Finally, a GOP gubernatorial contender!

Robitaille gives it a go. Plus, voter unrest, Reid puts his foot in it, and more.
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  January 13, 2010

John Robitaille

Speaking of the GOP, it appears the party has a candidate — at last! — for the gubernatorial race, provided he doesn't wimp out like Rory Smith did when he realized he was in a no-win, not-ever situation.

Virtual unknown John Robitaille has tossed his hat into the ring as cannon fodder, doubtless with a promise he can keep whatever campaign funds he doesn't spend as a sop. That's about the only reason we can imagine for someone to agree to run for guv as a Republican in this state, anti-incumbent sentiment or not.

Phillipe and Jorge had the opportunity to meet Mr. Robitaille, the Portsmouth Republican who is Governor Carcieri's senior adviser for communications, on one occasion, and must admit we were impressed. Then again, when you have run your own p.r. firm, it would come in handy to have a bit of charm and personality. Being able to effectively bullshit people is an integral part of being a flack or politician, and John seems well up to the task. (As Ed Fitzpatrick wrote in his column in the BeloJo, "As the interview wrapped up, I told [Robitaille] I had the impression he's going to run for governor, and I asked if I had the wrong impression. Robitaille just smiled and winked." Nudge-nudge as well, eh, John?)

P+J will be quite interested in seeing how the whole race plays out, as Patrick Lynch and Frank Caprio go for each other's throats in the primary, Linc Chafee tries to keep his hands at his side when he speaks, Ahh-Leen Violet remains the mystery guest, and Robitaille gets a chance to be the monkey wrench in the big picture. You have nothing to lose, John, so we expect some Chris Young-level outbursts to keep us amused.


Will this year's elections prove to be momentous or just more of the same? Strangely, Republicans are scrambling to find candidates, any candidates, to run for General Assembly or statewide office seats. This in a year that the Bud-I has described (and we think quite accurately) on his radio show as being full of anti-incumbent sentiment.

So it is more than ironic that, with a real opportunity here, the GOP is having another one of their phone booth brawls, finding themselves unable "to just get along."

At this stage, P&J are high on two definite candidacies: Elizabeth Roberts, running for re-election for lieutenant governor and Tom Sgouros, a Democratic candidate for general treasurer (see This Just In, page 7). Tom is exactly the type of independent thinker that would do the Biggest Little proud. And he most definitely does not qualify as one of the "Good Old Boys" of Halitosis Hall. A fresh, talented, and impressive new face.

And Elizabeth is, as always, an honest and passionate supporter of progressive policies that we at Casa Diablo also support.

We also watch with much interest the Hamlet-like machinations of the former Cranston mayor, Steve "Laugh At Me" Laffey (check out the Sonny Bono song if you find this reference elusive). You can be sure that this is not the last you'll hear from him as he patiently awaits Vo Dilun's GOP to kiss his butt and beg him to run. His "I am the great genius who is the only guy tough and smart enough to solve our problems" strategy is a unique one.

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