September 14, 2005

Senate Roundup II

Carroll Andrew Morse

State Republican chairwoman Patricia Morgan says the $500,000 in national support for the state party will go for "party building". The Projo, on the other hand, quotes a letter saying that the money is designated for furthering the campaign of Senator Lincoln Chafee...

A letter to the Republican National Committee signed by party leaders last night says the state leaders "approve any and all pre-primary financial assistance and in-kind aid the RNC may choose to provide in furtherance of the U.S. Senate campaign of Senator Lincoln Chafee."
But a spokesman for Senator Chafee is on record as saying that the Chafee campaign is not interested in national money. This is from the Warwick Beacon...
As for reports that the national GOP will withhold $500,000 in campaign funds from Rhode Island if the Senate race results in a Republican primary, Hourahan said that would be a great shame and would harm many state and local-level Republicans seeking office in 2006.

“It would be a huge opportunity [if the state got the money],” Hourahan said.

That being said, Hourahan also said the Chafee campaign had no intention of taking a dime of that money, should it come through anyway.

Is someone in the Republican party of Rhode Island going to tell people what is really going on?

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This entire episode proves beyond a shadow of a doubt how Laffey is all about himself and not interested in the least about building the party.

Governor Carcieri said it best about the badly needed half million dollars.

"I believe we've got to be absolutely silly to say no. Why in God's name would we say no? . . . We need everything we can get."

Posted by: Tim at September 14, 2005 8:46 AM

Of course, the Chafee campaign is not going to take a dime. That's not to say that the money that goes to the RI GOP won't benefit Chafee indirectly.

But why should Laffey care what the GOP does now that he thinks the Bush Administration and the Republican Party are screwing up America by catering to big, evil oil companies?

Posted by: Anthony at September 14, 2005 9:30 AM

So are you accusing the Projo of reporting inaccurate information, Anthony, because the phrase "in furtherance of the U.S. Senate campaign of Senator Lincoln Chafee" seems to make things pretty clear.

Posted by: Andrew at September 14, 2005 9:50 AM

Andrew, it's not that the Projo is reporting inaccurate information, it's just that the transfer of funds is not a zero-sum proposition like Laffey is trying to get people to believe. Yes, Chafee benefits, but just because he benefits doesn't mean other Republicans don't benefit as well.

As I understand it, the money is to be used to build a database and to implement a get-out-the vote task force similiar to what Carcieri had to do all by himself in the last election.

The database and targeted get-out-the-vote program will benefit Chafee, but it will benefit every other endorsed Republican, too.

For years, people have been complaining that the RI GOP has been useless. Keeping Chafee's seat is now a national Republican priority of the White House and RNC. If the national GOP is willing to spend money in RI and that money helps local Republican candidates, that's not a bad thing, even if the primary beneficiary is Chafee.

Laffey tried to frame the debate (as usual) in a divisive "us vs. them" tone and the Projo picked up on that theme because the media loves conflict.

Posted by: Anthony at September 14, 2005 10:35 AM

Your analysis is right on the money Anthony. How anyone can think Laffey cares about anyone or anything beyond the end of his own nose is a mystery.
His us vs. them is going to fail miserably because there is no "us" when it comes to Steve Laffey.
There's only I, me and my.

Posted by: Tim at September 14, 2005 11:34 AM

This was the RIGOP's chance to start a real change in this state. It would have been a travesty if this opportunity was passed. The party is more important than anyone candidate.

Chafee has won something like 8 campaigns in a row, he doesnt need this info as much as the RIGOP does.

Posted by: Robert at September 14, 2005 11:47 AM

The "leaders" of the RIGOP are liars, plain and simple.

They stated that the money was going toward party building, but lo and behold, the signoff letter said the money was going to Chafee and Chafee alone.

I was at the meeting last night. I saw the shock on the faces of those that voted for Manning to sign the letter (thinking it would benefit the party as a whole.) More than a few of them told me that they felt they had been lied to and duped, and that they were now going to support Laffey because he and his group had predicted this all along.

Posted by: oz at September 14, 2005 1:39 PM

Having listened to the Dan Yorke show as Laffey supporters call up and express their utter ignorance and cluelessness about the $500,000 and how it will be utilized one thing has become very obvious.
Laffey has SPUN the Kool-aid crowd a complete pack of lies.
What dupes you people are!!
I'm telling you right now, the more light that is shown on Laffey the less impressive he looks.
His own supporters don't even know what the heck is going on and they share that with everyone via the talk show and internet.
It's just so embarrassing!

Posted by: Tim at September 14, 2005 4:11 PM

oz, we're probably all better off if you don't call people who disagree with you "liars".

But onto substance. The letter did not say the funds go to "Chafee and Chafee alone" as you suggest. The funds will also help Caricieri and candidates running for the General Assembly. The letter says that the party will accept RNC funds and mentions furthering Chafee's campaign, but does not limit the funds to Chafee's race. For example, if the RNC spent $25,000 to build a database of RI voters, that will not only benefit Chafee but every Republican running.

Laffey didn't want the funds to go through because it wouldn't help him and would help Chafee. It has nothing to do with the Republican Party, the same party that Laffey now critcizes in TV spots. The whole thing was a straight up power play on both sides.

Everyone had notice for last night's meeting--including the press--and it was done in an open forum. There was no secrecy about the matter nor was there a "con". It's rather ironic that Laffey is calling foul even though he is the same guy who installed Manning at the last minute, springing the issue at a RI GOP meeting with no advanced notice so nobody had time to react.

But that's politics. The RNC/Chafee people are going to do what it takes to get their guy elected and the Laffey people are going to do what it takes to get their guy elected.

Posted by: Anthony at September 14, 2005 4:16 PM

No Anthony, the national and state parties framed the debate in a divisive matter of us vs. them by attempting to appoint Lincoln Chafee as Rhode Island’s Senate candidate before the voters have spoken. The national party could fund get out the vote system without requiring a rule 11(a) waiver and trust Senator Chafee to win on the strength of his ideas, but they either don’t believe that the Senator can run a competent campaign on his own or don’t trust the voters of Rhode Island.

Why are Chafee’s supporters so insecure?

Posted by: Andrew at September 14, 2005 5:45 PM

Andrew, you guys are embarrassing yourselves.
You've got the Laffey Kool-aid drinkers calling up Dan Yorke completely clueless about the $500,000, what it's for and how it's going to be utilized.
(I don't belong to either party yet I somehow knew what the 500 grand was all about)
Now the spin is party chair Patricia Morgan "misled" the delegates because she wrote a letter in August that was not in crayon and she didn't use lower case letters. lol
You people couldn't find your way out of a paper bag.
Laffey is going to crash and burn!

Posted by: Tim at September 14, 2005 6:37 PM

My, my Timmy, you are one ignorant individual. For starters, I really don't think whether you back Laffey or Chafee should cloud your judgement of what is right and what is wrong. And don't believe me, just listen to Dan Yorke, not one you could say is in the Laffey Kool-aid crowd. But then again, Timmy, people like you just don't let facts get in the way of your ignorance.

I happened to be at the meeting last night. The Cranston group was pretty boisterous yelling when Patricia Morgan was "explaning" what the money would be used for. And guess what, they were right on the money! Patricia Morgan is a bald faced liar! And I know you hate to hear it Timmy-boy, but they were the only ones who had it right. If that vote was taken again, after Rob Manning read to the committee what the letter he was signing said, it would never have passed.

What I found so comical about all those state Republican senators and reps, ie Trillo, Watson, Story, is that they were ramming this down the committees throats, stifling the debate, just like the Democrats do to them at the State House. I guess it's true - you hang with dogs long enough you are going to get fleas. And that goes for Carcieri, too. Frankly, I am looking forward to this bunch of losers crying about the Democrats tactics. I will be laughing.

Posted by: Harvey at September 14, 2005 7:17 PM

Harvey, the whole INFORMED world knew exactly what the 500 grand from the RNC was to be earmarked for well before your meeting yesterday, myself included.
For you guys to now represent that you were somehow hoodwinked or fooled makes you look like absolute idiots.
Go with the look!! lol
Believe me when I tell you the only place your going with Steve Laffey is off a cliff.
And this opinion is coming from an unaffiliated conservative leaning non-union member voter who votes Republican 98% of the time in RI and will most likely write-in a vote for Senate.
I'm not Chafee fan by any means but Laffey is all about himself and only himself.
It's so hilarious how you think this is about party with Steve Laffey.
No, this is about Laffey not caring one wit over who he screws in the RI Rep party as long as HE gets what HE wants.
Believe me when I tell you I'm not alone in that opinion and that's a huge problem for Laffey because it's my demographic that he desperately needs votes from.
You guys have no idea how much you've embarrassed yourselves over this issue.
Being mad at the world because you are clueless and you are uneducated about this issue is pretty sad.
Don't forget your parachute.

Posted by: Tim at September 14, 2005 8:24 PM

Your hatred of Laffey blurs your mind. Go back and read what I said, then read you response. You are so funny. By the way, who said anthing about being in a union - besides you?? What does that have to do with anything?? But you know what, when someone says, totally out of context, I'm not in a union, that means you are. Which now explains your hatred of Laffey. Now the only question is, which union. Are you one of those heros in the Cranston fire department? Maybe you are one of those teachers that care so much about the kids. Remember, Timmy, unions are for losers. If you could cut it on your own, you wouldn't need a union to protect your sorry butt. Wait a minute, I think I figured it out - you are a crossing guard. Actually "were" is the proper term. That explains another thing - why you have so much time on your hands to be posting to these message boards all day long. Get a life, loser.

Posted by: Harvey at September 14, 2005 8:44 PM

The RNC will send money to help RI Republicans irrespective of what Laffey or Chafee say. What's at stake is whether the RNC's money will be used to prop up Chafee *before* the GOP Senate primary is held. In the case of a competitive primary between a not-very-loyal Republican incumbent and a potentially loyal Republican challenger, I think the right thing to do is for the RNC to stay the heck out of the primary battle until a winner is selected, and then run ads for the winner.

Posted by: AuH2ORepublican at September 14, 2005 9:06 PM


If anyone should be considered a member of the "Kool-Aid" crowd, it would be you. You come into this conservative blog site repeatedly, saying the same thing, over and over, as if we care what liberals think of our party. I don't know if you're being paid by the Chafee people for your "work," or if you're simply bitter with too much time on your hands.

As one of the Delegates at the meeting last night, I will be the first to admit that most of the crowd was truly "in the dark" about the "$500,000.00." The reason for this "ignorance" was not Laffey; it was the state GOP, whether by intent or omission. If anything, Laffey has been doing his best to shine the light on what was really happening -- which was a power-play by the RNC to influence the Senate race. As much as you might take it for granted knowing that fact, most of the members of the RIGOP did not grasp that before last night.

Had you been a recipient of the original letter from the RIGOP dated 8/17 (which I was), it repeatedly used the terms "$500,000 worth of financial support" and "available to all candidates." That there was any confusion (and apparently still is) about whether it was cash, or whether it was in-kind aid, is certainly understandable (For the record, it's in-kind aid from the RNC to pay staff and for voter ID efforts). Sure, the word "endorsed" does show up one time in paragraph 3, but frankly most people probably didn't find it interesting enough to get that far to find it.

I've known the why, who, and what it's really being used for from nearly the beginning, but I'm also the kind of guy who watches C-SPAN at 3AM. Most of the delegates are not political wonks with knowledge of the minutia of campaign finance. Most of them aren't members of the relatively small Executive Committee, deciding what's best for the rest of us. Most of them are just regular people with jobs and families, who don't have time to waste, trying to parse the meaning of words buried in pages of mumbo-jumbo. Most people expect that what they are told in plain English, will end up being what they get. That there is any disconnect between perception and reality is entirely due to the ambiguities put forth by the RIGOP, both in writing and by their speakers at the meeting yesterday.

The RIGOP portrayed this over and over as "party building," as if the RNC gives a rip about RI. Sure, it will hopefully have the byproduct effect of creating some type of structure to make the RIGOP a more viable alternative to the Dems. The problem is, that's not what the Delegates were told before the vote! They tried to portray Mr. Manning as the "bad guy," because he had enough courage to do what he said he'd do, which was to let the committee decide this. He didn't have to do that; he chose to do that. After the vote, he wasn't bound by it. And you know what? He came out of this looking like an absolute hero. On the other hand, the party leadership came away looking like people that'd do anything for a buck.

As I know the entire party leadership, and am friends with several, I'm going to refrain from saying more. That being said, they have a lot of work to do now to repair the damage to their credibility. By no means, is that solely made up of Laffey folks. I think they'd do better to work on rebuilding trust with many of the Chafee supporters, most of whom voted for for "the waiver" based on what they were told at that meeting, only to find out afterwards that what they had been told wasn't the whole truth. Unfortunately, many of them left last night having felt rather used.

PS I actually wish you could have been there Tuesday night. It was certainly a meeting to remember.

Posted by: Will at September 14, 2005 11:03 PM

You're not going to get anywhere arguing with some of the people on this blog. I'm also fairly conservative with views closer to Laffey's than Chafee's (at least the views Laffey espoused before his recent criticisms of GOP policies), but share your concerns about Laffey.

Laffey is divisive and if you disagree with his methods you will be denigrated by his supporters as being pro-union, trying to "con" someone, not "understaning" the issue and the list goes on.

For a long time, I heard how Laffey was going to crush Chafee in the GOP primary and I really believed it, partly because he had upset me with some of his moves. That is, I believed it until the Journal poll came out.

Now in the past 72 hours, I have watched as Laffey and his supporters have accused the RI GOP of a "con" job and accused the Providence Journal of conducting an "unscientific" and "invalid" poll, just because things didn't go his way. Why couldn't he just be honest and admit that he is behind? He could have said something like "The race is still early and I expected to be this far behind" instead of attacking the merits of an independent poll, which just made him look dishonest and foolish.

Because of the way Laffey acts, there will be no compromise in this election unless it benefits Laffey. You are either with him or against him and if you are against him, you're obviously an incompetent moron whose perspective does not matter.

Laffey's supporters may not believe this, but 99% of the people who read the Projo poll believe the Projo and not Laffey.

I think Laffey is going to lose, but unlike most people, I now think he's going to lose big. I'm part of his natural constituency and I've gone from liking him because of his policies, to supporting Chafee for the sake of keeping the GOP in power nationally, to really being turned off by Laffey in the past 72 hours.

Reagan built the conservative movement by being affable, reacing out and letting so-called Reagan Democrats know that it was OK to be a Republican. His efforts were largely responsible for turning the South from a bastion of Democrats to solid Republican territory.

Laffey is anything but affable and insults those who disagee with him rather than reaching out to them. Instead of telling people that it's OK to be a Republican, he trashes the Republican Party to advance himself.

I'm not going to yell and scream about who I'm supporting like some people, but I'm going to be part of the silent majority (as reflected in the Projo poll) is voting for Chafee. And I'm going to encourage everyone I know to do so, although I'm sure that there will be several jaws that drop among my friends who know me.

OK, Andrew, Harvey, etc., now is your time to tell me that I'm stupid, an uneducated loser, a union member, a party boss, a liberal or a liar. I think that's how Ronald Reagan became governor of California.........

What a warped view of conservativism.

Posted by: Anthony at September 15, 2005 9:20 AM

lol..typical response from the Laffey crowd.
I'm a "liberal"?? lol How original Will.
The real problem for you is that I'm not a liberal in any way, shape or form yet I see right through Laffey and his act.
Sorry Will but your excuse making for the embarrassing cluelessness of many at that meeting doesn't fly.
It's the responsibility of the membership to be informed about the central issue. No??
I heard a steady stream of LAFFEY supporters, one after another, call up Yorke yesterday claiming this "money" would go directly to Chafee, etc. They had NO CLUE as to how these funds were going to be earmarked.
How could your crew be so clueless, Will?
That's so embarrassing, especially when you consider that someone like me had a crystal clear understanding of what the $500,000 was earmarked for long before your meeting and I'm not a party member. Having heard both Jeff Deckman and Rob Manning talk about this issue LONG before your meeting I had a very clear picture about the RNC money, what it would fund and why Laffey and his crowd objected.
Patricia Morgan's letter, which came across more as a party pep rally letter than anything else, did not misrepresent the RNC funding at all.
The RNC funds come with rules of application FROM the RNC not from Patricia Morgan or anyone else.
Will, how do I know that but the Laffey crowd doesn't??
You Kool-aider's are upset because you lost this vote and now you're going to try to spin the story.
You guys look awful and completely inept.
Imagine that, Laffey supporters competely in the dark about the FACTS of an issue.
Why do I think this isn't the first time. lol

Harvey, my "union" comment was made because that's what you Laffey folks do. Anyone who sees Laffey for the disingenuous character that he is gets labelled. Will just proved my point by calling me a "liberal".
Believe it or not there are true political conservatives who see Steve Laffey for what he is, an egomaniacal con artist.

Posted by: Tim at September 15, 2005 9:32 AM

We agree Anthony. What's interesting about Laffey is how he's maneuvered himself to the left of George Bush and Bush is a moderate not a conservative.
So why would RI voters want to throw Chafee out and replace him with Laffy?
Where's the net benefit?
We also agree on the divisive tactics of Laffey and his crowd.
There is absolutely nothing they care about beyond their own little agenda.
But they will pay a big price for that tactic next year.
And we agree on something else Anthony, it won't be close.

Posted by: Tim at September 15, 2005 9:56 AM

“Because of the way Laffey acts, there will be no compromise in this election unless it benefits Laffey.”

Explain to me the compromises the Chafee campaign, or the national RNC has made, or why their uncompromising stance on running for office is “good” but a challenger’s uncompromising stance on running for office is “bad”. Much anti-Laffey sentiment seems less about anything Laffey has done, and more about demands that he unquestioningly obey existing authority.

But you are right Anthony: you are never going to get anywhere “arguing” for Chafee on this blog when your only “argument” is Chafee-Now! Chafee-Forever! I-don’t-care-about-issues-Chafee!-Chafee!-Chafee! If you really want to have a meaningful argument, stop with these meaningless generic statements of “I’m really conservative, but…”, and tell us what conservative issues Chafee helps a Republican Senate with or what you are willing to sacrifice to keep Chafee in office.

And Anthony, I do agree with your statement that people should refrain from name calling in the comments on this board. Now, how about extending that statement to Chafee supporters as well as Laffey supporters.

Posted by: Andrew at September 15, 2005 10:13 AM

Andrew, I'll tell you what issues I care about and why I'm voting for Chafee.

I care about getting the United States Supreme Court to end its streak of judicial activism that has led to creating a "right to privacy", never before mentioned in the Constituion that has become part of accepted law.
I care about the Supreme Court giving government the ability to take private homes at will just to help a shopping mall profit.

I care about ensuring the safety of America's citizenry through not only a strong defense, but through a robust intelligence effort that stops terrorists before they get to the United States.

I care about ensuring that I get back the money that I pay to the government every two weeks for Social Security and may never see again.

The only chance of this happening is if the Senate stays in GOP hands and Chafee is key to keeping the Senate in GOP hands. How does Chafee help coservatives? He votes for Bill Frist as majority leader and prevents Ted Kennedy from controlling who gets on the Supreme Court.

What am I willing to sacrifice? I'm willing to accept that in order to do those things, I'm going to have to vote for a candidate who holds views with which I not only sometimes disagree, but in the case of abortion, find abhorrent.

I'm willing to let Arlen Specter sit as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee so long as John Roberts gets to become the next Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

That's my argument. I'm not out to "send a message" to people or to engage in a quixotic effort to convert Rhode Island into a bastion of conservativism. I guess I've got a greater interest in making sure the rest of the country doesn't become more like Rhode Island.

I'll be completely honest. I wasn't going to vote for Laffey before the Projo poll or this $500,000 dispute thing, so it's not like it changed my vote from one side to another. I would have voted for Laffey he had run for U.S. Congress or for virutally any other statewide office. However, the recent events have definately made me more comfortable with the side I have chosen and energized me to help support Chafee.

Bush and Rove aren't supporting Chafee because they're "threatened" by Steve Laffey or because they particularly even like Chafee. The alternative to Chafee is another Democrat senator who will undoubtedly be there for decades. Bush and Rove realize this. Even the previous head of Club for Growth before Toomey acknowledges this, but we all know Toomey has a very personal axe to grind with Rove.

Laffey's recent actions concern me for a few reasons:

1. He is willing to risk handing over control of the US Senate to the Democrats merely to advance himself. I'm not saying he doesn't have the RIGHT to do so, I just think it's poor judgement.

2. He seems to have already taken conservatives for granted and he's only been running for a couple of days.

3. He is already taking whacks at Bush, so I don't see that much of a difference between Chafee taking whacks at the President versus Laffey taking whacks at the President.

Two other things:
On the compromise note, there were several compromises offered to Laffey. Carcieri offered to make Laffey his running mate as Lieutenant Governor. That's a compromise to me.

I don't think I've ever called anyone names on this blog.

And Andrew, I do not challenge Laffey's right to run. He has every right to run. But the RNC has every right to try to stop him. Actually, it not only has the right, it has the obligation. It is the Republican NATIONAL Committee and its mission is to look out for the best interests of Republicans at a much broader level than RI. I contribute to the RNC and I would be sorely disappointed if they did not use my money to preserve the Republican majority in the United States Senate.

Posted by: Anthony at September 15, 2005 11:05 AM

Three cheers for Anthony!!!!!!
Well said!!

Posted by: Hobson at September 15, 2005 6:58 PM


I take it that you are intelligent, as you appear well versed and able to defend or promote your positions. That being said, being a very open Laffey supporter myself (mind you, not because I think he's the perfect candidate), I really do take great issue with the accuracy of the "poll" commissioned by Darrell West at Brown University. The poll that just happened to be coincidentally published in the Projo on the day of the RIGOP meeting, and which received a headline that was considerably oversized for what the story itself actually contained.

This perhaps falls under "conspiracy theory," but let me throw it out there anyway for consumption:
The senator is an alumnus of and occassional donor to Brown University. The Senator’s wife’s family used to own a significant part of the Providence Journal. I am sure that they still have good friends at the Projo.

As for the poll itself, it actually does more harm than good for the Senator, as it showed within it that a seven year incumbent did not break 50% of the vote.

Virtually every statistic in that poll was subject to some form of manipulation, if not intentionally, simply by the methodology used to obtain the numbers. The fact is, the poll used far too small a sample size to obtain truly accurate results. It was also said to be "random." Primary voters are not random. They are either already members of a specific party, or they are non-affiliated. If one does not know in advance of asking a question the party affiliation (or lack) of a pollee, and balance what information is received from them, against the known voter registration numbers (approx. 9-10% GOP, 30-35% Dem, over 50% unaffiliated), than you will end up skewing the final result in favor of the larger voter groups. Being that the GOP is the smallest of these groups, one needs to take that fact into account when asking any questions and then trying to extrapolate valid data from the survey. Being a member of the GOP since I was 18, I know that one of the most exclusive things to be is a "Rhode Island Republican Primary Voter."

As for Laffey, from what I know, the main reason they take umbrage with the accuracy of the Brown/Projo poll is not specifically because it doesn't (appear to) favor him, but because they have already had other polling conducted, which used "scientific" methodology (asking only Republican and unaffiliated voters who said they "are likely" to vote in the GOP primary). Even more importantly, inquiries were also made as to whether the questionees have voted in a GOP primary previously, as it tends to be something that people do repetitively over time. Needless to say, when it was done, the polls obtained far different results, more than once. To be honest, they aren't actually "worried" about the actual "substance" of the poll itself, since they regard it as politically motivated junk. They just want to counter any perceived advantage by Chafee that the headline itself tried to suggest. Sure they could have just let it slide, but that's not their style. Trust me, no one there's worried; if anything, they're encouraged.

It may also seem a bit cliche, but the only poll that matters in the end is the one that will happen on election day -- which is a long, long way off!

Posted by: Will at September 16, 2005 3:13 AM


I wasn't going to bother responding to your last batch of comments, because I didn't think it worthy of one. However, I do want to clarify something, just because someone says that they are a "Laffey Supporter" on a radio does not mean that they have in depth knowledge of the inner workings of the party, or are calling from a phonebank at Laffey HQ.
This $500K issue had a very tight-knit circle of people following it, from about May through mid-August. The first that most people within the RIGOP heard about the "Rule 11" issue was upon receipt of the 8/17 letter, which was mailed out by the Chair on official letterhead to the membership of the RIGOP state central committee for the purpose of pressuring Mr. Manning to sign off on "the waiver." That you would characterize it as a "party pep rally letter" only shows an appauling ignorance regarding what all the fuss has been about.
Lastly, the Laffey folks are by no means upset about losing that vote! If it hadn't been for Manning's willingness to abide by it, there wouldn't have been one. The vote came to pass with the full knowledge that the outcome was a near certainty. It (except for the bloodbath atmosphere) couldn't have been a better meeting, in so far as Laffey is concerned.
I might suggest reading Charlie Bakst's column of 9/15, as he's gotten about 95% of the real story right (which also proves the adage, even a broken clock is right twice a day). And with that, I bid you adieu.

Posted by: Will at September 16, 2005 3:53 AM

Will, an earlier Projo poll suggested that Laffey might be leading among likely Republican primary voters. It was a statistically insignificant number of respondees--and Laffey admitted this--but Laffey cited it as evidence of why he should run. Now that a scientfic poll using a full sample was conducted and it shows him losing, he dismisses it.

Laffey can question the sampling and he can question that the number of people who said they will vote in the GOP primary as extraordinarily high. But as Darrell West accurately points out, this will be the largest GOP primary history in RI history and we need to be care to dismiss the results of a scientific poll just because the results don't match our assumptions. One of the reasons for conducting a poll is to find out whether our commonly-held assumptions are correct.

There are still many unanswered questions that will affect the outcome of the primary, the most significant being whether Matt Brown continues to stay in the Democrat primary.

As Bakst suggested, Laffey could publish his own poll numbers to counter the Projo's if feels that it was so misleading.

Posted by: Anthony at September 16, 2005 5:01 AM

{Comment removed due to crude content}

Posted by: InsideOut at September 16, 2005 11:42 AM


I really don't disagree with most of your follow-up comments. I believe that it is currently being debated within the Laffey campaign, as to whether it would be efficacious to release those previous poll results that have been cited by the Laffey folks. All I can say is that it is a political calculation.

I do agree with the assertion that this could be the largest GOP primary in RI history, and almost certainly, the most costly. In the 2004 Cranston primary elections, normally Democrat-leaning independent voters had the option of voting in the GOP primary, since there was no Democrat primary that year. Due to our modified open primary system, independents can vote in either one. One thing that makes this upcoming primary different than the last Cranston GOP primary, where there was a significant number cross-over of voters, is that there is also a competitive Democrat 3-way primary. Of course, a person cannot (legally) vote in both parties' primaries, so they have to choose which one to vote in. Most Democrat and Democrat-leaning independents will presumably want to have a voice in their own party's primary, in order to field their strongest candidate against the eventual GOP candidate, than to elect to try and meddle in the GOP one. Again, election day's a long way off, so things can change.

Posted by: Will at September 18, 2005 2:00 AM

Will, a couple of things. First, I think Laffey would need to produce poll results for a poll taken after the Projo poll. That would help his case.

Second, I'd be careful to compare a Cranston primary vs. a statewide primary. Cranston was so badly mismanaged that anyone with an ounce of common sense could have done a better job than O'Leary. And there is no question that Laffey is an intelligent guy, so his election and subsequent re-election were easy races to predict. Many of the "independents" who voted in the farce Cranston GOP primary were union members encouraged to run by special interests. The Senate primary will draw quite a few real (can you say moderate?) independents who are voting their beliefs.

Also, there isn't really 3-way Democrat primary. Sheeler is a joke. The question then becomes whether Brown sticks in for the long haul against Whitehouse. It seems that Brown's candidacy is losing support every day he stays in the race.

I do agree that the election is a long way off and we can only speculate what will happen at this point.

Posted by: Anthony at September 18, 2005 10:27 PM