Liveblogging the Rhode Island Latino Civic Fund Gubernatorial Debate

[6:22] Greetings from the Rhode Island Latino Civic Fund Gubernatorial Debate. Intros just finished, rules being discussed…
[6:25] Opening statements…
Victor Moffitt up first. He knows the social issues and cuts that have been made. Next gov has to have a strong financial background.
John Robitaille: Born in Central Falls, served in the military, then started a business. Next gov needs a broad background. Key issue is jobs, and we need a healthy economy to bring jobs.
Ken Block: Started new party because of frustration with politics as usual, and underperformance of economy and education. Too much short-term thinking in government, we need new blood to fix that.
Lincoln Chafee: Majority of Riers think RI is going in the wrong direction, we need to fix the economy. Too much contention with e-verify and with unions. Touts his executive experience, and his willingness to buck the party line.
Todd Giroux: He feels most qualified to bring programs to the people of RI, to bring them directly to the people, without interference from bureaucracy.
Frank Caprio: Looks forward to discussion of issues important to the minority community. Lives in a majority-minority neighborhood. Is married to a first generation American, who teaches at Central High. Our country and state is founded on people sacrificing and working hard, wants ladder to success to continue to be there.
Patrick Lynch: Running for governor to continue standing up for people. Our system of government is fundamentally broken; taxes are too high and there is too much regulation. Need someone who will make decisions for everyone in the state.
[6:52] First question: How will you improve the economy so everyone can earn a living wage, and what will you do about housing in RI and our foreclosure rate?
Victor Moffit: Reduce sales tax and build a resort aquarium. Re: housing, work with banks to make more money available to people that want to buy housing.
Robitaille: Private sector creates jobs, Rhode Island needs to become competitive in business. Bad governance has made RI uncompetitive. Reduce taxes, reduce regulation, streamline permitting. Improve education, including in the trades. It’s all about jobs. Housing: Seniors are being driven out of their homes. If we stimulate the economy, other issues will take care of themselves.
Block: Our economic uncompetitiveness is reversible. No reason things here have to be different than in Massachusetts. We need to get our taxes lower than Mass. Once we have a good product to sell, we need a governor who will then sell Rhode Island. RI could be the Research Triangle of the northeast. Target mobile businesses first.
Chafee: Inexcusable for RI to have 3rd or 4th highest unemployment in the country. Was able to deliver for RI as a Senator, helped to move 195 — healthcare industry has moved there, Intermodal train station, road into Quonset — $1 billion brought to RI.
Giroux: Require banks to mandatory modify loans that are in trouble. Ask the unemployed to volunteer in state work teams. Improve cash flow to home owners and business owners with low interest revolving funds. We have room to grow these kinds of programs.
Caprio: Small business is the economic lifeblood of the community. Has heard from business owners, don’t raise taxes and cut the red tape. Has run the Treasurer’s office like a small business. Give access to credit. On housing, will support bond issues for affordable housing.
Lynch: Our state must get its priorities in order. Current administration has over-emphasized richest and wealthiest. Has offered a small-business bill of rights. Can get loans out if we put $$$ where it should be, instead of in the flat tax. On housing: As AG he shut down bad lenders, and he has put out a housing policy that will protect lenders.
[6:56] Caprio with first attack of the night — says people cannot afford the Chafee tax plan; new taxes in RI will not lead to a reduction in property taxes.
[6:57] Lynch: Deepwater project will raise costs on businesses and everyone.
[7:08] Question about education with multiple parts. Most candidates take the funding formula angle…
Chafee: Has a record of re-investing in the schools. Won’t cut state aid. Will protect higher education.
Block: Financial stability is needed to fund the funding formula. We need a growing economy and efficiently run programs. More flexible contracts to help with efficiency.
Lynch: Need education to prepare for the future. Funding formula should be heralded. Something about curriculum I couldn’t quite follow.
Caprio: Funding formula must be supplemented with incentives. There should be incentives for large-aid recipients to work together.
Robitaille: Concept of money following the students is a good one, we need more competition in education. Supports commissioner Gist’s efforts to fix broken schools.
Moffitt: Regionalize to stop competition between towns and cities.
[7:36] Immigration question with multi-parts. I’ll give you the answers on the Governor’s executive order, the Arizona law, and in-state tuition, for now.
Caprio: When my ancestors arrived, there was an orderly process for accepting immigrats. It’s a shame there is no path to citizenship. Against Arizona. Supports exec order. Yes on in-state tuition.
Lynch: Immigration is the number one civil rights issue in America. More hate groups in America than ever before. We’ve become more divided as a society. Has defended civil rights. Disagrees with the cold-hearted poorly calculated executive order. Arizona law is hurtful, insulting and unconstitutional. Yes on in-state tution.
Moffitt: Let more people into the country legally. Supports exec order, protects legal people who are here. Arizona law is a 10th Amendment issue — states should protect their legal residents. In-state tuition is for legal residents of Rhode Island.
Robitaille: Immigration is significant. Supports exec order BUT would not support 287(g), would use the Florida secure communities model. Arizona is not Rhode Island, would consider some components of AZ law. Opposes 14th Amendment being used to end-run immigration law. No in-state tuition for illegal immigrants.
Chafee: Immigration should be addressed at the Federal level. Supported Kennedy-McCain comprehensive plan. Yes on in-state tuition, no on Arizona law.
Giroux: Immigration is community building. No on AZ. Not ready for an in-state tuition program.
Block: Has helped some of his employees immigrate legally. Shut down employers who take advantage of illegal immigrants. AZ law is asinine and xenophobic. Would tweak the language of the executive order. In-state tuition for illegal immigrants in the process of becoming legal.
[7:48] We’re into closing statements now. Lot’s of audio to come…

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Dan
Dan
11 years ago

“Patrick Lynch: Our system of government is fundamentally broken; taxes are too high and there is too much regulation.”
That’s strange, he never met a law or regulation he didn’t like while he was AG.

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

“Patrick Lynch: Running for governor to continue standing up for people”
Right. Just like he stood up for the Station fire victims and is standing up the people of Central Falls against their mayor. Exactly like that.

Monique
Editor
11 years ago

Patrick beat me to it. And the $75m stolen at the landfill. And all of the corruption that the US Attorney saw that Lynch didn’t see. And the opposition to e-verify.
“Continue” standing up for people? When did he start?

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

“Chafee: Was able to deliver for RI as a Senator”
Hmm, if he delivered so well, then why didn’t he win re-election?

Steve A.
Steve A.
11 years ago

Of all the candidates thus far, Chaffee is the one that stands out to me as least likely to answer a question. Everything is about I did this and I did that but not I will do this…oh, except for raising taxes. He’s the candidate I’m most fearful of.
Nice to see someone invite Giroux to something. Can’t say I’ve learned a lot about him thus far.
Whether you like or hate Block, at least he answers the questions and you know what he stands for. Much more centrist than his other Independant counterparts.
Lynch should really consider packing it up.
Everything from Caprio comes off as sugar sweet to me. He may be answering honestly, but I still feel like I’m not getting the whole truth. That said, I don’t know if the average RI voter looks that deeply into the candidates.
Moffitt needs to build more confidence. Not a fan of the aquarium idea, but otherwise he could be trouble for Robitaille in the primaries.
Call me crazy, but I think Robitaille might be too conservative for RIers. I can see a semi conservative vote for Caprio, but I don’t see a semi liberal able to vote for Robitaille.
That’s my Cliff’s Notes 2 cents on the candidates.

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