Newsmakers 12/30: John Robitaille, David Scharfenberg

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - This week on Newsmakers: John Robitaille, the 2010 Republican candidate for governor, and David Scharfenberg, news editor of The Providence Phoenix.

Robitaille explains his recent decision that he will not run for governor of Rhode Island again in 2014, saying the results of the most recent election and the state's center-left electorate make it hard to say how a GOP candidate can win. He also discusses where he sees strength in the party and whether the sales tax should be eliminated.

Scharfenberg discusses his recent Phoenix cover story that singles out "amateurism" as the biggest problem in Rhode Island politics. He points to a variety of events this year - the collapse of 38 Studios, Governor Chafee's Fox News debate over the "holiday tree," Anthony Gemma's botched campaign - as examples of the failures of the state's political and policy elite to be effective. The panel also discusses the Massachusetts U.S. Senate race.

Copyright 2014 WPRI 12. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Rhode Island (change)

Gov. Lincoln Chafee, the first independent in his position, has his work cut out for him: fix the state's finances and help 66,000 unemployed Rhode Islanders get back to work.
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Governor: Lincoln Chafee
Lieutenant Governor: Elizabeth Roberts
Attorney General: Peter Kilmartin
State Treasurer: Gina Raimondo
Secretary of State: Ralph Mollis

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