Category Structure of Government

The “Stop Guilt by Accusation Act” Episode Demonstrates Everything Wrong About the Legislative Process in RI

The way legislation gets passed in Rhode Island is deeply dysfunctional.

Abolish Rhode Island’s General Officers

Creating a collegial executive could make Rhode Island’s government more responsive to all of its people.

Can Term Limits Save Rhode Islander Democracy?

One of the ideas I’ve seen thrown out in the wake of Speaker Fox being charged and pleading guilty for “bribery, wire fraud and filing a false tax return,” is the idea of term limits for state legislators. But there’s a reason I didn’t include it in my last post. Reflexively, it seems like a good idea. […]

Ways We Might Lessen General Assembly Corruption in RI

With the news finally out about what lead to Speaker Fox’s sudden resignation after the raid on his office, now might be the time to take measures to reduce public corruption. Now, I’ve publicly taken the stance before that corruption in Rhode Island is not as excessive as some would portray it; but I also […]

RI Governance: A Matter of Structure or Personnel?

Katie Mulvaney got some play with this article in PolitiFact RI assessing Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s claim that the Rhode Island legislature is one of the most powerful state legislatures in the country. It’s a fascinating article, mainly focused around one point: Rhode Island has a weak executive relative to the rest of the states. Whether or not you agree […]

The “Solution” to Gerrymandering

Some people highlighted Alex Krogh-Grabbe’s maps of the Providence mayoral primary but of far more interest to me was this earlier post on algorithmic redistricting. In the original Wonkblog post from which Krogh-Grabbe draws from, they highlight the work of Massachusetts software engineer Brain Olson who created a program that creates “optimally compact” districts. Wonkblog titles […]

15 Counties in America Have More Municipalities Than Rhode Island

There are decent reasons to consider consolidation of cities and towns in Rhode Island. We can talk about better delivery of services, cost-savings, greater efficiency, the whole lot. But when the idea for cities and towns to be reduced gets trotted out, sometimes supporters are reduced to the pathetic whine of “39 cities and towns […]

The Last Guy to Become Governor of RI after Being Lt. Governor [UPDATED]

Was this guy: That’s J. Joseph Garrahy, who became Governor after serving eight years as Lieutenant Governor. Of course, back then, that meant he had been President of the Rhode Island Senate for eight years, with two different governors serving over him (Licht and Noel). Garrahy became governor over Cranston Mayor James Taft, the Republican (likely […]