April 13, 2006

A Pro-Republican Senate Campaign Proposal

Carroll Andrew Morse

Judging from both Elizabeth Gudrais’ Projo coverage of last night’s Johnson and Wales' college Republican candidates' night and the comments section of this blog, Senator Lincoln Chafee and his supporters seem determined to make Steve Laffey’s campaign contributions from 10 years ago a central issue in the Rhode Island Senate campaign…

Chafee never mentioned Laffey by name. Instead, he said: "My primary opponent actually contributed to Democrats. I've never done that."

He was referring to contributions Laffey made to Tennessee Democrats' congressional campaigns during his time working for Morgan Keegan, a Memphis investment banking firm.

Since Senator Chafee and his supporters have become very concerned about party loyalty, I’d like to propose the following deal.

Steve Laffey agrees not to give any more money to Democratic candidates and Lincoln Chafee agrees a) to vote for the next Republican Presidential nominee (Senator Chafee voted against President Bush in 2004) and/or b) to vote for judicial nominees chosen by Republican Presidents when all the other Senate Republicans are voting in favor of confirmation.

Any takers?

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a and b?

What about c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k and lmnop?

These two are as far apart as you can get. Chafee isn't even a republican.

The race is on. Laffey wins.


Posted by: Sol Venturi at April 13, 2006 9:48 AM

Just zipped by Chafee HQ. The Senator's out to lunch. (Lackey's at the bar).

By the way, is Chafee challenging Laffey for Mayor of Cranston? He sound's just like the union-backed hacks that tried to unseat the Mayor in '04 (Whom Laffey CHRUSHED!)...

NO! Laffey is challenging Chafee for the U.S. Senate seat because, as a Republican, Chafee is a miserable failure.

beep beep

Posted by: roadrunner at April 13, 2006 10:34 AM


Excellent comments! This is becoming a bigger joke than "Laffey raised taxes" (which perhaps the Senator missed the Cranston Financial crisis while he was living in Virginia for 6 years).

Once again, the Chafee camp has nothing IMPORTANT to say. Where are is policy briefs? Where is his platform? Why is he running again? What will he do for RI and Nation, besides have lunch in the Capital?

He is the lamest US Senator in DC, you know and he knows it. This latest flap a bout a check written 10 years ago is soooooo lame. Keep trying guys, the more you try the better it gets for Laffey.

Posted by: Carl Elliott at April 13, 2006 11:22 AM

I was at the event yesterday with Chafee and Laffey. I couldn't even believe my ears when I heard Chafee bring that up. Really, what is the relevance of that today? Is that all he can come up with -- he's trying to "out-Republican" the real Republican?

Giving $100 to a Democrat 10 years ago isn't even in the same zip code as voting like a Democrat 10 days ago, and 10 days before that, and 6 years before that. It's about as credible as Warren Beatty lecturing us on the value of monogamy. As somebody previously recalled, Gov. Carcieri gave Bob Wegand a sizable donation in 1999 -- does that somehow make him damaged goods?

PS Great quote by that JWU student about rather having a Democrat voting like a Democrat, than having a Republican voting like a Democrat. Can't we just expect better? Of course, there is always the risk that if Laffey wins the primary, that he might not win the general election. Same could easily be said for Chafee -- making it though the primary is by no means a guarantee of reelection. I for one have come to the point where I am willing to take that risk. To be perfectly honest, I think Laffey stands a much better chance in the general election than some pundits would have us believe.

Posted by: Will at April 13, 2006 1:14 PM

Rather have a Democrat that voted like a Democrat than a Republican that voted like a Democrat? You've got to be kidding me. If you had any loyalty to the Republican party (unlike Laffey who gives to Dems), you would know this race is about more than that. It's about maintaing a majority in the Senate. It's about keeping the seat in Republican hands in RI for years to come. Clearly Will and others are more interested in Laffey victory than the good of the party. If your going to call yourselves Republicans, act like them. Don't throw us under the bus like Laffey did with those contributions.

Posted by: Will Avedia at April 13, 2006 1:29 PM

Chafee has absolutely NOTHING good to say about his "tenure" in the Senate that will resonate with conservatives except that he does lunch with Republicans.

Here we are six years since Chafee has become a Senator and six months since a real Republican entered the race and still all the Chafee camp has is the weak argument that Laffey raised taxes.

Laffey raised taxes as part of a plan that saved the City from bankruptcy and raised the bond rating 5 notches. As Mayor of Warwick, Chafee raised taxes every year because that is what he loves to do.

As soon as Laffey could, he froze taxes (2005 budget) and has not proposed a tax reduction (2006).

That is the kind of action-oriented man we need in D.C., not the spoiled, never-had-a-real-job, RINO we have now!

Posted by: Stretch Cunningham at April 13, 2006 1:40 PM

My bro was at the Laffey/Chafee events at Jay-woo last night and he says the thing was a scream.

{Hearsay not consistent with other reports of the event deleted}


Posted by: Peter Jones at April 13, 2006 1:47 PM

Will A,

You say “If your going to call yourselves Republicans, act like them”.

Why shouldn’t I apply this logic to Senator Chafee, who didn’t vote for the Republican President, or for the Republican Supreme Court nominee that all other Republican Senators voted for?

Posted by: Andrew at April 13, 2006 1:58 PM

Oh, it looks like the Chafee slackers have finally gotten out of bed.

ILL WILL, what do you consider the good of the Party? Publically declaring that you won't vote for the Party's nominee for re-election to the Presidency. Opposing the Republican President's judicial nominees? Voting against tax cuts when the MAJORITY PARTY's platform calls for them? Voting against the Iraq War when every other Republican supported it?

Chafee out of the Senate is a net gain for the Party.
If a Democrat wins, its break even for the Senate, but still a gain for the party.

When Laffey wins, its WIN-WIN!

GOOD WILL makes perfect sense. ILL WILL obviously has nothing good to say about Senator Chafee.

Posted by: Stretch Cunningham at April 13, 2006 2:00 PM

Here are some snippets of the most potent "arguments" the Chafee bunker has made in response to Laffey's long string of policy briefs and statements:

In response to Laffey's speech announcing his candidacy: "The US Senate is a fascinating and intriguing institution" (This was the first line of his so-called pitch to voters, and he just recently ended up deleting this telling comment from the website. Why? Because he realized that purely for his self-aggrandizement is no reason to run for re-election)

In response to Laffey's energy policy: "I drive a hybrid and you drive an SUV" (Neglecting to say that he owns both an SUV and pick-up but apparently does not drive them).

In response to Laffey's brief on pork and excessive government spending: "I support PAYGO" (i.e. higher taxes and more spending).

In addition to high taxes and loads of pork spending Chafee also has ardently supported Hugo Chavez, Palestinian terrorists, the Syrian militants, and the maniacal Toby the Bear.

Given his pitiful record and after recently seeing Laffey's strong financial support and success of the "Reformer", Chafee is now bringing out the big guns: Steve Laffey gave $200 to a democrat when he was 31 years old.

That's it. That's all he could muster. Just a bunch of trite negativism trying to trump substance and achievement. It won't fly with the voters. Actually, these tactics already backfired last fall. The NRSC ads helped Laffey. So will this most recent attempt at a tactic.

Posted by: bountyhunter at April 13, 2006 2:40 PM

Let's not forget that Mr. Chafee was on the verge of pulling a reverse Ronald Reagan - by actually becoming a real, live democrat (rather than just masquerading as one with his voting record). Remember not too long ago when he threatened to leave the party - as a sitting U.S. Senator no less.

All this chatter about contributions when Laffey was a 30ish stock trader pales in comparison to what a late 40ish US Senator was more-than-willing to do.

{Exaggerated statement of questionable accuracy deleted}

Posted by: bountyhunter at April 13, 2006 2:57 PM

Peter Jones, initials PJ. I detect a subliminal message here: James, at Butler Hospital wandering around in his PJ's about to CRACK IN ALL CAPS again because he and the pals he left behind at Chafee HQ cannot come up with any good reason to support his candidate.

Reminds me of Wyle E., just a loser.

beep beep

Posted by: roadrunner at April 13, 2006 3:15 PM

Hey, did you guys notice that their wasn't a pro-Chafee comment in the paper from any of the students who attending the J&W event last night??? I'm sure the reporter canvassed the room looking for a pro-Chafee person to present a balanced story (after the strong pro-Laffey comment made by another student) and probably couldn't find one!!

Posted by: Colin Pachios at April 13, 2006 3:33 PM

Colin, you know the ProJo would have emphasized any pro-Chafee sentiment in the crowd; if nothing but to please the Danforths.

Fact is, there was none!

Posted by: Stretch Cunningham at April 13, 2006 3:45 PM

To the editors:

Ok - so does Chafee's calling himself a Benedict Arnold really mean anything different than traitor?

Posted by: bountyhunter at April 13, 2006 3:59 PM

MY LOYALTY IS TO CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN PRINCIPLES AND VALUES, NOT TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY! Gee, I hope I was clear on that. I'm not for having a "Republican Party in name only."

A Laffey victory IS for the good of the party, in both the immediate short term and especially for the long term. As long as this state party is controlled by essentially the same people that have beat it down into near oblivion, we won't have a real Republican Party in Rhode Island. A democrat-lite Republican Party is just as bad, if not worse, than a democrat-lite Republican Senator.

The problem isn't so much the incumbent Senator -- he has enough trouble choosing matching ties, let alone taking positions on important issues -- it's the cadre of insiders and hacks that prop him up and tell him how to act and what to think. As long as those parasites continue to feed off of the party structure, and keep it from realizing its potential, we will continue to be irrelevant. Are we the Republican Party OR are we the Chafee Party? Political parties are supposed to be about shared values and ideals. It's hard to share them, when you don't hold any (I really tried my best to hold back).

Posted by: Will at April 13, 2006 9:34 PM

Well, here is the deal.

Laffey cannot win in a General election. When are you going to get that through your head? His brand of Republicanism does not work in Rhode Island. Do you want to keep a Majority in the Senate or do you want to have Sen. Whitehouse?

Deal with the individual votes as you like, but Chafee delivers for our state. Laffey is a nice guy and may be a good Mayor, but Chafee is a GREAT Senator and is the most responsive politician I ever met.

Recently the Senator led the fight to get the money needed to take down the Jamestown Bridge, which will happen next week; he was named the most environmentally responsible member of the senate last week by the Republicans for Environmental Protection, and had a very successful fundraiser with Fmr. Tn. Senator Fred Thompson. The other Senators want him to stay. That speaks volumes.

Posted by: caswell cooke, Jr at April 14, 2006 9:56 AM

caswell cooke, jr.??? (give me a break)

What a joke. Do you actually think this lame excuse for a position will fly? NOT!

Post you address so I can send you some tissues for your upcoming requiem in September.


Posted by: Sol Venturi at April 14, 2006 11:37 AM

Democracy can't ever take hold in Japan; the Berlin Wall cannot fall; the Soviet Union will become stronger and overtake us one day, Mondale will surely beat Reagan in '84; Dewey beats Truman. What do all these statements have in common? They are assumptions which at one time or another were portrayed as the gospel truth by the mainstream media. Obviously, they all turned out to be totally wrong, mainly because some people dared to think outside the box and said "it can be done." Might want to get out of that box, before you run out of air!

PS So Chafee's greatest accomplishments in nearly 7 years in office is a future bridge demolition and driving around his Toyota Pious, er Prius? Gee, I'm sold.

Posted by: Will at April 16, 2006 2:06 AM