174ZTbM (Shushannah Walshe)
Via Legal Insurrection comes this absolute gem of a confession from former Providence mayor (and current representative for Rhode Island’s First Congressional District) David Cicilline:
Congressman David Cicilline offered a public apology and expressed regret Tuesday for saying during his 2010 campaign that Providence was in “excellent financial condition.”
“I should not have used that word,” Cicilline said in a wide-ranging interview with WPRI 12. “It obviously doesn’t describe the condition the city is in [and] it was never my intention to mislead people intentionally.”
Well… if by ‘racist’ you mean ‘insufficiently respectful towards the President,’ which I understand is how the Democrats define the term these days. Caprio is a little upset that President Obama isn’t endorsing him in what is turning out to be a very close gubernatorial election between him and ‘independent’ Lincoln Chafee. So in classic sour-grapes fashion Caprio has decided that he doesn’t want Obama’s help, after all: “[Obama] can take his endorsement and really shove it as far as I am concerned.”
…which is, of course, utter nonsense: the race is currently in free-fall, and the Democrat needs all the help that he can get. Caprio’s problem is that the President would rather have a reliable ‘independent’ in RI to burnish the President’s ‘centrist’ street credit in 2012; and Chafee’s certainly more reliably Obama’s creature than he ever was a reliable Republican. Actually, Caprio has two problems: the second is that Obama’s traveling to Rhode Island to fundraise for the DCCC (and maybe try to keep John Loughlin from taking RI-01)… and in the house of a Chafee supporter, no less.
I’d be sympathetic, except that Caprio’s a Democratic politician, so I don’t feel like it. Still: regretting those Clinton connections yet, Frank?
…relax, it’s cool: he’s made a deal with the RI GOP. They’re supporting his candidacy, which is single issue: Robert Healey wants to… eliminate the position of Rhode Island Lt Governor, on the grounds that it’s an absolutely useless position that costs the taxpayers millions. It’ll require a constitutional amendment, but (assuming he wins) Healey won’t generate a budget or staff. As Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion notes (H/T, btw), probably nobody will even notice. Which is kind of the point.
No, really: the Rhode Island GOP is actively supporting this. The winner of the primary (Heidi Rogers) withdrew and endorsed Healey. Likewise, the state party refused to pick a replacement and is supporting Healey*, much to the fury of the Republican who came in second (who I will be kind to, and not name). This immediately elevates the Rhode Island GOP to the semifinals of the Coolest State Republican Party in 2010 contest; it’s nice to see a state party actually take this ‘smaller government’ thing seriously.
*As Rogers’s own press release indicates, the original plan was for the RI GOP not put up anybody at all; but, of course, there’s always somebody who doesn’t want to play nice with others, and a couple of those somebodies ran for Lt Governor. Hence, Rogers’s run; and hence, her withdrawal.
Seriously, the way that they did this is the only way I’d sign off on it: I’m pretty hard-nosed about ‘support the Republican candidate.’ But this is pretty clearly how the local Republican candidate and group want to play things, and it’s also pretty clearly freaking out the Democrats…
A Democratic official says Rep. Patrick Kennedy has decided not to seek re-election for his seat representing Rhode Island in the U.S. Congress.
The official spoke to The Associated Press only on the condition that his name not be used because he was not authorized to speak ahead of the official announcement.
Patrick Kennedy has been in and out of treatment for substance abuse since crashing his car outside the U.S Capitol in 2006.
Interesting that the Kennedy name is no longer sufficient to protect its holders from premature leaks like this. Also interesting that this is happening; then again, his numbers were abysmal. They were so abysmal that GOP challenger John Loughlin might even be disappointed about this, although… no, I doubt it.
More here: apparently, Kennedy felt the need to take his life in a ‘different direction.’ I would be cruel about my suggestions of where that different direction might end up going – but I just noticed something about this video I did a while back:
The Democrats are starting to run out of sitting Congressmen featured in it who’ll still be sitting Congressmen, starting next January.
I have to call this ‘taking a shot from Patrick Kennedy.’ If I took one at him he’d probably just drink it.
(H/T: Hot Air & JammieWearingFool) A lot of the focus of this article is on the abysmal performance of Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D, RI) in it – when asked if he deserved re-election, only 35% of his constituents said ‘yes’; 28% said ‘no,’ and 31% asked ‘what are our options?’ – and we’ll get back to it (and John Loughlin, who’s running for the job) in a moment. But I would like to highlight these two paragraphs about Sheldon Whitehouse:
Just 33 percent approved of Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s job performance, down 11 points from a mid-December Brown University poll.
Fleming said a factor may have been the senator’s controversial December statement that floor opponents of health-care reform were fueled by fanatics, “right-wing militia” and Aryan support groups that hate President Obama.
The NRSC would be well-advised to start atoning for its error in 2006 by finding an acceptable candidate to oppose this fellow in 2012. And by ‘acceptable’ I don’t mean ‘acceptable to the NRSC.’
At least, he’s claiming that he’s been forbidden it by Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Providence Diocese, and Bishop Tobin hasn’t denied it – and Tobin has denied that he’s ordered priest under his authority to actually deny Kennedy the Sacrament. Bishop Tobin’s office has also released a letter indicating that the bishop has chastised the Congressman on the subject of abortion since at least 2007; which will call into question the accuracy of Kennedy’s accusation that this is all about the Church’s firm line on abortion funding. It’s probably a factor, and it’s certainly true that Rep. Kennedy has been obdurate in his heresy* for some time, so this is merely the latest salvo.
Still, it’d be nice if we didn’t have to deal with this particular legacy Congressman. There’s actually a serious candidate this go-round: John Loughlin. State legislator, business owner, former military; not to be unkind, but Kennedy really hasn’t worked a day in his [expletive deleted] life, and it shows. Like, for example, in Kennedy’s ability to get himself sufficiently in trouble with the Church on this issue so as to actually be denied the Sacrament.
That takes skill.
*The fact that the Church has neither the ability nor the particular desire to punish Rep. Kennedy (or other avowedly pro-abortion Catholics) for their shared heresy does not make it any less of one.