December 15, 2005

A Crack in the Machine?

Justin Katz

Yeah, I know, it's silly and not a little suspicious that such a thing would become a news story at all. Still...

Cranston Mayor Stephen P. Laffey has apparently been making some revisionist history -- digitally removing a one-time political ally turned foe from all images on his Web site.

The photos remain, but the space where former City Councilman Randall A. Jackvony once stood has been replaced by rainbow-colored pixels.

Call it the case of the missing politician.

Laffey, who is running for U.S. Senate, denies responsibility for Jackvony's disappearance, suggesting that "hackers and perhaps even space invaders or extraterrestrials" altered the photos.

"What can you say? It's so ludicrous it's funny," Jackvony said. "A mature adult would just remove pictures from their Web site.

"It gives you the sort of mindset of his whole campaign -- which is, there's one way to do things and people that may disagree with him are not treated in a respectful manner," Jackvony added. "I would question if the people of Rhode Island want that type of person representing them in the United States Senate." ...

A third photo of Jackvony, his wife, his sister and her three children at a campaign event, is completely blurred out. The caption reads: "Many families were out in force for the big day." ...

"Please Note: Like many things in life image files can become corrupt over time," the disclaimer reads. "Several files from our original archive that depicted people and events from the 2002 Mayoral campaign may have become corrupt or damaged. Hackers and perhaps even space invaders or extraterrestrials may also have gotten past our rigid security firewall and tampered with some files."

Perhaps one could make the case that politics, particularly Rhode Island politics, need some "regular guy" lightening up. When it comes to the interpersonal and marketing sides of campaigning, a quasiparody could be an effective and, moreover, meaningful strategy.

But there's just something creepy — menacing — in the image of a campaign aid's taking the time to blur out the wife and children of an erstwhile political ally. Even abducting aliens don't go back for the families.

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On the money Justin.
In the big picture (no pun intended) of things this photo doctoring is trivial.
But you're so right to characterize it as "creepy".
Just remember my words from previous, Laffey is a fraud and a phoney and needs a psychiatrist more than a new gig in Washington.
The man has serious issues and I don't mean political ones.
BTW, I have no doubt Laffey himself doctored these photos.
It's is Laffey signature move all the way.
Paranoid, childish....

Posted by: Tim at December 15, 2005 7:27 AM

The NRSC is going to have fun with this one!!!

Posted by: Robert at December 15, 2005 9:09 AM

You're right about it being creepy. A friend of mine told me about this a while back, and I didn't believe him. But to think of someone from the Laffey campaign taking the time to doctor photos of people he has had falling-outs with is just plain weird.

Has Laffey really burned this many bridges? And if this is a pattern of behavior, then should we question the circumstances that led to his decision to leave the great state of Tennessee to return to the greater state of Rhode Island?

Posted by: James at December 15, 2005 10:15 AM

This is a prime example of why I will not vote for Laffey. How paranoid is this guy?

Sweeping his office for bugs, installing spy cameras, eliminating people from pictures because they don't support him anymore....too bad he was just a few years late to run the KGB.

Posted by: Anthony at December 15, 2005 10:36 AM

I think it is hilarious. To me it seems as though Laffey is just a regular guy with a sense of humor. Get over it you stuffed shirts. Get a sense of humor.

This is why I love the idea of sending Laffey to Washington to bust chops down there. I mean really, it would be fun to watch.

Posted by: Jim at December 15, 2005 1:32 PM

This isn't funny. Look at all the federal dollars Chafee has been able to bring into RI. Then take a look at Laffey who appears to like to hold grudges. How much additional federal funds do you think the state is going to receive with Laffey "busting chops" down in DC? My guess is none.

Laffey can't be trusted, and like it or not, Chafee's proven he can win a state-wide election and has leverage in DC that benefits RI

Posted by: ri rich at December 15, 2005 2:02 PM

Who do you think pays for all that pork that Chafee "brings into RI?"...the Pork Fairy?

Wake up and see this for what it is, a humorous jab back at Randy Hackvony - a guy who deserves far worse than pixelization for what he's done in the name of political ambition.

Posted by: oz at December 15, 2005 5:29 PM

oz says it's Jackvony who has a problem with political ambition??? lol
Laffey's sycophants twist reality the same way he does.
I actually feel sympathy for you well meaning Laffey fans becaue I think by and large you're good people who care about our state.
Sad to say but your faith in Laffey will be a wasted exercise and that's too bad.
This man is not worthy of your loyalty or your belief but you will no doubt discover that on your own as many many people in this state already have.

Posted by: Tim at December 15, 2005 7:06 PM

Some of you really need to lighten up, especially those of you who work for Sen. Chafee! It did accomplish one purpose though, it got prominently mentioned in the newspaper, before the fundraising quarter ends in three weeks!

Posted by: Will at December 15, 2005 7:56 PM

I must have lost my head there for a moment - I completely forgot that Tim knows everything about Laffey.

Please forgive me, mighty Tim. Tell Chafee you scored a good one today. Maybe he'll let you drive the Prius.

Posted by: oz at December 15, 2005 9:35 PM

Will, you need to face reality.
SENATORIAL candidate Steve Laffey needs to start acting the part.
This is junior high school!
Am I wrong to think Laffey himself did this??
Don't think so!!
Paranoid 7 yr olds like Steve Laffey need something to do at 3:00 a.m.

oz, here's the big problem for you and Laffey. Though I routinely vote 99.9% Republican in Rhode Island and I'm not a Chafee guy in any way I've got Laffey diagnosed completely.
Don't like snake oil salesmen and that's exactly what Steve Laffey is.
Believe me when I tell you've I've got lots of company out here in RI who share my views and plan on voting in the Republican primary.
Steve Laffey is a fraud and he toys with MY political leanings!
The pay back comes next September!!

Posted by: Tim at December 15, 2005 10:56 PM

Yes, great one, you know everything there is to know about Mayor Laffey, since you're close pals and all. We're all lemmings, just following him off the cliff. Save us!

What the heck would lead you to believe that a Senate candidate actually updates his own website? The guy routinely works harder in a day than some will ever work in their life. Obviously, a few of the pictures could have been easily removed, if that's what they wanted to do. Don't make a mountain out of a molehill, unless that's all you've got to work with.

This is pure politics (surprised?). Do you think it's a coincidence that both the Projo and Roll Call in Washington DC both just happened to publish the same story on the same day? It's called a plant.

PS Make sure to say "hi" to Randy and Bernie for me!

Posted by: Will at December 16, 2005 12:47 AM


Now I have been gone from the fun for a while on Anchor Rising, but it was nice to meet you at the Christmas dinner of the NFRA last week, you were there were you not? Doctoring pictures by Laffey is a great publicity stunt since it has everyone talking about it. Now take this situation. You have Bernie, Senator Chafee and Mayor Laffey standing before you for a little conversation.

You shake Bernie's hand and then check your wallet. Senator Chafee you shake his hand and He gives you the "Bill Clinton line" and tell's you what you want to hear without ever looking you in the eyes. Mayor Laffey you shake his hand, he tell's you what HE THINKS even if you do not agree, and asks you for your vote to make a better America. Neither one of the people are what we would all like in a politicain in RI but atleast with Mayor Laffey You know where he stands LIKE IT OR NOT. CONSERVATIVE OR NOT.

Posted by: Fred on the Blog at December 17, 2005 7:41 PM

I still don't know where Laffey stands on Alito. I still don't know his real position on energy because while he promoted oil companies in his old job, he now bashes them in his new energy proposals. I still don't know his position on a host of issues, because he vacillates so often depending on the audience he is attempting to woo. Heck, I couldn't even find an "Issues" section on Laffey's website. PLEASE don't tell me that he is a straight shooter. Laffey wants to have his cake and eat it, too.

Also, Chafee should do something about his website, too. I know where he stands on issues based on his official website, but his campaign website doesn't reflect his positions.

Posted by: Anthony at December 18, 2005 12:23 AM