Completely happy Saturday! Right here’s one other version of my weekend column for WPRI.com — as all the time, ship your takes, suggestions and trial balloons to firstname.lastname@example.org and comply with me on Twitter and on Fb.
1. The overall treasurer’s workplace might not be the sexiest arm of Rhode Island authorities, however in recent times it’s been a high-profile springboard for a collection of formidable Democrats — Frank Caprio, Gina Raimondo, and now Seth Magaziner. So it’s considerably stunning that this 12 months’s election to succeed Magaziner drew simply two Democratic candidates, James Diossa and Stefan Pryor, together with Republican James Lathrop. Diossa and Pryor met Friday in our WPRI 12 studios for his or her first TV debate, and so they have been largely aligned on the problems. Each gave Magaziner an “A” for his tenure (although Pryor, not like Diossa, wouldn’t give Raimondo the identical grade, as an alternative providing simply “excessive marks”). Each mentioned they need to proceed the present treasurer’s funding strategy. Each assist freezing annual pension COLAs till the fund hits 80%. Thus a lot of the distinction between the previous mayor and former commerce secretary comes right down to type, temperament and expertise. “All he did was wine and dine with CEOs and lower offers,” Diossa mentioned. “I needed to handle a pension that actually impacted individuals, comparable to firefighters and law enforcement officials.” Pryor countered: “The final word resolution was giving up the system and giving it away to the state. As state treasurer, you don’t have an possibility like that.” The race is tough to handicap. There was no polling within the major thus far, and each candidates have been choosing up endorsements. Pryor is build up a monetary benefit, which may enable him to go up with TV promoting earlier than Diossa. However as with different down-ballot races, voters are unlikely to tune in till late. And Lathrop, the GOP contender, has made clear he’s planning an actual marketing campaign this fall.
2. Talking of the overall treasurer’s workplace, how is the state pension fund doing amid the present market turmoil? The newest report from the State Funding Fee reveals the fund was down 1% within the 2021-22 fiscal 12 months, which the treasurer’s workplace argues compares favorably with the 11% decline within the S&P 500 index over the identical time interval. “Beneath Treasurer Magaziner’s ‘Again to Fundamentals’ funding technique, Rhode Island continues to steer the nation in pension efficiency,” mentioned Treasury spokesperson Ben Smith. However the fund definitely hasn’t been immune from the ache different traders are feeling. Its whole worth was $9.9 billion as of June 30, down from the all-time excessive of $10.8 billion on the finish of final 12 months.
3. Within the race for governor, Democrat Nellie Gorbea made up for final week’s quiet stretch with loads of information this week. On Monday, Gorbea released an inner survey from late final month displaying her main Dan McKee 27% to 22% amongst major voters, hours earlier than new finance experiences confirmed she raised practically as a lot cash because the incumbent in the course of the second quarter. She additionally launched a brand new TV advert, modeled on the buzzy one which helped her win in 2014, and launched a string of endorsements, together with one from the AFT academics union. McKee continued an aggressive schedule of public occasions organized by the governor’s workplace, together with rolling out the $250 youngster tax credit score that can hit dad and mom’ financial institution accounts this fall. He additionally scooped extra union endorsements, together with from Council 94, the largest union of state workers. Helena Foulkes noticed her money benefit over McKee and Gorbea vanish after spending $1.4 million in the course of the second quarter, although she continued to boost considerably more cash than them. Foulkes introduced a plan to revamp the CRMC, and joined Gorbea in criticizing McKee for refusing to launch subpoenas issued to his workplace within the ILO probe. Matt Brown educated his fireplace on Gorbea — his personal one-time deputy within the secretary of state’s workplace — for taking a donation linked to fossil fuels, and argued his fundraising is choosing up tempo. Republican Ashley Kalus reported $1.1 million readily available, extra proof she plans to noticeably problem the eventual Democratic nominee come the autumn. And all of the candidates participated in two issues-oriented boards — Patrick Anderson has a recap of the Environmental Council discussion board right here, and Ed Fitzpatrick has a recap of the Senior Agenda Coalition discussion board right here.
4. Meals for thought: the candidates for governor have confronted nearly no destructive adverts thus far this 12 months. What occurs when the campaigns — and out of doors teams — begin to throw haymakers?
5. Will there be any extra debates for lieutenant governor earlier than the Democratic major? Unlikely. Deb Ruggiero introduced Friday that after taking part in our WPRI 12 debate final week, incumbent Sabina Matos has declined to simply accept invites to 2 others. “The voters should know what the lieutenant governor has executed and what the following lieutenant governor will do to make that workplace work for the individuals,” Ruggiero mentioned. “That is yet one more instance of the McKee-Matos ticket making an attempt to shortchange voters.” Matos spokesperson Mike Raia hit again, saying, “It’s not a shock that Consultant Ruggiero needs a do-over on the talk stage after she was uncovered for being ineffective and out-of-touch within the WPRI debate.” Calling Matos “probably the most seen and simplest lieutenant governor in current reminiscence,” Raia mentioned, “Sabina has a full schedule as an energetic lieutenant governor and sadly we weren’t capable of coordinate her schedule for added debates.” Matos and her advisers clearly see little upside in serving to Ruggerio and Cynthia Mendes get further turns within the highlight. They released an inner marketing campaign ballot from July displaying Matos 14 factors forward of the opposite two — albeit with 44% of voters undecided — and he or she has $316,000 in her marketing campaign account, greater than twice as a lot as Ruggiero.
6. Over within the 2nd Congressional District, Seth Magaziner began placing his huge monetary benefit to work on TV, launching an introductory marketing campaign spot that prominently options his child field Max. As major rival Pleasure Fox identified, the advert additionally reveals Magaziner in entrance of another person’s home, since he lives within the 1st District. (A spokesperson informed me the pictures “have been filmed at a longtime supporter’s house in West Warwick.”) With lower than six weeks to go earlier than the first election, the Democratic contest stays surprisingly sleepy, with none of Magaziner’s occasion rivals airing commercials or holding information conferences. Sarah Morgenthau did make a notable transfer, asserting veteran political strategist Kate Coyne McCoy as her marketing campaign chair, whereas David Segal introduced an endorsement from actress Jane Fonda. However many Democrats are already viewing Magaziner’s nomination as a fait accompli, and searching on to what they nonetheless count on to be a aggressive fall struggle in opposition to Republican Allan Fung. One factor the Fung marketing campaign doesn’t need to talk about: the go to to Rhode Island deliberate by Home GOP Chief Kevin McCarthy, as reported by Punchbowl Information. His spokesperson has refused to reply questions on McCarthy’s journey for the final week.
7. Lawmakers making headlines for the flawed causes … three Normal Meeting incumbents have now been fined for marketing campaign finance violations: GOP Sens. Tom Paolino and Elaine Morgan and Democratic Rep. Ramon Perez … Pawtucket Rep. Carlos Tobon was noticed at a prestigious legislative convention in Denver final weekend regardless of successfully abandoning his seat after our Might investigation.
8. The altering of the guard is official in Rhode Island’s Senate GOP caucus, with the announcement Tuesday that up-and-coming North Smithfield Republican Jessica de la Cruz is succeeding her retiring Westerly colleague Dennis Algiere as minority chief. (Gordon Rogers of Foster will take over as minority whip.) It’s the primary time Senate Republicans might be underneath new management in a quarter-century, and the primary time a lady has held the job since Lila Sapinsley. Will probably be fascinating to see how de la Cruz makes use of her new energy subsequent 12 months, since she is extra conservative and extra pugnacious than Algiere.
9. Friday’s surprisingly (problematically?) sturdy U.S. jobs report bolstered the notion that America is having financial issues, however not essentially a recession. That’s the view of JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, who sat down with me one-on-one Wednesday at his financial institution’s glossy new department in Olneyville to debate the financial system and Chase’s enlargement domestically. “If it’s a recession, it’s not what I name a ‘regular recession,’” Dimon informed me. “It doesn’t imply we received’t have an actual one down the highway. However I wouldn’t name this a ‘regular’ recession proper now.” Our full interview might be airing on subsequent week’s version of Newsmakers.
10. How instances change. R.I. Superior Courtroom Decide Netti Vogel introduced her retirement this week, and in a valedictory interview with Tim White, she recalled that ladies made up solely 10% of her law-school graduating class and held solely three judgeships when Governor Sundlun appointed her to the bench. “It was a little bit of a girls’s motion in influencing me [to enter the law] and believing something was potential,” she mentioned, including, “I believed I may actually obtain no matter I wished to do.”
11. How did Gina Raimondo and her administration colleagues safe passage of the $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act? The AP’s Josh Boak has a captivating tick-tock right here.
12. Relaxation in peace, Mayor Doorley. Learn the remembrances from Dan McGowan and Mark Patinkin.
13. Good piece from Roll Name’s Kate Ackley: inflation isn’t only a a marketing campaign situation — it’s additionally a difficulty for marketing campaign budgets.
14. Your folks such as you greater than you suppose they do — it’s science!
15. I’m beginning to get fairly enthusiastic about when Apple upgrades us all to iOS 16.
16. Monday is Victory Day in Rhode Island — and solely in Rhode Island. Right here’s why.
17. Set your DVRs: This week on Newsmakers — a Democratic common treasurer debate between James Diossa and Stefan Pryor. Watch Sunday at 5:30 a.m. on WPRI 12 or 10 a.m. on Fox Windfall, or hear on the radio Sundays at 6 p.m. on WPRO. It’s also possible to subscribe to Newsmakers as a podcast on iTunes (or wherever you get your podcasts). See you again right here subsequent Saturday.
Ted Nesi (email@example.com) is a Goal 12 investigative reporter and 12 Information politics/enterprise editor. He co-hosts Newsmakers and writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays. Join with him on Twitter and Fb