Typically, the headlines have been about endorsements and policy statements. Then, of course, there are candidates’ accusations about opponents. Lots of claims, lots of noise. But what isn’t typical, is one candidate being arrested in Ohio, and the FBI investigating what has been labeled a “controversial education contract.”

FBI reported investigation education contract

This week it was reported on television news that Governor Dan McKee’s close associate is under federal investigation for a “controversial education contract.” And Republicans and Democrats have been quick to seize the moment.

Both Channels 10 and 12 were reporting that federal authorities are involved in an investigation of a controversial contract that Gov. Dan McKee’s administration awarded to ILO Group, worth up to $5.2 million. ILO group, a consulting firm, was formed two days after McKee took office.

Rhode Island Republican Chairwoman Sue Cienki released the following statement:

“Governor Dan McKee is simply another corrupt entrenched politician that is more interested in lining the pockets of his close associates than helping struggling Rhode Islanders,” said Rhode Island Republican Party Chairwoman Sue Cienki. “We deserve a leader that will address the pocket-book issues affecting hard-working families across our state. We need a leader with a bold vision that will transform our economy, not another corrupt politician.”

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Helena Buonanno Foulkes, the former CVS executive, called it a matter of trust.

“For many Rhode Islanders, this story feels all too familiar—yet another career politician finds himself in the shadow of an FBI investigation,” Foulkes said. “Once again, Dan McKee has shown that he cares more about enriching his well-connected friends than serving the people of our state. How can Rhode Islanders possibly trust him now?”

Congressional candidate arrested in Ohio

Michael Neary, a former staffer for Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich, apparently was back in Ohio recently, where he was reportedly arrested for stalking and drug charges in Elizabeth, Ohio. He apparently pled not guilty to charges of stalking and possession of marijuana and marijuana drug paraphernalia. He apparently gave his address as an apartment in Columbus, Ohio, although he is also alleged to have told police he was a candidate for office in Rhode Island. 

WhatsUpNewp has reached out to Neary for comment.

Utility Workers Endorse Magaziner

Local 310 Brotherhood of Utility Workers endorsed General Treasurer and congressional candidate Seth Magaziner. Phil Fogarty, the union’s president, called Magaziner “a voice for working people.”

Magaziner is enjoying widespread support in the labor community. Previously the Rhode Island AFL-CIO, Rhode Island Building & Construction Trades Council, Rhode Island Laborers’ District Council, United Nurses and Allied Professionals endorsed him, Ironworkers Local 37, Unite Here Local 26, Carpenters 330, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 51, Sheetmetal Workers Local 17, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, and Teamsters Local 251. 

‘Heard it on the grapevine’

Some interesting talk among political insiders about not released to the public polling,

According to rumors, polling in the Democratic primary election has Gov. McKee in the lead, with his biggest competitor, Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea. Helena Folks, who announced late in the year, was polling in single digits, according to sources. We are not sure when the poll was actually taken.

This same insider said Gorbea, as expected, benefited the most from General Treasurer Seth Magaziner’s decision to leave the gubernatorial race for the congressional race, with many of his supporters moving into Gorbea’s camp.

Speaking of Magaziner, this same insider said a poll in the second congressional district has former Cranston Mayor Allan Fung leading Magaziner. Fung’s main support comes from Cranston and Warwick.

Frank Prosnitz

Frank Prosnitz brings to WhatsUpNewp several years in journalism, including 10 as editor of the Providence (RI) Business News and 14 years as a reporter and bureau manager at the Providence (RI) Journal. Prosnitz began his journalism career as a sportswriter at the Asbury Park (NJ) Press, moving to The News Tribune (Woodbridge, NJ), before joining the Providence Journal. Prosnitz hosts the Morning Show on WLBQ radio (Westerly), 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, and It’s Your Business, also on WBLQ, Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Prosnitz has twice won Best in Business Awards from the national Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW), twice was named Media Advocate of the Year by the Small Business Administration, won an investigative reporter’s award from the New England Press Association, and newswriting award from the Rhode Island Press Association.