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R.I. soda pop presidential poll: A preference of politics or palate? – The Boston Globe

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R.I. soda pop presidential poll: A preference of politics or palate? – The Boston Globe


As the summer simmers across much of the country, it’s enough to make almost anyone thirsty.

For this week’s Rhode Island Report podcast, host Edward Fitzpatrick headed to North Providence, where Yacht Club Soda has recently launched its latest Soda Pop Poll from its bottling works in Centerdale.

It’s a rematch pitting Donald’s Trumpian Punch against Joe’s Bidenomics Berry.

Every soda sold is a vote for that candidate to become the “President of Soda Pop.”

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Owner John Sgambato said he’s the third generation to own and operate the family business, Yacht Club Bottling Works, in the North Providence village of Centerdale.Edward Fitzpatrick / Globe Staff

To cool down on a hot day, Ed wanted to know, do customers reach for the red bottle or the blue bottle based on politics, or flavor?

Owner John Sgambato told the Globe that the raspberry-forward red fruit punch has been a strong candidate during the last two presidential elections. So this year, the family-owned business has ramped up the blueberry-raspberry flavor of the blue berry beverage, so it’s on par with the punch, Sgambato said.

But what if neither is up to your taste?

In the 2020 Soda Pop Poll, 11 percent went independent. That reflects customers who opted for the Gaspee Point Berrymelon Rebellion, a seasonal flavor that Yacht Club Soda brings back every summer, an homage to the Rhode Islanders who burned the schooner HMS Gaspee in 1772 leading up to the American Revolution.

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“We use that as our independent vote because it’s a rebellion, like the Independence of Rhode Island,” Sgambato said.

Results of the 2024 Soda Pop Poll will be released in the fall.


To get the latest episode each week, follow Rhode Island Report podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other podcasting platforms, or listen in the player above.


maria caporizzo can be reached at maria.caporizzo@globe.com. Follow her @mariacap.





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Rhode Island

Republican National Convention launches Monday amid some grumbling over abortion stance • Rhode Island Current

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Republican National Convention launches Monday amid some grumbling over abortion stance • Rhode Island Current


WASHINGTON — Thousands of Republicans will gather in Milwaukee, Wisconsin beginning Monday for the party’s presidential nominating convention — an opportunity for the GOP to showcase its candidates up and down the ballot and unify behind Donald Trump.

The RNC released its trimmed-down party platform the week prior to the convention, after foregoing one entirely in 2020. And while many Republicans in Congress said during interviews they either support it, or hadn’t read it, some were critical it adopts Trump’s position that abortion access be left up to states — one of the top issues in the presidential race.

The platform wraps in traditional party goals as well as others tied to Trump. But it also competes with attention drawn to the Heritage Foundation’s massive far-right Project 2025 policy agenda, which Trump has repeatedly disavowed.

Democrats and President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign have targeted the Project 2025 document spearheaded by former Trump administration officials — which says the president should work with Congress on abortion policy — as an example of an extreme GOP agenda.

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The Heritage Foundation is scheduled to host an all-day “policy fest” on Monday at the RNC Convention, headlined by conservative media personality Tucker Carlson and former Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz, among others.

The RNC convention could also be the showcase for Trump announcing his running mate, after months of speculation about who would get the nod. As of Friday, Trump had not revealed his pick, though speculation centered around Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.

There was also little information available ahead of the convention as to the lineup and schedule of speakers in official sessions throughout the week, which culminates with the nomination of Trump on Thursday and his speech.

Unhappiness over abortion stance

GOP members of Congress said in interviews they would have liked to have seen a national abortion ban in the platform.

Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy, the top Republican on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said he preferred the GOP’s last official platform, which called for a nationwide abortion ban after 20 weeks.

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“I’m pro-life and I like the way it was previously,” Cassidy said.

Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst said while she hadn’t read the full platform, she had read the section about abortion, as well as a few others.

“I am pro-life and I am always going to be adamantly pro-life,” Ernst said. “And I think what we’re going to have to do is work very hard to educate the American people on the value of life. So would I like to see more robust (language) in the platform? Certainly. But that’s not the way it’s going to be. So we’re just going to have to continue fighting for life.”

Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford said the platform places a “new emphasis on the states” to regulate abortion access, largely as a result of Trump pressing for that structure in an attempt to appeal to independent voters, though Lankford said it won’t bind Republicans in Congress.

“Obviously, this is a platform that’s wrapped around him, it’s a new model for presidential platforms to be wrapped around the candidate,” Lankford said.

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Trump has shifted the GOP platform away from pressing for a nationwide law, in part, because he doesn’t believe the votes are there at the moment, Lankford said. But that doesn’t mean Republican lawmakers will stop talking about their beliefs or working to build support for a nationwide law.

“It’s a common ground statement,” Lankford said of the platform. “But for those of us that believe in the value of every single child — and we should do whatever we can to be able to protect the lives of children — we will continue to be able to speak out on those things.”

Mike Pence, former Indiana governor and vice president during Trump’s first term in office, released a statement saying the “RNC platform is a profound disappointment to the millions of pro-life Republicans that have always looked to the Republican Party to stand for life.”

“Unfortunately, this platform is part of a broader retreat in our party, trying to remain vague for political expedience,” he wrote.

Pence called on delegates attending the RNC convention to “restore language to our party’s platform recognizing the sanctity of human life and affirming that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed.”

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Shorter, vaguer

The 16-page platform is much shorter than years past and is at times vague about the goals the Republican Party hopes to accomplish if voters give them unified control of the federal government during the next two years.

The official document was put together behind closed doors.

It says that after nearly 50 years, “because of us,” the ability to regulate abortion has “been given to the States and to a vote of the People.”

“We will oppose Late Term Abortion, while supporting mothers and policies that advance Prenatal Care, access to Birth Control, and IVF (fertility treatments),” the new RNC platform states.

The 2016 Republican Party platform, by contrast, was 66 pages long and mentioned abortion more than 30 times, calling for Congress to pass legislation that banned abortion after 20-weeks gestation.

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That previous platform also said that the RNC respected “the states’ authority and flexibility to exclude abortion providers from federal programs such as Medicaid and other healthcare and family planning programs so long as they continue to perform or refer for elective abortions or sell the body parts of aborted children.”

‘Nothing going to happen up here in the Senate’

Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas said that it’s extremely unlikely either political party gets the 60 votes needed to advance abortion legislation through the legislative filibuster in the Senate, making the states the more practical place to enact laws.

“There’s not 48 votes on this issue one way or the other up here, let alone 60,” Marshall said. “There’s nothing going to happen up here in the Senate in the near future, if forever.”

Marshall said that Republicans “won” in getting the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and that the issue is now left up to voters.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said a full GOP platform shorter than in previous years is a good development, since people might actually read it.

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“Nobody’s gonna read the Sears catalog, like previous ones,” Grassley said. “And I think if we can get people to read the Republican platform, it’ll be a great thing for the campaign. I think it’d be a great thing for government generally.”

Grassley said he couldn’t make a judgment about the new abortion language, since he didn’t remember the language from the 2016 platform.

Voters expect all of GOP on same page

Alabama Sen. Katie Britt said she hadn’t read through the platform, but that she was encouraged some anti-abortion groups expressed support for the new language.

“I’m proud to be pro-life and proud to support the party and President Trump,” Britt said.

Voters, she said, expect to hear from a unified Republican Party during convention week as well as from one that focuses on policy.

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“I think people want a secure border, they want stable prices, they want a more secure world,” Britt said. “And I think we need to talk about those things — talk about not only where we are, but our vision for moving forward.”

Sen. Steve Daines of Montana, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, didn’t directly answer a question about whether he supports removing a nationwide abortion ban from the party’s platform.

“Look, I think they did good work on the platform,” Daines said. “We’re a party that believes in life, we’re a pro-life party. I think they did a good job.”

West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said that voters want to hear Republicans unified at the convention.

“I think they want to hear a unifying message for the future,” Capito said. “I think they want to hear how things will be different and better, especially on the economy and border and international. And I just think, you know, a united front is probably the most important.”

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Arkansas Sen. John Boozman said the GOP should emphasize how it differs from Democrats during the RNC Convention.

“I think that they need to hear a message of unity and the contrast between what Republicans can accomplish on inflation and border,” Boozman said.

National treasures, women’s sports

The RNC’s new platform includes familiar GOP policy goals as well as some that came along after Trump became the party’s nominee eight years ago.

For example, it calls for Republicans to “promote beauty in Public Architecture and preserve our Natural Treasures. We will build cherished symbols of our Nation, and restore genuine Conservation efforts.”

It also calls on GOP lawmakers to “support the restoration of Classic Liberal Arts Education,” though it doesn’t detail that particular issue.

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The rest of the platform is pretty standard for the types of initiatives and policy goals that Republicans have traditionally pursued.

For example, it calls on Republicans to slash “wasteful Government spending,” “restore every Border Policy of the Trump administration,” make provisions from the 2017 tax law permanent and “will keep men out of women’s sports.”

Trump running mate

The RNC convention could also include Trump announcing who will campaign with him at the top of the ticket.

His last running mate, Pence, began distancing himself from Trump after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, which included calls from the mob to kill Pence, and the construction of a scaffold for public hangings on the National Mall.

Pence was in the Capitol building that day and was removed from danger by his security detail as the pro-Trump mob beat police officers, broke into the building and disrupted Congress’ certification of Biden as the country’s next president.

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Trump, without revealing his vice presidential selection, wrote Thursday on social media that he is “looking very much forward to being in Milwaukee next week.”

“The great people of Wisconsin will reward us for choosing their State for the Republican National Convention. From there we go on to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! See you next week,” he posted on Truth Social, his online platform where he regularly publishes comments and statements.

The vice presidential candidate typically gives a speech on Wednesday night, so Trump is expected to make his announcement before then.

Project 2025

Conservative operatives striving to elect Trump to the White House have been circulating the 922-page Project 2025 plan for nearly 15 months.

Spearheaded by the Heritage Foundation, in conjunction with more than 100 organizations, the policy agenda titled “Mandate for Leadership: The Conservative Promise” presents a roadmap should Trump win in November.

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The “goal is to assemble an army of aligned, vetted, trained, and prepared conservatives to go to work on Day One to deconstruct the Administrative State,” according to the organization’s description of the mandate.

The lengthy mandate sets forth core promises to “restore the family” and overhaul government agencies.

The document states that “(i)n particular, the next conservative President should work with Congress to enact the most robust protections for the unborn that Congress will support while deploying existing federal powers to protect innocent life and vigorously complying with statutory bans on the federal funding of abortion.”

The mandate is just one pillar under the multi-pronged “Project 2025: Presidential Transition Project” that also includes a presidential administration training academy and a 180-day “playbook” aimed “to bring quick relief to Americans suffering from the Left’s devastating policies.” The project is led by two former Trump administration officials.

The Biden-Harris campaign and Democrats have repeatedly criticized Project 2025 in comments and campaign emails.

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“If implemented, Project 2025 would be the latest attempt in Donald Trump’s full on assault on reproductive freedom,” Vice President Kamala Harris said at a rally in North Carolina on Thursday.

Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries said during a press conference Thursday that the plan is “dangerous, it’s dastardly and it’s diabolical.”

“Project 2025, the Trump and extreme MAGA Republican agenda, will criminalize abortion care and impose a nationwide ban on reproductive freedom,” Jeffries said.

Trump and his campaign deny any connection to the project.

“I know nothing about Project 2025. I have not seen it, have no idea who is in charge of it, and, unlike our very well received Republican Platform, had nothing to do with it,” Trump wrote Thursday on his social media platform Truth Social.

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“The Radical Left Democrats are having a field day, however, trying to hook me into whatever policies are stated or said. It is pure disinformation on their part,” he continued. “By now, after all of these years, everyone knows where I stand on EVERYTHING!”

Trump has delivered keynote speeches at Heritage Foundation events multiple times. An analysis by CNN showed 140 former Trump administration staffers were involved in the project. Kevin Roberts, Heritage Foundation president, told the New York Times in April 2023 that Trump had been briefed on the project.

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Rhode Island

Leopold and Hamilton advance to RI Amateur title

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Leopold and Hamilton advance to RI Amateur title


WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Bobby Leopold and Michael Hamilton will go head-to-head in the title match of the Rhode Island Amateur on Saturday morning.

Leopold, the reigning champion, defeated Max Jackson (4 & 2). Hamilton defeated Tom McCormick (1 up).

The title match is set for 7 a.m. on Saturday morning.

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Match Preview: Miami FC vs. Rhode Island FC

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Match Preview: Miami FC vs. Rhode Island FC



CBS News Miami

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MIAMI — Miami FC returns home to face Rhode Island FC for the first match between the two teams this Saturday. With this season being Rhode Island’s first in the USL Championship, this will be the first game the two teams play against each other.

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Miami FC

Miami FC is back at FIU Stadium to take on Rhode Island FC in hopes of securing three points at home this weekend.

Khalid Balogun, a recent signing of Miami’s, scored his first-ever goal for the team and his first goal in the USL Championship last Saturday in Miami’s match against North Carolina FC.

Balogun joins the scoresheet for Miami as the tenth goal scorer of the season and will be one of Miami’s players to watch during this Saturday’s match.

Rhode Island FC

Rhode Island FC travels down to South Florida to play their first match at FIU Stadium following their Friday night draw against Indy Eleven. Rhode Island is ninth on the Eastern Conference table having secured 19 points from its 3-10-4 record.

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The main players to watch for Rhode Island this weekend are Albert Dikwa and Frank Nodarse. Dikwa, the 2023 USL Championship top scorer, has tallied up four goals for his new team thus far. Nodarse, another key player for Rhode Island, has scored three times this season, two being just last week against Indy Eleven where he marked down a brace.

Rhode Island FC will be looking to secure its fourth win of the season and climb its way up to securing a playoff spot.

How to watch

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. EST at FIU Stadium, where parking will be at the Cuban Memorial Lot shown in the map below.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. EST at FIU Stadium, where parking will be at the Cuban Memorial Lot. 

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Miami FC


If you can’t make the game in person, you can watch it on TV33 for local viewing, along with ESPN+ for national viewing and YouTube for international viewing.

Miami will be looking to gain three points at home before heading to South Carolina next week to face Charleston Battery. Tickets for this match are available at miamifc.com/tickets.  

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