June 10, 2010

Liveblogging the First Rhode Island Gubernatorial Debate

Carroll Andrew Morse

The comments section of this post will be host to an open thread, where you can join Anchor Rising contributors in posting your reaction to tonight's Rhode Island gubernatorial debate in real time.

Click here to follow and partake of the discussion.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

First comment: Is Karen Adams' mic really bad, or is it the reception on my TV set?

Posted by: Andrew at June 10, 2010 7:01 PM

First comment: Is Karen Adams' mic really bad, or is it the reception on my TV set?

Posted by: Andrew at June 10, 2010 7:02 PM

Lynch: Unicameral legislature and biannual budgeting?!?!?

Posted by: Andrew at June 10, 2010 7:04 PM

And if you don't watch television like certain of us (ahem), you can live stream from WPRI via the link below.


Posted by: Monique at June 10, 2010 7:05 PM

Moffitt touting a labor endorsement? RINO! LOL

Posted by: rhody at June 10, 2010 7:05 PM

Opening statements:

Robitaille up first. Not a professional politician, jobs will be my highest priority. Wants to shrink government, and will stand up to public employee unions. Reform entitlements.

Patrick Lynch next: Government has to fundamentally change the way it does business. You have to stand up for people and use your voice. Deepwater was a bad deal, shows how government in RI is broken. Unicameral legislature and biannual budgeting?!?!?

Moffit: Gives a resume, says we can fix Rhode Island

Lincoln Chafee: 4th highest unemployment, 10th highest budget deficit. Look for experience and vision. Has executive experience. Bring healthcare related jobs to the new knowledge district, transportation, green jobs to Quonset

Caprio: Focuses on small business -- with a plan that he holds up. Expanding tax credits, opening up loans, online processes for cutting through red tape. Don't raise taxes. Slams Chafee two-tier tax plan.

Ken Block: Need new people coming into government, unbeholden to special interests. Knows what doesn't work and how to fix the problems that are here.

Posted by: Andrew at June 10, 2010 7:09 PM

Thank God they didn't put Block next to Lynch.

Posted by: rhody at June 10, 2010 7:11 PM

First question: Tim White asks Moffit about the Chafee sales tax.

Moffit wants to reduce sales tax to 5%, to improve retail climate. This means cutting expenditures also. Governor needs to use the bully pulpit to help make cuts.

Chafee: "We are competitive nationally with our sales taxes and income taxes". Where we are off is where property taxes. Pitches 1% sales tax on the items that are currently exempt. Experts say that sales taxes are least harmful.

Posted by: Andrew at June 10, 2010 7:12 PM

Chafee: We're average, nationally, on sales and income taxes, but too high on property taxes. Solution? Raise sales taxes.

Posted by: Justin Katz at June 10, 2010 7:13 PM

Robitaille asked about what "feelgood" programs can be eliminated. Answers that we need measurable outcomes for social service programs. Our social services safety net has to go from a hammock to a trampoline.

Lynch asked to name 2 programs he would eliminate. Answers by criticizing the Chafee tax plan. Cites flat tax as a program? White presses for a more specific answer. Lynch mentions the unicameral legislature again, somehow winds up talking about more money for small businesses.

Posted by: Andrew at June 10, 2010 7:15 PM

Caprio cites not accepting a state car as an example of some spending he has already eliminated. Tim White responds that that's a pretty small example. Caprio says that it adds up, and any department head that comes in over budget will earn the title of former department head.

Block: We need a critical mass of businesses in order to grow. We have to get our tax burden under Massachusetts. We have to squeeze waste and fraud out of government spending.

Posted by: Andrew at June 10, 2010 7:18 PM

With six candidates, there's no flow. No interaction. Unless somebody makes a grievous gaffe, this debate will make no impact.

Posted by: rhody at June 10, 2010 7:18 PM

Tim White: Is education broken?

Block says yes in multiple ways, and blames the factory-model labor contracts for the problem.

Lynch asked if contracts are the problem. He answers no, but they're something we have to look at. Says we need a funding formula. But we have to build teachers into the process as well as students.

Caprio: Every decision needs to be made in terms of what is the kids' best interest. Too much money to administration, not enough to the classroom. Need to consider new models, including charters, and we need to listen to teachers.

Robitaille: Our numbers of students classified as special needs are too high. Industrial contracts not good for professionals. Need to look a curiculum also.

Chafee: Defends his sales tax program first, Caprio's cut of one car is not enough. Mentions Warwick teachers dispute when he was mayor; poured money into schools when the money was there. Says something about URI, RIC, CCRI and then state aids to cities and towns.

Moffit says there are too many school districts. Regionalization needs to be done. Pitches a pile-driver program, with 4 districts.

Posted by: Andrew at June 10, 2010 7:25 PM

Yes and no questions are going too fast for me, I will backfill later...

Posted by: Andrew at June 10, 2010 7:26 PM

The only one to support decriminalizing marijuana? Who'd have thought Moffitt was the hophead of the bunch?

Posted by: rhody at June 10, 2010 7:28 PM

Whoa. The last minute June legislative rush will end under a Caprio governorship.

Posted by: Monique at June 10, 2010 7:33 PM

Rhody. Height bigotry. The ACLU will be knocking on your door in the morning.

Posted by: Monique at June 10, 2010 7:35 PM

There's a clear difference among the Republicans. Moffitt comes across as a quirky, more conservative version of Chafee. Robitaille just comes across as an apologist for Carcieri.

Posted by: rhody at June 10, 2010 7:36 PM

Lynch: " ... as I went from kitchen tables to board room tables"

... to the new job of a recently released felon to slap him on the back.

Posted by: Monique at June 10, 2010 7:39 PM

Tim White: Given that we've had a Republican governor help bring us to where we are

Moffit: Not all Republicans are created equal. Wants to bring manufacturing jobs and an aquarium to Rhode Island.

Robitaille: What would the deficit be like if we didn't have a Republican governor? 70 years of Democratic rule have done this to us.

White: Why should people believe that a Dem governor won't rubber stamp the actions of the legislature?

Caprio: We're going to cut spending and not raise taxes. I know how the legislature works, and will get things done with them. If every small business adds one job, we'll cut unemployment in half. End of session

Lynch: Deepwater is an example of how I will buck the legislature. There has been a void of leadership in the governor's office, that has exacerbated decades of bad decision making. We need someone with a backbone

White: Political scientists say that RI has a weak governor's office. How does someone outside of the party system be at all effective?

Block: I am directly in the middle of the political spectrum.

Chafee gives examples of how he is able to spend copious amounts of money, as an example of how he will be effective.

Posted by: Andrew at June 10, 2010 7:39 PM

Does Lynch have friends with water views in Hyannisport, the way he's hammering on wind power? Ted Kennedy was wrong, and so are you, Patrick.

Posted by: rhody at June 10, 2010 7:47 PM

Chafee on bridges: "It all takes money".

Posted by: Andrew at June 10, 2010 7:51 PM

Good job moderating by Tim White.

Posted by: Andrew at June 10, 2010 7:52 PM

Agreed...the yes or no questions were a nice touch.
Caprio ignores Lynch and goes after Chafee...no surprise. Smoothest of the bunch. I still need to see a Lynch v. Caprio poll, though.
Chafee plays effective defense. Attack doesn't come naturally to him...he needs to show the fire in his belly.
Block may get his 5 percent yet...he came across well. Earnest, self-deprecating...still a puzzle to see whose hide his vote comes out of. Nasty campaign helps him.
Moffitt comes across as the more likeable of the Republicans. Robitaille needs to put some distance between himself and Carcieri.

Posted by: rhody at June 10, 2010 8:07 PM

WWWWWWHAT??? Senator Chafee's first executive move would be to ensure that state contracts go to businesses which hire undocumented immigrants by rescinding e-verify???


Posted by: Monique at June 10, 2010 8:10 PM

Lynch with regard to 401k/403b instead of pensions, paraphrased: Personal responsibility would be devastating to our state.

Posted by: mangeek at June 10, 2010 8:19 PM

Lynch on how he would fix the public pension liability:

"To make tougher decisions" and "to give credit to the governor and the legislature for what they did this year" and then to attack Caprio for not responding on something completely unrelated.

How exactly does this fix the pension system?

Posted by: Monique at June 10, 2010 8:19 PM

Ballsy move by Linc. Even as the biggest object of attack, he didn't go PC (at least the R.I. talk radio version) on it.

Posted by: rhody at June 10, 2010 8:20 PM

On the pension liability, Block did a good job identifying the weaknesses that led to the shortfall but did not say how he would fix the problem.

Posted by: Monique at June 10, 2010 8:21 PM

Ahh, but if we -assume- a return that's far lower than the Good Times (like my employer just did), you would end up with an -endowment- instead of a -liability-. Imagine -that-!

Posted by: mangeek at June 10, 2010 8:22 PM

FYI: I'm a former MET student, going to my ten-year reunion on Saturday. I'll write back to AR what I see, but I can stand by the place as a life-saving institution. Heck, you had to be -accepted to college- as a graduation requirement!

I think test scores matter much less than the real-life results I expect to see this weekend. I have a feeling that given where we all started from, MET students fare better in life than their peers.

Also, the teachers at that time weren't even unionized, and I'm not sure if they are now. I think my teacher made in the low thirties.

Anyone with questions can email me and I'll answer what I can, and I'll forward the rest to the MET folks.

Posted by: mangeek at June 10, 2010 8:29 PM

Safe to say there were no game-changers - everybody was on their best behavior. It wasn't like an early-stage presidential primary debate where everybody's trying too aggressively to win the soundbites.

Posted by: rhody at June 10, 2010 8:32 PM

"Lynch: Unicameral legislature and biannual budgeting?!?!?"

Apparently, the AG hasn't noticed that the General Assembly is currently budgeting twice a year. Even an annual budget would be a stretch, never mind a biannual one.

Posted by: Monique at June 10, 2010 8:40 PM

Rhody is an apologist for Stuart.
Linc Chafee is an idiot and a miserable excuse for a wannabe Governor.high unemployment and this sh*thead wants to scrap e-verify for state contractors.

Posted by: joe bernstein at June 10, 2010 8:49 PM

Truth in advertising....
Is this "live" blogging or TV blogging?

I didn't think there was such thing as folks watching TV and then live blogging...after all, if one person can watch, so can others....

Oh, well, new media and all. Now we need folks to watch TV for us and translate....pretty funny, don't you think?

Posted by: Stuart at June 10, 2010 9:36 PM

Can I ask what's wrong with the unicameral idea? I've been saying it for years. Bicameral legislature at the state level makes no sense to me. That's an example of someone who figures that because they do it at the federal level, they should do it at the state level, but the actual implementation is completely different.

Let's go with just one, 100 seat legislature.

Posted by: Patrick at June 11, 2010 6:54 AM

Strangely,only Nebraska has a unicameral legislature.It seems to work ok.
Makes real sense.

Posted by: joe bernstein at June 11, 2010 7:15 AM

Bicameral vs unicameral is irrelevant. We need to adopt the NH model of having a very large unpaid ($100/year) legislature representing smaller districts. It needs to be volunteer work to these people instead of a lucrative (side) career and they need to be put back in touch with their actual constituents rather than the special interests who rise to the top. This is the "anti-corruption" model. If Rhode Island ever went the other way and adopted the full-time Massachusetts "corruption" model, there is no question that the state would literally collapse.

Posted by: Dan at June 11, 2010 7:49 AM

The idea of a unicameral legislature sucks. Two houses is twice as many opportunities for deliberation, at both the committee and the floor level. It makes it harder for one person, or one cabal to control everything. I say harder, not impossible, because Rhode Island continually elects representatives (and Senators) who are willing to vote as their told to by leadership on most major issues, obviating any kind of process-based check that can be implemented. But that doesn't mean the process itself is flawed, just that we need to elect less lemming-like representatives, who will be able to take advantage of it.

We do be seeming to come close to the RI Seante realizing that, since in a legislature the majority rules on every major decision, Senators don't have to fall in line with leadership on every issue, and they can act independently to pass laws on issues where they disagree withm.

And then what comes along in RI: a proposal basically to eliminate the Senate!

Posted by: Andrew at June 11, 2010 8:47 AM

Complete farce.
State will continue to be run by noxious Weed, the Fox in the henhouse and the puppetmasters behind them-cronies, communists and union vampires.
Bend over RI and get ready for a 10% sales tax- just like "progressive" California and Shi*cago.

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at June 11, 2010 9:48 AM

Sales tax increases really do suck........

However, that conservative bastion of TN has 8.25% and Washington State as high as 9.25%, so I don't think high sales tax is a liberal plot.

But it really does suck - I think it is the ultimate anti-business tax. It's one thing to have an even playing field - a VAT everywhere in the country, quite another to pit one state against it's neighbor in a day and age when we can just go somewhere else to save $$.

Posted by: Stuart at June 11, 2010 9:53 AM

"Two houses is twice as many opportunities for deliberation, at both the committee and the floor level. It makes it harder for..."

If that's the case, then why not 3 houses? Or 4? Why's 2 the right number?

I don't buy it. The number of houses of legislature doesn't matter, what matters is what you suggested later, that we get good and smart legislators who do the job they're elected to do. That can still be done in a unicameral legislature.

Posted by: Patrick at June 11, 2010 11:08 AM

Stuart proabbly wants a VAT ON TOP of income taxes.
Yet he rcoils at my suggestion of a property tax on leisure boats.
What a phony POS.

Posted by: joe benstein at June 11, 2010 12:43 PM

As always, Mr. Bernstein can be counted upon to offer reasoned analysis and constructiove criticism.
Stuart and I wear the Bernstein appellation of "POS" as a badge of honor.

Posted by: rhody at June 11, 2010 2:41 PM

You,Rhody aren't even a POS.You're a dingleberry with a ponytail.

Posted by: joe bernstein at June 11, 2010 6:11 PM

"However, that conservative bastion of TN has 8.25% "

Ah Stuart, to err is human, to lie is progressive.
Tennessee has a "zero' income tax-how's that for flat!
Plus property taxes a good third of ours.
Here in "progressive" RI the cronies, communists and union vultures already have the sales tax on that luxury item of food at 8% plus you pay more property tax on your average (say Toyota or Ford) new car in Providence than you do on an average house in Tennessee. And things will only get better as the "progressive" pensions for this state's cronies and union vampires increase exponentially over the next decade.
As Sinatra famously sang-"The Best Is Yet To Come" as the brain-damaged majority keeps pulling the lever for "da party of da workin people".

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at June 11, 2010 7:29 PM

Tommy, my man. How is your reading comprehension? We are talking about sales taxes!

And you are correct - I was wrong! The sales tax in most of TN is not 8.25%, it is as below from the state web site:
"What are the state and local sales tax rates in Tennessee?
Generally, the state sales and use tax rate is 7% and the local rate is 2.25%.

That is 9.25%
look it up my friend.

Here are the states that have the highest rates - I see no liberal bias or conservative one:

1 Tennessee 9.35%
2 Louisiana 8.70%
3 Washington 8.45%
4 New York 8.25%
5 Oklahoma 8.15%
6 Alabama 8.00%
7 Arkansas 8.00%
8 California 7.95%
9 Texas 7.95%
10 Arizona 7.80%

Posted by: Stuart at June 11, 2010 8:55 PM

I don't even have to call Bernstein anything anymore to make him sputter like a pro wrestling heel manager. He can't even sleep at night anymore knowing I inhabit the same state. I (and everyone else Joe hates, some of whom I know personally) don't even have to make an effort anymore.

Posted by: rhody at June 11, 2010 11:03 PM

Somehow, the more demonic Joe tries to be, the nicer guy he comes across as! I know....that might be a stretch, but I can't help thinking he knows not what he says........

Or at least I give him the benefit of the doubt. I actually thinks he likes me...well, not in that way. But he appreciates having a family man and a voice of reason in the conversation...to say nothing that we may be of the same faith! (or mixed faiths)......

Can't help it. We libs are empathetic.

Posted by: Stuart at June 12, 2010 12:55 PM

Same faith?What is this-a revival meeting?I never discuss faith or religion here-who cares what I believe in that sphere?
I don't think I share much in the way of lifestyle or conclusions reached with you.We both raised families.We bothe also presumably breathe air.
That's about it.
I really went off on you about being a Vietnam protester.I can't let that attitude go,I'm afraid.Too many dead Americans behind that.
We aren't required to arrive at every attitude we have through a rational approach.Sometimes you just know that something or someone revolts you.
I'm not playing"dozens"here-I am absolutely serious.

Posted by: joe bernstein at June 13, 2010 9:36 AM

>I really went off on you about being a Vietnam protester.

and the fact that my good friends who went there on the ground for years....that is, the ones who are alive....are of the same mind as me?

Well, I guess you think they are entitled to opinions, and I agree they are. Unfortunately, suicide, depression, agent orange and other things got in the way of some of them speaking their minds. Maybe I can therefore speak mine...for them!

For your information, I never burned my draft card - I registered like a good boy and my number was picked really high.....lucky, I guess. Not sure if I would have made it to the infantry anyway since my feet are 4EE (flat).

As to religion, maybe I am forgetting....but I thought we were both jewish and catholic mutts. It's a pretty good combo, btw.

As to a rational approach, I can honestly say that such an approach has been extremely good for me in my adult life. It is simply "measure twice, cut once". Sure, I might miss bungie jumping off a tall bridge, but I'll sacrifice that.

I got my irrationality ya-yas out in my teens...started young and finished young with trouble.

As Mr. Einstein said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I like to think I actually learned a little from my "bad" experiences. Then again, I am still learning now......and hopefully will be until I check out.

Posted by: Stuart at June 13, 2010 5:04 PM

Agent Orange is something you don't need to tell me about-I've had to fight AO related ilnesses for 29 years.My surgery about a month and a half ago is the latest skirmish.
So,you got a high number.Lucky you.I didn't call you a draft dodger.You must do speed reading.
My son and daughter are Jewish/Protestant-my parents were Jewish.
Early on you wrote about attending Valley Forge and then not being commissioned because the war was "winding down".
Sometimes it's hard to keep up with your accounts of things.
I will agree that some people take a job which reuires thinking and instead do the same first year tewnty or thirty or whatever number of times.
I used my time on the job I had to develope new ways of doing things and consequently didn't have to deal with a boredom factor.I took the edgiest assignments available and not surprisingly I found the same people always transferred into those programs.
It was good because you knew who to contact all over the country-not being stuck expecting some office bound slug to be of assistance.

Posted by: joe bernstein at June 14, 2010 6:05 AM

Yes, Joey, the war was winding down and that is why they only picked lottery up to 150 or so - I was 275.....as I remember.

As to military school, I did not choose to go to their Junior College, which was needed if I wanted to go into the officer corps. When you do their 2 years JC, you are automatically a Lt. in the army! Such a deal...

Posted by: Stuart at June 14, 2010 8:11 AM

Well,that clears up the GED comment from awhile back.
I didn't realize it was more than a jumior college(using that term dates one).

Posted by: joe bernstein at June 14, 2010 9:25 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Important note: The text "http:" cannot appear anywhere in your comment.