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Rhode Island Tip Sheet: Roberts rising

January 13, 2011

STATE OF THE STATE: What a difference three years makes for Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts. During the so-called December debacle of 2007, she learned from the media that Governor Carcieri was in Iraq (and she got dissed by Carcieri and some Dems in the run-up to last November’s election). By contast, during this week’s snowstorm, Roberts was at Governor Chafee’s side during a state EMA briefing. A week earlier, she cheered Chafee’s undoing of Carcieri’s so-called E-verify executive order. And thanks to an executive order signed today by Chafee, Roberts will have an important high-profile role in chairing the RI Healthcare Reform Commission. So what’s her next move, considering all this bonhomie with the gov and how she’s tight with Scott Avedisian?

TEA PARTY RAVE: Roberts and Secretary of State Ralph Mollis were among those surrounding Chafee when he rescinded the E-verify order at the International Institute. Meanwhile, Meanwhile, AG Peter Kilmartin this week won plaudits from the RI Tea Party for his support of “Secure Communities.” While prosecutors have a generally conservative constituency in law enforcement, Kilmartin is now arguably the most conservative of the state’s five general officers. (Speaking of AGs, move over Patrick Lynch. Glenn Beck likes Spider-Man.)

OBAMA REAX: Marc Comtois says the president’s address on the Arizona rampage was spot-on . . . . Nate Silver calls it one of Obama’s best moments . . . . Politico says the president took the opportunity missed by Sarah Palin.

GAY MARRIAGE: The National Organization for Marriage-Rhode Island, after some initial spelling problems, is using a TV ad campaign to call for a statewide vote on same-sex marriage. The main argument is how Chafee won his office with just 36 percent of the vote. Proponents can point to the growing acceptance for same-sex rights, as seen as by the abolition of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. On a related note, GOP lawmakers in New Hampshire say they’re not planning to repeal that state”s same-sex marriage law, focusing instead on jobs and the economy.

CULTURE: Have those droll Xtranormal videos jumped the shark when Geico is using them?

CHARTER SCHOOLS: There might be some glimmers of where the state is headed when the Board of Regents for Elemetary and Secondary Education holds hearings tonight (5 pm, Providence Public Library, main branch) and January 20 (5 pm, CCRI Warwick).

COURTS: Ed Fitzpatrick says the federal court seat sought by Jack McConnell has been vacant for too long.

PROVIDENCE STUFF: Mayor Angel Taveras is appointing Myrth York to another term, through 2016, of chairing the city’s ZBA . . .  Councilmen Miguel Luna and Luis Aponte are calling for a report on the accident during the January 3 council inaugural that injured Councilwoman Sabina Matos’s 10-month-old daughter . . . . the city is moving ahead (see item No. 32) with a Taveras-backed plan to bolster green efficiency and offer budget enhancements by issuing up to $35 million in bonds.

CITIES AND TOWNS: Dan Beardsley, executive director of the RI League of Cities and Towns, guests this week on WRNI’s Political Roundtable. Tune in tomorrow at 5:40/7:40 am, or online.

GREAT NORTH: Vicki Kennedy‘s decision not to run sets off a scramble among Dems to take on Scott Brown.

MEDIA: A first look at Rupert Murdoch’s tablet newspaper.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Jan Malik to join House Finance Committee. UPDATE: Scott Slater, too. UPDATE II: And Joy Hearn.

SNOW CLEANUP: Nesi wonders whether elected officials get preferential treatment.

BIRTHDAY: Charlie Kroll.

If you don’t want to receive Tip Sheet – or want to add your name to our e-mail list – drop me a line: idonnis (at) WRNI (dot) org.

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