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Politics of Rhode Island

religion of rhode island during colonial times, politics of rhode island colony
Since the Great Depression, Rhode Island politics have been dominated by the Rhode Island Democratic Party However, the Rhode Island Republican Party, although virtually non-existent in the Rhode Island General Assembly, occasionally puts forward occasional statewide reform candidates Former Governor Donald Carcieri of East Greenwich, and former Mayor Vincent A "Buddy" Cianci of Providence who later became an independent political boss, and was convicted on Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act charges ran successfully as Republican reform candidates

Rhode Island has comprehensive health insurance for low-income children, and a large social safety net Many urban areas still have a high rate of children in poverty Due to an influx of residents from Boston, Massachusetts, increasing housing costs have resulted in more homeless in Rhode Island

Ranking Democrats include Governor Gina Raimondo, House Speaker William Murphy, Senate President Joseph Montalbano, US Representative David Cicilline, Secretary of State A Ralph Mollis, General Treasurer Frank T Caprio, Senate Majority Leader M Teresa Paiva-Weed, and former Lt Gov Elizabeth H Roberts In 2008, former Speaker of the House John Harwood, State Senator John Celona, and State Senate President William Irons resigned amid scandals1full citation neededclarification needed

Contents

  • 1 History
    • 11 Federalists vs Anti-Federalists 1776-1820
    • 12 Democratic-Republican Era 1820s
    • 13 Whig Era 1833-50
      • 131 Dorr Rebellion 1840-42
      • 132 Law and Order Party and Whig Party co-dominance 1840s
    • 14 Republican Era 1850s-1930s
    • 15 Democratic Era 1930s-present
      • 151 Return of Republicans and Rise of 3rd-Parties 1976-present
  • 2 Democratic Party
  • 3 Moderate Party
  • 4 Republican Party
  • 5 Minor parties
    • 51 Constitution Party
    • 52 Cool Moose Party
    • 53 Green Party
    • 54 Libertarian Party
    • 55 Natural Law Party
    • 56 Reform Party
    • 57 Socialist Party
  • 6 Defunct parties
    • 61 Country Party
    • 62 Federalist Party
    • 63 Democratic-Republican Party
    • 64 People's Party
    • 65 Law and Order Party
    • 66 Whig Party
    • 67 Native American Party "Know Nothings"
    • 68 Constitutional Union Party "Unionists"
  • 7 References

Historyedit

Federalists vs Anti-Federalists 1776-1820edit

Rhode Island declared independence from the British Empire on May 4, 1776, two months before the US Declaration of Independence was ratified2 However, despite this eagerness for independence, Rhode Island was also a stronghold for Anti-Federalism through the Country Party, which was widely popular among rural areas of Rhode Island and dominated the Rhode Island General Assembly from 1786 to 1790 The Country Party's dominance prevented ratification of the Federalist US Constitution, and the state had even refused to send any delegation to the 1787 Constitutional Convention that wrote it Father of the Constitution James Madison described Rhode Island as ruled by "wickedness and folly" in which "All sense of character as well as of right have been obliterated" After the insurance of the inclusion of a bill of rights, however, support grew for the Constitution in Rhode Island Rhode Island became the last of the original 13 states to ratify the Constitution in 1790 by only 2 votes, after Gov John Collins supported it and several remaining Anti-Federalists boycotted the ratifying convention3

After ratification, many Anti-Federalists remained with the Country Party or joined Thomas Jefferson's Anti-Administration faction, which eventually became the Democratic-Republican Party Rhode Island's first 2 governors after ratification Anti-Federalist leader Arthur Fenner and Henry Smith were both nominees of the Country Party4 Meanwhile, one of Rhode Island's first 2 Senators, Joseph Stanton, Jr, was a nominee of the Anti-Administration Party5

Despite the Anti-Federalist views during the 1780s, the Federalist Party eventually became the dominant party in Rhode Island Rhode Island gave its electoral votes in most Presidential elections to the Federalist candidate during this era Meanwhile, Federalist Senator William Bradford became the 1st US Senator from Rhode Island to serve as President pro tempore of the United States Senate during the 5th Congress6 While the Federalist Party is generally considered to have died after the War of 1812, Rhode Island still had Federalists in the US Congress as late as 1820, and Federalist Governor William Jones was not defeated by a Democratic-Republican candidate until Nehemiah R Knight was elected in 18164

Democratic-Republican Era 1820sedit

In the 1820s, Rhode Island, like the rest of the union, was largely dominated by the Democratic-Republican Party Knight, William C Gibbs, and James Fenner son of former Governor Arthur Fenner were all elected Governors of Rhode Island during this time After the party split into Andrew Jackson's Democratic Party and the opposition National Republican Party, Rhode Island was generally opposed to Jackson's policies and supportive of the Federalist-inspired policies of National Republican leaders John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay, supporting the former in the hotly contested Presidential elections of 18247 and 18288 Many of these "Anti-Jacksonians" or "Adams Men", such as Asher Robbins and former Governor Nehemiah R Knight,910 represented the state in Congress before the formation of the Whig Party in 1833

Whig Era 1833-50edit

Rhode Island Congressmen were almost exclusively Whigs during the 1830s and early 1840s Whigs Lemuel H Arnold, Elisha Harris, Henry B Anthony, and William W Hoppin were also Governors of Rhode Island during this time However, Democrats John Brown Francis and William Sprague III served for most of the 1830s11 Rhode Island's electoral votes also backed the Presidential candidacies of Whig leaders William Henry Harrison in 1840,12 Henry Clay in 1844,13 and Zachary Taylor in 184814

Dorr Rebellion 1840-42edit

Main article: Dorr Rebellion

In 1841, Rhode Island was the last state that required ownership of property to vote in its elections, as it was still governed by the provisions of its original colonial charter of 1663, which restricted voting rights to landowning white men and their eldest sons About 60% of Rhode Island adult men were ineligible to vote due to these restrictions by 1840 Political activist Thomas Wilson Dorr was the leader of a group known as the Rhode Island Suffrage Association or "Dorrites"15 that attempted to amend or replace the charter with a new constitution extending suffrage to all white men, but efforts to do so consistently failed in the Rhode Island General Assembly16

After failed attempts to change the system from within, the Dorrites held a convention for the newly formed "People's Party", which drafted a new constitution that enfranchised all white men after one year's residence17 Meanwhile, General Assembly members who supported the charter, known as "Charterites" or the "Law and Order Party", drafted a constitution that made concessions to the People's Party, but 2 referenda held later that year determined that a majority of voters approved of the People's Party constitution, but disapproved of the Law and Order Party's constitution by a narrow margin15

However, Governor Samuel Ward King, a Charterite, refused to recognize the results of the referenda, resulting in the holding of two elections that April: one set up by the People's Party, which elected Dorr as governor, and another set up by the Law and Order Party, which re-elected King15 King and Dorr essentially served as governors concurrently after this election King declared martial law and attempted to persuade US President John Tyler to send federal soldiers to Rhode Island to resolve the issue, but Tyler, feeling that the threat of violence was "hourly diminishing", refused16 Without the threat of federal interference, Dorr's government mounted an attack upon the Providence Arsenal on May 19, 1842 Charterite defenders, including Dorr's own father and uncle, suppressed the attack and the Dorrites retreated to the village of Chepachet to hold another People's Convention Charterites cut off the retreat in the city of Woonsocket, causing Dorr's government to fall17

Despite their victory, the Charterite General Assembly ultimately drafted and adopted the current Rhode Island Constitution in September 1842, which extended voting to all free men of any race who owned property or could pay a $1 poll tax Although the former members of the People's Party attempted to oppose the Law and Order Party's candidates in the 1843 elections, the Law and Order Party took all major offices in these elections, and their new constitution was adopted in May Encouraged by the new constitution's expanded suffrage, Dorr returned to the state, but was captured by King and tried and convicted of treason However, public protests resulted in Dorr's pardon by Governor James Fenner in 184516

Law and Order Party and Whig Party co-dominance 1840sedit

After the Dorr Rebellion ended, the Law and Order Party shared power with the Whigs for the remainder of the 1840s, until the former dissolved and the latter fell from power in Rhode Island The Law and Order Party's James Fenner was the first governor elected under the Rhode Island Constitution Fenner had previously served as governor on two other occasions as a member of the Democratic-Republican Party Byron Diman also represented the Law and Order Party as governor18

In 1843, Rhode Island was given a 2nd Congressional district The Law and Order Party's Elisha R Potter was the first Congressman from this district The 2nd district also elected Benjamin Babock Thurston to Congress in 1847; Thurston was the first Democrat elected to Congress from Rhode Island19

In the late 1840s and early 1850s, the nationally declining Whig Party became diminished in Rhode Island, while the Law and Order Party dissolved, and most of its members returned to their pre-Dorr Rebellion allegiances to the Whigs or Democrats

Republican Era 1850s-1930sedit

After the demise of the Rhode Island Whigs, the Know Nothing and Democratic Parties were briefly co-dominant parties in Rhode Island From 1851 to 1853, Rhode Island had an all-Democrat set of executive offices for the first time, led by Governor Philip Allen In the same year, Charles Tillinghast James became Rhode Island's first Democratic Senator Meanwhile, Benjamin Babock Thurston returned to his Congressional seat as a Know-Nothing, and William W Hoppin was Rhode Island's only Know-Nothing governor in 1854, serving in the office until 1856

In the late 1850s, however, much of the remaining Know-Nothings and Whigs nationally were absorbed by the Republican Party,20 which would become the dominant party in Rhode Island until the Great Depression of the 1930s Republican dominance in Rhode Island began with the elections of several Republicans to major offices in 1857, such as Governor Elisha Dyer,21 and Sen James F Simmons22 The first 14 Republican Party Presidential candidates, beginning with John C Frémont in 1856, won Rhode Island's electoral votes during this era23

The Constitutional Union Party became strong in Rhode Island during the early 1860s Across the country, many conservative former Whigs and Know-Nothings, unsatisfied with the secessionists in the national Democratic Party, became Unionists, and nominated Unionist candidates at their state conventions24 Both Rhode Island representatives to the 37th US House of Representatives were Unionists19

During the American Civil War, Rhode Island was the first state to respond to President Abraham Lincoln's 1861 request for troops from the individual Union states Governor William Sprague IV nephew of former Governor William Sprague III believed that the war would be over rather quickly and easily in the Union's favor, and chose to lead the Rhode Island brigade to Virginia to oversee what he expected to be a Union victory25 There, he participated in the First Battle of Bull Run and, despite the Confederate victory, was offered a commission as Brigadier General, which he refused, opting to remain Governor of Rhode Island Sprague went on to serve 2 six-year terms as a Senator from Rhode Island after retiring from the Governor's post in 186325 Burnside also became a Governor of Rhode Island from 1866 to 1869, and then replaced Sprague in the US Senate in 1875, serving there until his death in 188126

From 1863 to 1887, every governor of and US Congressman from Rhode Island was a member of the Republican Party18 During this time, Senator Henry B Anthony served as President pro tempore of the United States Senate,27 the 2nd Rhode Island Senator to do so, after William Bradford in 17976 Also during this time, Governor Henry Lippitt became the first in a familial line of several prominent Rhode Island politicians, dating to Governor Lincoln Chafee, and including one of Lippitt's sons, Sen Henry F Lippitt, who was a brother-in-law of US President and Chief Justice William Howard Taft28 Also, the administration of three-term Governor Alfred H Littlefield officially established the current boundary line of Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and authorized the establishment of the state's first industrial school for impoverished children, in an effort to update the state's education system to keep in time with manufacturing developments29

In 1887, some Democratic power returned when prominent Democratic businessman John W Davis was elected governor over incumbent Republican George P Wetmore, with whom many in both parties were dissatisfied30 During Davis' first one-year term, a women's suffrage amendment to the State Constitution was passed by the state legislature but not accepted by the state's male voters in an April 6, 1887 referendum31 Also during Davis' first term, the current boundary line with Connecticut was established, revised election laws were passed which made voter fraud more difficult, and orphanages were regulated by the state However, Davis was defeated in his 1888 and 1889 gubernatorial bids, but Davis returned to the governorship for another one-year term in 189030 Another popular Democrat during Rhode Island's Republican Era was Lucius FC Garvin, a longtime General Assembly member from Cumberland and eventual governor, serving two one-year terms However, a Republican-controlled legislature prevented most of Garvin's reform-minded programs from passing32 Garvin was considered for the Democratic nomination for US President in 190433

In the late 19th century and early 20th century, there was much controversy in the state political system surrounding Republican leader and lobbyist Charles R Brayton, who generally supported the interests of Republican Senators Henry B Anthony and Nelson W Aldrich As both a Civil War veteran and a member of the state's "economic elite", Brayton was easily supported by the majority of Rhode Islanders, and is credited with helping many candidates into office, including Sen Aldrich, who would later become one of the most prominent US Senators34 Brayton rose to political prominence in Rhode Island in the 1890s as a chairman of the Republican State Committee, and eventually as a member of the Republican National Committee Brayton campaigned heavily for the passage of laws shifting gubernatorial powers, including almost all appointment powers, to the State Senate, which was reliably a Republican majority The "Brayton Act" was a major hindrance to Democratic reformers such as Governor Garvin after its passage, and would continue to hinder gubernatorial power until Democrats gained a State Senate majority in 193535 Brayton also had a political rivalry with James H Higgins, another Democratic governor during Rhode Island's Republican Era Higgins greatly opposed Brayton's lobbying, claiming Brayton was paid by railroad and telephone companies to lobby their special interests36 Brayton did not deny this, but said that he never lobbied against the interests of the Republican Party to favor a corporation's interest37

In 1912, President Taft's reelection campaign was the first Republican campaign to not receive Rhode Island's electoral votes, despite the fact that he was a 5th cousin of former Governor Royal C Taft Democrat Woodrow Wilson, who won the election, was the first Democrat to receive Rhode Island's electoral votes since Franklin Pierce in 1852, before the founding of the Republican Party

Also in 1912, the Republican ticket for executive offices, led by Aram J Pothier, who was also the first Rhode Island governor of foreign birth born in Quebec, won the first 2-year executive terms, having previously served four 1-year terms38

Upon the beginning of the Great Depression in 1929, Republican Norman S Case was Governor of Rhode Island Although he was reelected in 1930, the Depression worsened and Republican popularity lessened, and Theodore F Green summarily defeated Case in 1932 The Depression is generally cited as the primary reason for the fall of Republicans in Rhode Island, transitioning to a period of Democratic dominance which continues today

Democratic Era 1930s-presentedit

In the 1932 and 1934 elections, Democrats officially swept Republicans out of power in the state Theodore F Green easily defeated Republican Governor Norman S Case in the 1932 gubernatorial election39 Democrat Peter G Gerry, who served 2 terms in the US Senate before the Depression, reclaimed his former seat by defeating incumbent Republican Senator Felix Hebert40 In the State Senate elections in 1934, 2 seats were contested, both held by Republicans, but Democratic victories in these districts would create a Democratic Party majority in the Senate Lt Gov Robert Quinn, assigned to preside over seating the newly elected State Senators, refused to seat the Republicans who had claimed re-election to those two seats Green demanded a recount on January 1, 1935, and the recount determined that the Democratic candidates in both districts had won by narrow margins This has become known as the "Bloodless Revolution", as Republicans have struggled to regain power in Rhode Island since41

Republicans remained in some power throughout the 1930s, as Charles Risk served the 1st Congressional district in the 74th and 76th Congresses42 In 1938, many Republicans, led by gubernatorial candidate William Henry Vanderbilt III, was elected into office, including retaking control of both houses of the General Assembly41 However, in 1939, Vanderbilt's support was seriously weakened by a wire-tapping scandal involving a private detective he had hired to search for election fraud43 The scandal cost him his re-election chances, and many Republicans elected in 1938 were defeated by Democratic challengers in 1940;444546 Democrats also regained a majority in both houses of the General Assembly, and have not lost it since41

Meanwhile, many prominent Rhode Island Democrats also became nationally prominent under Democratic Presidents Franklin D Roosevelt and Harry S Truman The most notable of these was former Governor Green, who successfully ran for Senate in 1936, and served there until 1960, finally retiring in ill health at age 93, the oldest Congressman in history at the time47 Green was known as "the President's man", as a strong supporter of Democratic Presidents, and one of Republican President Dwight D Eisenhower's strongest Democratic supporters Green was also a civil rights leader, working closely with then-Majority Leader Lyndon B Johnson to pass voting rights bills, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1957 The state's largest airport is named TF Green Airport after him

J Howard McGrath, first a governor after defeating incumbent Vanderbilt in 1940, also went on to serve for many years in a federal capacity McGrath was appointed US Solicitor General by Truman in October 1945, and served there for one year, before resigning to become a Senator in the 80th Congress, which had Republican majorities in both houses However, he chaired the US Senate Committee on the District of Columbia at the beginning of the Democrat-ruled 81st Congress McGrath was also chairman of the Democratic National Committee during this time, allowing for racial integration of the Democrats' national headquarters and successfully managing President Truman's 1948 reelection campaign For this, McGrath was promoted to United States Attorney General, until his resignation in 1952, after refusing to be investigated after suspected corruption4849

With McGrath's resignation to become Solicitor-General, then-Lt Gov John O Pastore became the first Italian-American governor in US history, and would later become the first Italian-American US Senator As governor, Pastore enacted Rhode Island's first sales taxes, corporate income taxes, and primary election laws Pastore retired from his post as governor upon winning a special election to replace McGrath in the US Senate, where Pastore would serve until 1976, where he was famously involved in a 1969 Senate hearing on the funding of PBS in which famous public TV host Fred Rogers testified successfully against President Richard Nixon's proposed PBS funding cuts

McGrath and Pastore were 2 of many Democrats who served lengthy amounts of time in the US Senate or House of Representatives during their time Between 1941 and 1976, Rhode Island sent only 11 different people to the US Congress, all of them Democrats, including Pastore, McGrath, and Green Other notables included: 12-term Rep Aime Forand, who proposed the first bill for the program that eventually became Medicare; Rep John E Fogarty, who became a national political leader on medical research as a longtime member of the House Appropriations Committee; 14-term Rep Fernand St Germain, Rep Forand's successor, who was involved in passing legislation that would ultimately be blamed for the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s-90s Back in Rhode Island itself, 4-term Governor J Joseph Garrahy became iconic for his handling of the Blizzard of 1978, during which Governor "Joe" kept a calm, casual, comforting demeanor while living at his State House office for about a week to manage the crisis and maintain order Perhaps the most notable member of the Democratic dynasty of the 1940s-70s, though, was Sen Claiborne Pell

Best known as the father of Pell Grants, Claiborne Pell was elected to the US Senate after a lengthy career as a US Department of State diplomat, during which time he had been involved in the drafting of the United Nations Charter Pell was first elected in 1960 upon the retirement of TF Green, after defeating both former Gov Dennis J Roberts and former US Attorney General J Howard McGrath in the Democratic primary election Senator Pell was considered eccentric by DC politicians due to his insistence on using only public transportation and low-cost automobiles, and supposed paranormal beliefs, and was often considered the least electable politician in Washington; however, Rhode Island would ultimately reelect him to the Senate 5 times Sen Pell is best remembered as the creator of "Basic Educational Opportunity Grants" in 1973 now known as Pell Grants that provide financial aid to American university students Pell was also largely responsible for the creation of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and was chairman of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations for 8 years later in his tenure Having served for 36 years upon his retirement, Claiborne Pell is the longest-serving US Senator in Rhode Island history

Return of Republicans and Rise of 3rd-Parties 1976-presentedit

Main articles: Rhode Island elections, 2014; United States House of Representatives elections in Rhode Island, 2012; United States presidential election in Rhode Island, 2012; and United States Senate election in Rhode Island, 2012

In his 36 years in the Senate, Claiborne Pell served alongside only 2 other US Senators from Rhode Island: John Pastore, and John Chafee, the first Republican US Senator from Rhode Island in 40 years, and a prominent Rockefeller Republican Chafee had previously served 3 two-year terms as governor in the 1960s; his administration was celebrated for championing public transportation and environmental conservation, but ended in a surprise reelection loss to Democrat Frank Licht after Chafee both reversed his anti-income tax stance and had to lessen his campaign efforts due to family matters Chafee first ran for the US Senate as a challenger Sen Claiborne Pell in 1972, but Pell held the seat by a result of 54%-46% However, Chafee ran again in 1976 to replace the retiring Sen John O Pastore and defeated Democrat Richard Lorber 58%-42% Sen Chafee broke with his own party on many issues, most notably on environmental issues, which Chafee made his main concern as a Senator Chafee authored the Coastal Barrier Resources Act that designated protected coastal areas that became ineligible to government development and was also instrumental to the passages of the Superfund program, the Clean Water Act and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, and later chaired the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Chafee was described as a moderate, but was among the most liberal US Senators on social issues during his time Upon his death in October 1999, Chafee was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton, and his son Lincoln Chafee was appointed to replace his father; the elder Chafee had already announced his plans to retire at the end of his term and the younger Chafee had already announced his plans to run to succeed him

Meanwhile, the Chafees' tenure in the US Senate corresponded to some return to Republicans holding major state offices in Rhode Island, although the Democrats always held their majority in both houses of the General Assembly In 1984, Republican Edward DiPrete was elected after Governor Garrahy's retirement and went on to serve 3 terms as governor despite the Democrats consistently holding over 85% of Assembly seats However, DiPrete was widely suspected of corruption and would later do time in prison for bribery, extortion, and racketeering, and ultimately lost in a landslide to Democrat Bruce Sundlun in 1990, the third time that Sundlun had challenged the incumbent DiPrete Sundlun immediately closed 45 banks and credit unions due to the collapse of the RI Share and Deposit Indemnity Corporation RISDIC under DiPrete Sundlun became a champion of improving infrastructure and tourism, working across the aisle with controversial Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci who would also later do time in prison for "racketeering conspiracy", ie running the city of Providence as a criminal enterprise to support the building of or improvement of key infrastructure such as the Rhode Island Convention Center, Quonset Air Museum, TF Green Airport, Providence Place Mall, and more The work of the Cianci and Sundlun administrations launched what became known as the city of Providence's "Renaissance" period in which infrastructure, the arts, and the economy were all booming Sundlun was the last Rhode Island governor to be elected to 2-year terms; beginning in 1994, governors and all other state offices would be elected for 4-year terms and limited to 2 such terms In a surprising upset, Gov Sundlun lost the 1994 Democratic primary to strongly liberal State Senator Myrth York, who was then defeated by Republican Lincoln Almond by a slim margin of 47%-44% in the general election 3rd-party activist Robert J Healey won 9% Beginning with York's loss in 1994, Democrats would go on to lose five consecutive gubernatorial elections, despite maintaining their supermajorities in both houses of the General Assembly and Rhode Island's 4 electoral votes always going to Democratic candidates in Presidential election years during those 20 years

Between Governor Almond and his successor, Gov Donald Carcieri, Republicans held the Rhode Island governorship for the longest period of time 16 years since the 19th century Gov Almond prioritized health care, making significant expansions to the public children's health care program Rite Care and making Rhode Island among the states with the highest percentage of people having health insurance Almond was also instrumental in the creation of the Community College of Rhode Island's Newport campus funded by a bond referendum passed with the Governor's support in 2000, and made major investments to improve and modernize the University of Rhode Island, his alma mater When Almond was term-limited in 2002, conservative businessman Donald Carcieri defeated party-endorsed Jim Bennett in the Republican primary and then defeated 3rd-time Democratic nominee Myrth York to become Almond's successor, and was thrust into the national spotlight early in his term by The Station nightclub fire of February 2003 Carcieri's governorship was characterized by conflicts with the General Assembly and organized labor, as Carcieri often attacked the state government's expansive welfare programs and history of corruption but could do little to enact changes due to the Democrat-controlled Assembly's ability to override his vetoes The Assembly also overrode Carcieri's vetoes of bills to legalize medical marijuana and make progress on LGBT civil rights issues The latter position was particularly controversial with Rhode Islanders; the year of Carcieri's first election, 2002, was also the year that Providence elected the first openly homosexual mayor of a US state capital, David Cicilline, in a landslide election, and Carcieri won reelection in 2006 against Lt Gov Charles J Fogarty by only 2 percentage points

Also in 2006, Sen Lincoln Chafee lost the seat that had been held by him or his father for 30 years Former State Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse defeated Chafee by a margin of 535%-465% in an election that was part of a national swing to a Democratic majority in both houses of the US Congress Chafee, one of the most left-of-center Senators at the time, later admitted that his loss to Whitehouse was good for the country since it helped give the majority to the Democrats,50 and Chafee later disaffiliated from the Republican Party and announced a run for governor for 2010

In the 2010 gubernatorial election, there were four major candidates: State Treasurer Frank T Caprio for the Democrats, John Robitaille for the Republicans, former Sen Lincoln Chafee as an independent, and businessman Ken Block, who had founded the Moderate Party of Rhode Island in 2009 to advocate for meaningful political, economic, and educational reform The Moderate Party's founding involved a court battle for official recognition that ended in the overturning of several laws that made it much easier for 3rd-party and independent candidates to gain ballot access in elections beginning in 2010 The 4-way race gained international attention when President Barack Obama, to whom Chafee has been a political ally, refused to endorse a candidate, and Caprio publicly told the President of the United States to "take his endorsement and really shove it"51 Caprio's remark was decried by most Rhode Islanders including fellow Democratic politicians such as Sen Jack Reed51 and hurt his campaign such that, despite being a Democrat in a heavily Democratic state, he ultimately placed third with just 23% of the vote Chafee won the race with 36%, just about 25 percentage points more than Robitaille, while Block earned 65%, enough to gain major party status for the Moderate Party Chafee became Rhode Island's first independent governor since the 18th century He also immediately proved to be a very unpopular governor, likely owing to the fact that 64% of Rhode Islanders voted for someone else Chafee's approval ratings fell further when he proposed a variety of tax increases, and he stirred up national controversy when he stood by his decision to refer to the annual State House Christmas tree as a "Holiday Tree" in the name of separation of church and state Among Gov Chafee's accomplishments was passing LGBT marriage equality

Also in 2010, Providence Mayor David Cicilline won the District 1 House of Representatives seat being vacated by retiring Rep Patrick J Kennedy, and fellow Democrat Angel Taveras won the election to succeed Cicilline as Mayor in a landslide Shortly after taking office in 2011, Taveras discovered that he had inherited over $180 million in debt that Cicilline had largely hidden from the public through what was described by Providence City Council Finance Chairman John Igliozzi as "illusory revenue, borrowing and other tricks"52 Cicilline's approval ratings just a few months after winning federal office went below 20% as the vast majority of voters blamed Cicilline for the city's financial woes,52 which ultimately required controversial austerity-like measures to prevent the city of Providence from declaring bankruptcy Rep Cicilline was also accused by District 2 Rep James Langevin of gerrymandering by tampering with the regular redrawing of district lines to ensure his own reelection in 2012, which, despite the controversies, Cicilline did win with 53% of the vote

In 2014, Governor Chafee, having officially joined the Democratic Party in 2013 and facing massive unpopularity and likely primary challengers, chose not to run for reelection The primaries in both parties were hotly contested: on the Democratic side, venture capitalist and State Treasurer Gina Raimondo, perceived as a fiscally center-right frontrunner, defeated Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and Clay Pell grandson of the late Sen Pell after unions and other liberals divided almost evenly between the 2 more liberal challengers, while on the Republican side, Moderate Party founder Ken Block left his own party to run as a Republican, only to be defeated in the primary by conservative Cranston Mayor Allan Fung Without Block, the Moderate Party had nominated James Spooner for governor, but when he became severely ill, Robert J Healey, who had previously run for governor or lieutenant governor 6 times on the platform of his own "Cool Moose Party," was announced as the substitute nominee with less than 2 months until election day Spending less than $40 in total and campaigning mostly through social media, a blog, and organizing charity fundraisers, Healey's "guerrilla campaign" stunned pundits and pollsters by winning 22% of the vote and even winning pluralities in a few towns Ultimately, however, Raimondo defeated Fung to become Rhode Island's first female governor by a margin of 40%-36%

Meanwhile, the election to replace Taveras as Mayor of Providence saw former Mayor and convicted felon Buddy Cianci attempt to return to politics The race was seen by many as a referendum on Cianci's legacy,53 with supporters pointing to the improved infrastructure, city parks, arts scene, and other gains associated with the city's "Renaissance" during Cianci's time as Mayor, while detractors pointed to Cianci's history of violent, criminal behavior and frank, less-than-remorseful admissions to using "public power for personal reasons"54 In a rare move into municipal politics, President Obama publicly endorsed Cianci's little-known Democratic challenger, Jorge Elorza, as did Sen Sheldon Whitehouse, who, as a US Attorney, oversaw the investigation that led to Cianci's racketeering charges and eventual convictionin 2002 Even the Republican nominee for Mayor, Dan Harrop, urged citizens to vote for his Democratic opponent Elorza, citing concerns that Cianci would not have the city's best interests at heart5453 Ultimately, Elorza proved victorious by a margin of 53%-44% over Cianci It was the first election that Cianci has ever lost53

Democratic Partyedit

Main article: Rhode Island Democratic Party

The Rhode Island Democratic Party is the affiliate of the Democratic Party in the state of Rhode Island Edwin R Pacheco is the chairman of the Party For the past five decades, the Democratic Party has dominated politics in Rhode Island The article further discusses the Democratic Party's dominance in Rhode Island politics as well as the elected officials, party leadership and staff, past election results, legislation, and also issue stance

Moderate Partyedit

Main article: Moderate Party of Rhode Island

The Moderate Party of Rhode Island is the third-largest contemporary political party in the US state of Rhode Island, after the Democratic Party and the Republican Party The Moderate Party of Rhode Island gained official party status and ballot access via a federal lawsuit and the gathering of 34,000 signatures on August 18, 200955

Republican Partyedit

Main article: Rhode Island Republican Party

The Rhode Island Republican Party is the affiliate of the United States Republican Party in Rhode Island Brandon Bell is the Party Chairman; Executive Director is vacant

The Republican Party was formed by former northern anti-slavery Whigs, Democrats, and other northern politicians56 The anti-slavery Republicans absorbed most of the American Party, Whigs, the Know-Nothings and Unionists by 185757

Minor partiesedit

Constitution Partyedit

Main article: Constitution Party United States

Cool Moose Partyedit

Main article: Cool Moose Party

Green Partyedit

Main article: Green Party of Rhode Island

Libertarian Partyedit

Main article: Libertarian Party of Rhode Island

Natural Law Partyedit

Main article: Natural Law Party United States

Reform Partyedit

Main article: Reform Party of the United States of America

Socialist Partyedit

Main article: Socialist Party USA

Defunct partiesedit

Country Partyedit

Main article: Country Party Rhode Island

Federalist Partyedit

Main article: Federalist Party

Democratic-Republican Partyedit

Main article: Democratic-Republican Party

People's Partyedit

Law and Order Partyedit

Main article: Law and Order Party of Rhode Island

Whig Partyedit

Main article: Whig Party United States

Native American Party "Know Nothings"edit

Main article: Know Nothing

Constitutional Union Party "Unionists"edit

Main article: Constitutional Union Party United States

Referencesedit

  1. ^ Goodnough, Abby 2008-03-01 "In ’08 Politics, Rhode Island Defies Its Size - New York Times" Rhode Island: Nytimescom Retrieved 2012-11-07 
  2. ^ "Rhode Island declares independence" Historycom This Day in History A&E Television Networks, LLC Retrieved 8 December 2012 
  3. ^ "The 13th State: Rhode Island" Ratification of the US Constitution LibGuides at Rhode Island College Retrieved 8 December 2012 
  4. ^ a b "List of Governors" A guide to the state of Rhode Island TheUS50com Retrieved 8 December 2012 
  5. ^ "Joseph IV STANTON" Infopleasecom Pearson Education Retrieved 8 December 2012 
  6. ^ a b "William BRADFORD" Infopleasecom Pearson Education Retrieved 8 December 2012 
  7. ^ "1824 Presidential General Election Results - Rhode Island" David Leip Retrieved 8 December 2012 
  8. ^ "1828 Presidential General Election Results - Rhode Island" David Leip Retrieved 8 December 2012 
  9. ^ "ROBBINS, Asher - Biographical Information" Biographical Directory of the United States Congress Retrieved 8 December 2012 
  10. ^ "KNIGHT, Nehemiah Rice" Biographical Directory of the United States Congress Retrieved 8 December 2012 
  11. ^ "Rhode Island Governors" Rhode Island Lost Souls Genealogy Project Diane Siniard Retrieved 8 December 2012 
  12. ^ "1840 Presidential General Election Results - Rhode Island" David Leip Retrieved 8 December 2012 
  13. ^ "1844 Presidential General Election Results - Rhode Island" David Leip Retrieved 8 December 2012 
  14. ^ "1848 Presidential General Election Results - Rhode Island" David Leip Retrieved 8 December 2012 
  15. ^ a b c "Dorr, Thomas Wilson" Infopleasecom Pearson Education Retrieved 8 December 2012 
  16. ^ a b c "Rebellion, Murder, and Voting Rights in Rhode Island" Searching Historical Horizons Retrieved 8 December 2012 
  17. ^ a b "Voting Rights and the Dorr Rebellion" Woonsocket Retrieved 8 December 2012 
  18. ^ a b "Rhode Island Governors 1640 - Present" The Office of the Secretary of State of Rhode Island Retrieved 11 December 2012 
  19. ^ a b "Congressional Biographical Directory" Retrieved 11 December 2012 
  20. ^ "Political Party Timeline: 1836-64" The American Experience WGBH Education Foundation Retrieved 16 December 2012 
  21. ^ "RI Governor Race - Apr 01, 1857" Our Campaigns Retrieved 16 December 2012 
  22. ^ "RI US Senate Race - Jan 09, 1857" Our Campaigns Retrieved 16 December 2012 
  23. ^ Leip, Dave "Dave Leip's Atlas of US Presidential Elections" Retrieved 16 December 2012 
  24. ^ "What Is the Constitutional Union Party" wiseGEEK Conjecture Corporation Retrieved 16 December 2012 
  25. ^ a b "SPRAGUE, William" Biographical Directory of the United States Congress Retrieved 16 December 2012 
  26. ^ "Ambrose Everett BURNSIDE" Infopleasecom Pearson Education Retrieved 16 December 2012 
  27. ^ "ANTHONY, Henry Bowen" Biographical Directory of the United States Congress Retrieved 1 January 2013 
  28. ^ Bennett, Laurie "The Chafees, the Tafts and the family business" Muckety Muckety LLC Retrieved 1 January 2013 
  29. ^ "Alfred Henry Littlefield" National Governors Association Retrieved 1 January 2013 
  30. ^ a b "John William Davis" National Governors Association Retrieved 1 January 2013 
  31. ^ Manning, Lucinda "Records of the League of Women Voters of Rhode Island" Rhode Island Historical Society - Manuscripts Division Retrieved 1 January 2013 
  32. ^ "Governor Lucius FC Garvin, MD, Inducted 2008" Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame Media Conscious Retrieved 1 January 2013 
  33. ^ "Garvin for Presidency: Boom for Rhode Island's Democratic Governor is Started" New York Times December 12, 1903 p 1  Check date values in: |year= / |date= mismatch help
  34. ^ D'Amato, Don "Warwick's powerful politicians: Charles R Brayton, the "blind" boss" Warwick Beacon Beacon Communications Retrieved 6 January 2013 
  35. ^ "Chapter 7" Retrieved 6 January 2013 
  36. ^ "SHERIFF DEFIES GOVERNOR'S ORDER; White Will Not Oust Gen Brayton, and Says Higgins Is Insolent A QUESTION OF LOBBYING Rhode Island Executive Declares the General Is Notoriously Corrupt" The New York Times 10 March 1907 Retrieved 6 January 2013 
  37. ^ "BRAYTON, THE BLIND BOSS OF RHODE ISLAND; Downfall of Republican Leader in Smallest New England State Ends a Picturesque Personality In Ways That Resemble Those for Which "Old Hickory" Was Famous He Has Been Sustained" The New York Times 14 July 1907 Retrieved 6 January 2013 
  38. ^ "Aram Pothier" National Governors Association Retrieved 9 January 2013 
  39. ^ "RI Governor Race - Nov 08, 1932" Our Campaigns Retrieved 9 January 2013 
  40. ^ "RI US Senate Race - Nov 06, 1934" Our Campaigns Retrieved 9 January 2013 
  41. ^ a b c Nesi, Ted "New Year’s Day marks 78 years since RI ‘Bloodless Revolution’" WPRIcom WPRI Retrieved 9 January 2013 
  42. ^ "RISK, Charles Francis - Biographical Information" Biographical Directory of the United States Congress Retrieved 9 January 2013 
  43. ^ "Governor of Rhode Island testifies before Senate Wire Tapping committee Washington, DC, May 28" Library of Congress Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Retrieved 9 January 2013 
  44. ^ "RI District 01 Race - Nov 05, 1940" Our Campaigns Retrieved 9 January 2013 
  45. ^ "RI District 02 Race - Nov 05, 1940" Our Campaigns Retrieved 9 January 2013 
  46. ^ "RI US Senate Race - Nov 05, 1940" Our Campaigns Retrieved 9 January 2013 
  47. ^ "GREEN, Theodore Francis" Biographical Directory of the United States Congress Retrieved 15 January 2013 
  48. ^ "McGRATH, James Howard" Biographical Directory of the United States Congress Retrieved 15 January 2013 
  49. ^ Marcus, Truman and the Steel Seizure Case: The Limits of Presidential Power, 1977, p 35-36
  50. ^ Antle III, W James 27 August 2007 "A Laffey Matter" The American Spectator The American Spectator Retrieved 12 May 2015 
  51. ^ a b "Frank Caprio: Obama can 'take his endorsement and shove it'" The Daily Mail 25 October 2010 Retrieved 12 May 2015 
  52. ^ a b Isenstadt, Alex 29 March 2011 "Rhode Island's David Cicilline under fire" POLITICOcom POLITICO LLC Retrieved 12 May 2015 
  53. ^ a b c Herbst-Bayliss, Svea 4 November 2014 "Buddy Cianci loses bid to govern Providence, RI, for a third time" Reuters Retrieved 15 May 2015 
  54. ^ a b Smith, Michelle R 5 October 2014 "Ex-Mayor Cianci's legacy debated amid comeback bid" Washington Times Retrieved 15 May 2015 
  55. ^ "Moderate Party" RI onPolitix LIN Media Retrieved 14 October 2012 
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  57. ^ http://ehisebscohostcom/eds/detailsid=54d7a4ad-6f2b-4c30ad3f8dd180c36628%40sessionmgr113&vid=3&hid=101&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#db=funk&AN=RH040700

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