Liveblogging the Governor’s Debate

[7:52] I’m skipping closing statements, because the candidates are talking faster than I can type.
[7:51] Chafee: We had a surplus when I entered the Senate and I voted against the Iraq war. Stimulus increased deficit too much.
[7:50] Caprio: Stimulus was not successful.
[7:50] Block: RI didn’t use money to do things that would really help new businesses.
[7:49] White: Was the stimulus a success? Robitaille: Too many strings, especially maintenance of effort provisions. More should have gone to small business.
[7:48] Fitz to Robitaille: Haven’t named any specific mistakes by Don Carcieri: Robitaille: Carcieri erred in endorsing Linc Chafee over Steve Laffey.
[7:47] Block: Sales tax impacts necessities.
[7:46] Fitz to Chafee: Isn’t the sales tax regressive? Chafee: You have control over how much you spend, therefore how much sales tax you pay, unlike property tax.
[7:45] Fitzpatick to Caprio: Did Caprio talk to anyone about running as a Republican. Caprio: I just had lunch with Ken McKay.
[7:44] Block: D, but will stay after school to help them out. Passing massive amounts of legislation is bad practice.
[7:43] Robitaille: F, grown government, raised taxes, failed to fund pensions, driven business out of the state.
[7:43] Chafee: No preconceived notions on past performance. Achorn pushes. Chafee refuses to answer, because he has to work with them.
[7:42] Caprio: C, pension reform and held the line on taxes. Could do better.
[7:41] Achorn: Grade the General Aseembly
[7:40] Caprio: We need to listen to rank-and-file membership, instead of leadership that has its own agenda.
[7:39] Block: We need smart union policy, treat them as a partner and not an adversary.
[7:38] Chafee: My record in Warwick proves I wan’t too close to the unions.
[7:37] Question to Chafee: Projo editorial suggests you are too close to the state’s unions.
[7:36] Robitaille: Would cut social service programs first.
[7:34] Chafee: Cutting aid to cities and towns forces property tax to increase. Says he would raise sales tax. He would manage the state better.
[7:34] Caprio: Will straighten out the state operations budget.
[7:33] Block: Cost savings in social service spending. Waste and fraud may be enough to close the budget gap.
[7:32] Fitzpatick: Would major state budget area would you cut first?
[7:31] Caprio: 1) Implement small business fund 2) fix the DMV.
[7:31] Block: Give the state’s IT dept. 30 days to get dead people off welfare rolls. (I missed the 2nd one).
[7:30] Robitialle: First one is cut spending. Second one is cut spending. Require state dept. heads to submit 3 plans, a 15% cut, a 10% cut, and a 5% cut.
[7:29] Chafee: 1) Repeal E-verify 2) Tackle the budget
[7:29] Achorn: What are first 2 things you would do as governor?
[7:28] Robitaille: Behavior of other candidates will scare other businesses from coming to RI.
[7:28] Caprio: If the deal is not closed soon after he is elected, he will have it reviewed.
[7:26] Block: Outrageous to sue a volunteer board.
[7:25] Chafee: Yes, he will fight to get the $75 million back.
[7:24] Tim White to Chafee: Do you continue to support suing the EDC over the 38 studios deal?
[7:23] Caprio back to Block: I have plans to help businesses of different sizes, that have been praised by many respectable sources.
[7:22] Block: Describes the experience of the risk starting a small business. Tells Chafee it can’t be done passively. Tells Caprio his plan is flawed beacuse of some its business-size requirements.
[7:21] Robitaille: Government doesn’t creat job, the private sector does. We need to create a business friendly environment in RI, and we’re not. Streamline permitting and regulations.
[7:20] Caprio: Get access to capital out there for small businesses.
[7:19] Chafee: Invest in infrastructure and education.
[7:19] Good question from Edward Fitzpatrick to the candidates: How do you actually create a job? From the dawn of time
[7:18] Caprio: The pension mess is a 60-year legacy. Goes into detail about his fiscal management.
[7:17] Robitaille: Caprio voted for multiple tax increases, failed to adequately manage the pension fund for state employees.
[7:16] Chafee doesn’t answer question “specifically”, says he has more experience than the other 3.
[7:16] Chafee rebuts: The people of Warwick showed their approval by reelecting me.
[7:15] Caprio criticizes Chafee’s property tax increases and school spending levels in Warwick
[7:14] Caprio makes a point of saying he likes Block, and is not
[7:14] Block cricizes Caprio’s record as Treasurer.
[7:14] Ed Achorn asks a goofy question about is there any specific thing about one of your opponents that troubles you.
[7:13] Block: “Absolute knucklehead”. This is a distraction from really fixing our problems.
[7:12] Caprio: I’ll behave like I want to behave.
[7:11] Robitaille: “Shove it” was inappropriate, shows Caprio lacks the appropriate temperament.
[7:10] Chafee empahasizes “there’s been no endorsement” in response to a question about the President’s popularity.
[7:09] Chafee: Caprio had seemed excited about the endorsement, before the non-endorsement occurred.
[7:09] White asks Chafee for a reaction.
[7:09] Caprio: I reacted in a human way, after learning about the non-endoresment through the news.
[7:08] White: Was it calculated?
[7:08] Caprio: It was a political answer to a political situation.
[7:07] Tim White asks Caprio if “shove it” was appropriate…
[7:03] Interesting contrast. Robitaille and Caprio do biographical intros. Chafee goes right to discussing infrastructure spending that has recenly occurred. Block goes right after the other candidates.
[7:00] Yes, it is on Channel 12. Mike Montecalvo is doing the intro.
[6:59] Of course, I haven’t actually checked tonight’s TV listings, so I’m really hoping the debate comes up next on Channel 12, after having typed that first line.
[6:57] If there’s an RI Gubernatorial debate that’s worth liveblogging in this election cycle, this will be the one…

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13 years ago

” You have control over how much you spend, therefore how much sales tax you pay, unlike property tax.”
So to avoid the Senator’s proposed expanded sales tax, all I have to do is stop buying food and meds.
And people in need of prosthetic limbs who want to avoid the Senator’s proposed taxes – they can just … do without that prosthesis???

13 years ago

The necessities of life; food,clothing life saving meds should never be taxed. Neither should things things like prosthetic devices that make life easier for the disabled.
He is full of it. Full of it about the sales tax,as if taxing the above mentioned items are really a matter of choice. Hey,Monique,using coupons and sales I can get a little food milage out of the fifty cents extra I would have to pay on a fifty dollar grocery bill,which is far above my usual weekly grocery bill.
The ironic thing is that for the two adults in our household,we generally don’t even spend what a single person getting the top amount in food stamps does per week. And Chafee wants to hurt us more.

13 years ago

Linc had a loud and boisterous cheering section made up largely of public-sector union members. They robotically cheered him like it was Obama in 08.
If I were Caprio my answer to the first question would have been, “If he would act like a President it would be easier to treat him like one.”

13 years ago

The sales tax thing is interesting, but I think everyone has the wrong idea. Why not stay revenue-neutral and eliminate all the exemptions? The sales tax would be 3.8 percent, and the moderate boost to retail and shift away from out-of-state shopping would add jobs in the entry-level sector, keeping folks off the social safety-net. Also, it would turn around the ’empty storefront’ problem in our urban areas that’s driving local taxes up.
We don’t even have to stay revenue-neutral, we can have a 5 percent sales tax that closes the budget gap or provides income tax abatement and still beat our neighbors.
I’ve been poor, I’ve been to food banks. When that’s your situation, the sales tax exemption doesn’t really matter, it doesn’t add up to one meal a week. Plus, food stamps do a damn fine job of giving folks enough to eat (there’s room for improvement and belt-tightening, even).

13 years ago

Also, not much talk of regionalization like there was last year. In light of conservative concerns about local control, I was thinking that the state should set up opt-in services for municipalities. Start with animal control and accounting (the accounting could even be totally privatized). When a city signs on, people can go to one website to pay taxes, fees, and other stuff, and municipalities can start trimming back on redundant administrative staff. If the
model works, start expanding it to other services.

13 years ago

And people in need of prosthetic limbs who want to avoid the Senator’s proposed taxes – they can just … do without that prosthesis???
That’s from “once a week” Monique.
Is it going out on a limb to suggest that Linc Chaffee was well armed with facts before proposing his tax plan. He certainly has a leg up on all the other candidates when it comes to specifics. And you must hand it to him that he has continued to defend his tax plan while on the stump. While his manner can be disarming he is no fake.

don roach
13 years ago

Atually Monique, you don’t have to stop spending…just stop spending in RI and take the drive to MA where the sales tax is cheaper.
Sounds like a good idea to me!

13 years ago

Don, that used to be true, but since Coupe Deval raised the MA sales tax to 6.25% the difference has become meaningless.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
13 years ago

Phil-sre you related to Amanda Milkovits?

13 years ago

[7:29] Chafee: 1) Repeal E-verify 2) Tackle the budget
[7:29] Achorn: What are first 2 things you would do as governor?

Reason enough not to vote for him.

13 years ago

Chafee: My record in Warwick proves I won’t too close to the unions.
Did any of you actually look into this?? People who are going to allow this guy to get into office better look long and hard. Chafee raised property taxes EVERY YEAR!! And his way of dealing with the unions was to give them what they wanted time after time!! I loved in Warwick…Moved to Coventry to get away from this guy and the bafoons in this state are going to make him governor?? REALLY????
Wake up you dolts, stop being mental midgets!! Caprio is CLEARLY the best candidate BAR NONE!!!

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