Rhode Island Politics and Government

By Maureen Moakley; Elmer Cornwell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER ONE
Rhode Island in Transition

Nowhere have the results of a betrayal of trust, and the unethical conduct it manifests, been more devastating than here in Rhode Island. In recent months, the very civility that in the past insured reasonable public discourse has been lost as the intensity of the anger and despair some … feel grows over their government's failure to perform its duties and keep faith with the people.

Ethics Task Force, 1991

Rhode Islanders are increasingly pleased with the way things are going in the state. Eighty-three percent of voters believe the state is headed in the right direction, while 10 percent think it is on the wrong track. That is the highest 'right track' rating Rhode Island voters have given in any Brown [University] poll in at least a decade.

Darrell West, 1999

The first day of January 1991 marked a watershed in Rhode Island politics. On that brilliantly sunny day, Democrat Bruce Sundlun was sworn in as governor, succeeding a three-term Republican, Edward DiPrete. In a state that generally votes Democratic, such an event might appear to be politics as usual. But two other events of that day signaled a critical shift in the character of Rhode Island politics and marked the beginning of a transition, the effects of which are still unfolding.

The first involved a banking crisis of massive fiscal and political proportions The pageantry of the inaugural was cut short so that the newly elected governor could hold a news conference. He declared the first “bank holiday” since 1933, closing thirty-five credit unions and ten banks. The Rhode Island Share and Deposit Indemnity Corporation (risdic), a private insurance corporation under the supervision of the Department of Business

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Rhode Island Politics and Government
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Series Preface xi
  • Authors' Preface xiii
  • Rhode Island Politics and Government *
  • Chapter One - Rhode Island in Transition 1
  • Chapter Two - Political Culture in the Ocean State 19
  • Chapter Three - Rhode Island and the Federal System 36
  • Chapter Four - The Constitution 50
  • Chapter Five - The General Assembly 65
  • Chapter Six - The Executive and the Administration 84
  • Chapter Seven - The Courts 108
  • Chapter Eight - Political Parties 125
  • Chapter Nine - Interest and Group Representation 144
  • Chapter Ten - Budget Politics and Policy 163
  • Chapter Eleven - The Politics of Education 178
  • Chapter Twelve - Local Government 196
  • Epilogue 213
  • General Resources 219
  • Notes 225
  • Index 241
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