April 20, 2006

Stephanie Chafee: "If you are a registered Democrat, I am strongly encouraging you to disaffiliate and to become an unaffiliated voter"

Carroll Andrew Morse

Stephanie Chafee, wife of Senator Lincoln Chafee, has sent out an e-mail encouraging registered Democrats to disaffiliate from their party so that they can vote for Senator Chafee in the Republican primary…

Dear Friend,

This is an important election for Rhode Island’s future. My husband, Linc Chafee, is engaged in the fight of his political life. His commitment to honest, independent leadership has put him under attack from extremist on both sides of the ideological divide.

I believe that you agree with me that Linc’s centrist views are good for Rhode Island. They allow him to work with colleagues in a bipartisan manner to ensure that our state receives its fair share of federal funding, to expand access to healthcare and education, and to safeguard our beautiful forests and coastlines for this and future generations.

Linc has stood up for Rhode Island time and again. In a contentious atmosphere, he has stood firm by refusing to engage in partisan politics. Now it’s time for all of us who want more independent minded thinkers in Washington to show our support for Linc. If you are a registered Democrat, I am strongly encouraging you to disaffiliate and to become an unaffiliated voter.

If you support my husband, it is absolutely imperative that you vote for him in both the September 12th primary and in the general election on November 7th. But to be eligible to vote for him in the Republican primary you must be registered as either an unaffiliated or a Republican voter. I want to urge you to please check your affiliation and consider voting in the September primary. If you are a registered Democrat you must disaffiliate by June 14th in order to vote in Linc’s September primary.

Changing your affiliation is easy. I have enclosed a copy of a voter registration card, which will allow you to disaffiliate. This form can also be found on the board of elections website at www.elections.ri.gov and is available at your local board of canvassers located at your Town or City Hall. Enclosed, please find a listing of five easy steps to guide you through the disaffiliation process. For more information on voter registration call the campaign at (401) 921-1920 and ask for Brent Lang or email him at blang@chafeeforsenate.com.

Thank you and I hope you will join me in supporting Linc in this upcoming election.

Stephanie Chafee

P.S. If you need further information, please let us know. If you are planning to be out of state during the primary, please remember to get an absentee ballot. Above all, exercise what our forefathers fought for – the right to vote.

Attachments to the e-mail included a five-step instruction sheet on how to disaffiliate, a RI disaffiliation form, and a list of city and town halls in Rhode Island.

Anchor Rising has confirmed the authenticity of the e-mail with the Chafee campaign. Campaign manager Ian Lang describes the e-mail as a message from Mrs. Chafee to friends and acquaintances sent out to help insure that the broad base of support that the Senator has developed across Rhode Island while serving as Mayor and as Senator will be eligible to vote for him on election day.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Stephanie, once again taking the lead. First on Judge Alito, now on this. I guess this how one "builds the Republican Party"? When will Steph be kicking off her campaign? :)

Posted by: Will at April 20, 2006 1:45 PM

The internet has certainly transformed politics. This post is a study in that: a political email posted on a political blog!

I'll be curious to see if this has the same impact as the Laffey pixel-gate controversy had.

Posted by: johnb at April 20, 2006 1:53 PM

This is an obvious attempt to hijack the GOP primary. First Brian Nick of the NRSC says that Chafee doesn't need Republicans to win a GOP primary in RI and now this?

If you read the instructions they attach, they even tell you how to go right back to being a Democrat that same day! Great party building! What a joke, this makes me sick.

How do you think the towns that have endorsed Chafee feel now, or perhaps that think it's proper to hijack a primary?

Chafee is in deep, deep trouble, and they know it, because it is only April and they are going for disaffiliation already.

I found some press releases on Laffey's website saying that Chafee is running in the wrong primary, I guess they were right!

I can't help but wonder, however, if Mr. Stephanie Chafee knows anything about this?

Posted by: Carl Elliott at April 20, 2006 2:13 PM

I'm quite concerned about this tactic because now that Mr. Brown has hit the skids, a lot of liberal Democrats could become more comfortable about making the move suggested by Stephanie Chafee. On the other hand, they could vote for Laffey thinking him to be the weaker candidate to run against Whitehouse. But this could become a Democrat hijacking, therefore the blogosphere has the responsibility to make this widely known! Kudos again to Andrew.

Posted by: Chuck Nevola at April 20, 2006 2:31 PM

This cry of help just oozes DESPERATION...

First of all, it’s Linc, not Stephanie, who should be attracting voters. Secondly, this hits home the point that the Chafee camp knows it’s toast without Democratic support. Forget registered Republicans---now, even unaffiliated voters can’t save him!

Posted by: ian at April 20, 2006 2:40 PM

If this is true, and it looks like it is, what other proof do we need that Chafee is a republican in name only, and an untrustworthy one at that.

The disaffiliation route is the lowest form of manipulation of a great system. And to think that Chafee's wife would stoop this low is an affront to the voting public as well as a disgrace to their so called family name.

If this is what Chafee stands for then he should come out publicly and say so. Maybe he needs do disaffiliate from the party he is lying about being a member of, give back the $500,000 to the RNC for “party building” that trickled down to his campaign through supporters at the state level, and run in the democrat primary or as an independent.

What are the idiots at the NRSC going to do now?


Posted by: Sol Venturi at April 20, 2006 2:54 PM

This is not desperation, this is clear evidence that Senator Chafee has the broad-based support a Republican in Rhode Island needs to get elected in November. Mayor Laffey cannot ask for Democratic support, because he would get laughed out of town (apparently his Democratic contributions in the past didn't buy him much respect across the aisle).

In a state that is 13% Republican, our candidate must have bi-partisan support. Senator Chafee is the only candidate who can attract people beyond the tiny Republican base in the state, and you all know it.

This email from Mrs. Chafee exemplifies the good work of a Rhode Island Republican who knows how to get elected in this state. Contrast that with Laffey, who, polls show, would lose by 25 points to Whitehouse and by 24 points to Brown. Laffey would even lose to the fringe Democrat, Sheeler.

Posted by: rich at April 20, 2006 3:03 PM

This is a clear admission by Chafee that he is trailing Laffey in polls his campaign has conducted.

Without question, if something doesn't change soon, Chafee will - to an independent.

Posted by: Jim at April 20, 2006 3:04 PM

This is so absurd it's almost laughable A "save my husband" e-mail sent to DEMOCRATS???

Don't Mr. Stephanie Chafee's highly paid advisors recognize that this maneuver will probably lose him more Republican primary votes than disaffiliated Democrats that it picks up? What the heck are they thinking???

Or maybe they know exactly what they're doing. It makes more and more sense that this is the next step in Chafee's grand plan to declare as an independent by the end of June: the no vote on Alito, the subsequent op-ed he wrote in the ProJo, now this.

And just as telling is the fact that the NRSC has done nothing since they ran those negative ads against Laffey back in October, over 6 months ago.

Get it over with Linc!!! We all know what you're up to!

Posted by: Leon Berg at April 20, 2006 3:15 PM

What an interesting note from a woman whose voter registration shows her mailing address in Virginia. This again points up the one of the stellar qualities of the RI and even the national Republican party which is to take the gun pointed at the Democrats and shoot themselves in the head. So instead of rediculous notes like this, and direct mail pieces attacking Laffey, how about using this race to encourage ALL voters by having 2-3 debates between the candidate every month. Those events can be promoted by the local town committeee and also to promote local candidates.

Posted by: Abraham Glazer at April 20, 2006 3:22 PM

Hey rich, is it getting hot over there at Chafee headquarters today?

No amount of (twisted) logic or arugment can explain how it makes sense to reach out to Democrats as a means of HIJACKING a Republican primary.

Posted by: Colin Pachios at April 20, 2006 3:30 PM

Rich -

You clearly are not a historian lest you would know that Laffey took 75% of the vote in Cranston's last mayoralty election. This in a city which is estimated at 80%+ Democrat. That's not getting "laffed" out of town - that's called a mandate!! In spite of this, Laffey is not about to abandon his ethics and conviction and court a competing party to win in his own.

The weak Linc is toast!

Posted by: Tim2 at April 20, 2006 3:44 PM

Cast your minds back to June 2004 when union boss Donald Iannazzi tried this very same tactic - www.projo.com/news/content/projo_20040617_lafflett.3446a9.html

Fast forward to September 2004 when it failed miserably - http://www.turnto10.com/politics/3731187/detail.html

And here we are today, with Virginia resident Stephanie Chafee trying to pull another Iannazzi.

Stay on your toes, Laffey, Ian Lang might pull another union tactic out of the Chafee bag of tricks and try to kneecap you at your next event.

Posted by: oz at April 20, 2006 3:50 PM

It's spring time, and desperation is in the air!

Posted by: Rocco DiPippo at April 20, 2006 4:03 PM

Someone was kind enough to forward me the original e-mail that Mrs. Chafee sent out to her supposedly sympathetic Democratic and unaffiliated friends. I happened to notice that at least two of the MS Word documents which were attached to her original e-mail: the one listing the "5 easy steps to disaffiliate" and the "template" for others to presumably use in a letter writing campaign to other pro-Linc Democratic friends, to convince them to disaffiliate so they can vote in the GOP primary -- which bore more than a passing resemblance to Mrs. Chafee's own silly letter -- were both authored by William Facente.

For those not familiar with that name, William Facente:

Was the former Treasurer of the Lincoln Chafee US Senate campaign (up until 2005). You can check the FEC website to confirm that.

He is the current Treasurer of the Scott Avedisian for Mayor campaign. You can find that on the RI Board of Elections website.

He is the former Warwick Economic Development Director (up until 2005).

He is the current Warwick Housing Officer. That's on Warwick's city website.

I wouldn't know Mr. Facente if he was standing in front of me. However, I would love to know if he did his letter writing on his own time, or on that of the City of Warwick. I thought it was bad enough that the Senator's wife was begging Democrats to save her husband's political behind, but having a city employee ghostwrite it for her takes it one step further.

Posted by: Will at April 20, 2006 5:51 PM

Does any rational person believe that a republican can win a statewide election in Rhode Island without support from democrats. Mayor Laffey is dispised by the vast majority of democrats in RI, as every poll will tell you. On the other hand Linc Chafee and his family have been able to appeal to the traditionally liberal voters in the state through common sense politics that are aimed at uniting the people of this state around a strong leader. By appealing to the better side of the voters of this state the Senator has risen above the partison politics which has plagued this state and nation over the last decade. To not appeal to every voter who could potentially assist him during an election season would be a major political blunder for both himself personally as well as the national GOP. There is a reason that the national republican party is backing Senator chafee, because smart people realize that one senate seat can swing control of the senate. Do the self-proclaimed "true" republicans wish to see the senate fall into the hands of a democratic party which clearly wants to destroy president bush. Do you think that a judiciary committee chaired by Ted Kennedy would have allowed Judge Alito to even get a vote on the floor of the senate, nevermind being confirmed. These are the issues that should be on the mind of republicans across the nation, not who voted for what bill individually.

Posted by: ted nugent at April 20, 2006 6:12 PM

Hey Teddy,

It must be convenient to live in your world where biased polls hold more weight than actual facts. Once again, I advise you and your ignorant kind to see the last Cranston mayoralty election results. 80%+ Democrats and yet a 75% mandate for Laffey.

Please move on to a more rational line of reasoning in your dispise, or despise as I thought it was, for Laffey. Any "true" Republican wants a true Republican representing their views, not someone who has to appeal to the othe team because he is un-electable on his own purported team.

And as Laffey has proven, many rational people have seen the light regardless of their party affiliation and voted with their conscience. It is amusing that you can refer to the weak linc as a strong leader - that is just not a rational thought.

Posted by: Tim2 at April 20, 2006 6:30 PM

"Does any rational person believe that a republican can win a statewide election in Rhode Island without support from democrats."

Laffey can appeal to working class, traditional values, and pro-life Democrats and independents. Carcieri obviously did so 4 years ago, and I expect him to be able to again. Neither of them had to try to rig their own party's primary in order to do it.

My question is: Does any rational person believe that a Republican can win the Republican Primary without support of Republicans? ;)

Posted by: Will at April 20, 2006 7:12 PM

I feel sorry for you Will, Sol, Bountyhunter, etc. You are completely divorced from reality.

This is a smart move by a mainstream RI politician. If Laffey isn't encouraging his Democrat supporters to disaffiliate then his grassroots movement is a joke! In fact, Willy, many of the blue collar workers you cite as evidence of Laffey's working class appeal will probably be Democrat. In a state where only 10% of voters are registered Reps. you have to make up the difference somewhere.

If the Mayor isn't trying to court Dems. and unaffiliateds then I'm afraid your Laffey Victory is even more of an empty wish then you three or four people think.

On a seperate note, the personal remarks made at Stephanie Chafee's expense are plain tacky. If Sen. Chafee ever attacked Mayor Laffey's wife I would be equally disgusted. The bloggers here are disrespectful, but I suppose you are only following your delusional mesiah's lead. After all he was the one who initially insulted her.

Posted by: James at April 20, 2006 7:43 PM

With all due respect to James, a number of us may crank up the rhetoric from time to time, but you must admit, this trolling for Democrat votes is pretty nasty stuff. Chafee is purportedly running in a Republican Primary before he gets to run in the general election. That means he's supposed to be appealing to members of his own Party convincing them that he is the best man to take on the opposing party candidate. The General election comes in November.

If he needs a Machiavellian ransack of his own Party to get to the general election, what honor is there in that?

Also, I think many of the Chafee supporters writing here are underestimating the reaction of general voters to a new-comer-slays-old-money outcome in the Primary. And what if (admittedly, by some miracle) Matt Brown comes back to life to challenge Whitehouse in a close race. Laffey could slide into victory in November.

Consider also that Rhode Islanders have voted for conservative Republicans who were not initially the favorites of the Republican leadership, i. e., Governor Carcieri.

But something Will has uncovered really gets my goat. It is very disconcerting to think that Republicans working for city governments are possibly using their taxpayer subsidized work day to campaign against Chafee's opponents. This has happened in previous, corrupt Republican city strongholds. If this is true, Republicans need to vote deliberately and overwhelmingly to vigorously oppose this kind of unethical behavior.

Posted by: Chuck Nevola at April 20, 2006 8:48 PM

{Comment removed.}

Posted by: Will at April 20, 2006 8:57 PM

Top 10 reasons to vote against the " Missing Linc "

1. Linc voted against cutting taxes.
2. Linc opposes school choice.
3. Linc supports same sex marriage.
4. Linc opposes oil drilling in ANWAR.
5. Linc voted against Judge Alito.
6. Linc voted against going into Iraq.
7. Linc supports EMBRYONIC stem cell research.
8. Linc voted against the partial birth abortion ban.
9. Linc voted against the " Unborn Victims of Violence Act", otherwise known as " Lacy's Law" .
10. Linc did not vote for President Bush.

If it looks like a Democrat, walks like a Democrat and talks like a Democrat, it's a Democrat. Linc's a Democrat.

Posted by: Bob Tingle at April 20, 2006 9:43 PM

Why is this even an issue? It can't come as a surprise.

Chafee's appeal is common sense from a political perspective. He knows that conservative ranks are broken into two groups. Those who will vote for him are doing so to preserve the Republican majority. The other, probably larger, group of conservatives is going to vote for Laffey. If only currently registered Republican voters come to the polls, the GOP primary will be extrememly close. Chafee knows he needs moderate independents to get involved for him to win the race.

I'm willing to bet that most of the independents or Democrats that support Chafee would vote in the Democrat primary if Whitehouse was in a tough race. Now that Brown's campaign has hit the skids and Whitehouse looks like he'll have a cake walk, Chafee's campaign is going to target Dems to vote for Chafee. I don't think the timing of Stephanie Chafee's e-mail was an accident. That's just good politics. Forget e-mail, if I were Chafee, I'd be sending out mailings to Democrats telling them how to reaffiliate.

On a similar note, does the fact that Avedisian's people are actively supporting Chafee surprise anyone? Most of Avedisian's crew worked for Chafee before they worked for Avedisian. Avedisian and Laffey have liked one another and it wouldn't surprise me if Avedisian supported Whitehouse should Laffey come through the GOP primary.

Carcieri's people don't exactly seem to be big Laffey fans either, although I doubt they'll get as involved as Avedisian's crew. That's probably a good because I think Carcieri will have his hands full. Carcieri's poll numbers are apparently showing some softness.

Either way, Chafee is practicing politics just as Laffey was practicing politics when he organized the blitzkrieg putsch that removed Traficante from the national committeeman position. Save the moral outrage for a different day.

Posted by: Anthony at April 20, 2006 10:14 PM

This isn't political desperation.

I think the Chafee camp, Will, is saying we don't need Republicans to win. Do you think the Chafee camp let's this out without knowing it'll hit blogs and newspapers? I don't think so.

However, average Rhode Island (as in the 600k that ARE unaffiliated) may look at this and say, 'Chafee is independent. We can still trust him.' We might be affronted, but this is politics and this isn't a bad leak really. Mrs. Chafee is essentially saying what we all know, Chafee is a Dem in GOP clothing.

Posted by: don roach at April 21, 2006 12:16 AM


I understand your logic. My real question regarding this lame attempt comes down to this: are the Chafee folks so delusional that they honestly think that any meaningful number of Democrats are going to throw their own principles out the window, in order to save Senator Chafee's political career? Why should they do that, when the can have the real thing (i.e. a Democrat who calls himself a Democrat, as opposed to a Republican who usually acts like a Democrat). Why settle for 90%, when you can just as easily get 100% of what you want? Desperate isn't even the right word for this one.

Posted by: Will at April 21, 2006 1:15 AM

Let's be a more honest about the Traficante removal. It was less politics and more principle. For one, Traficante was not even a registered Republican, a little requirement to hold the National Committeeman position. Further, but for a technicality, the man should have served time in jail. He oversaw one of the most corrupt administrations in the city of Cranston. Bear in mind, he was competing with Ed DiPrete for that one.
Ironically, it was the Chafee people who were close to Traficante, and tried keeping him in the slot, knowing he wasn't a registered Republican. Are you getting the picture here?

Posted by: J Kramer at April 21, 2006 6:24 AM

One final thought and I am done with this ridiculous issue: Linc should run for what he claims he is - an Independent!! He has proven he does not need the Republicans and certainly craves the Democrat voters, so make the easy choice. Why is this so difficult to understand?

Posted by: Tim2 at April 21, 2006 8:11 AM

You are a twit. Your conspriacy theory about Mr. Facente is further proof that you have too much time on your hands. What is the evidence that he was using tax payer money? I call on Ms. Morse to take that groundless accusation down.
On another note, the Laffey bias on this site is ludicrous. The real news is that Laffey once again abandoned his conservative credentials by calling yesterday on Arlene for Rumsfeld's removal; he has not explained his donations to Democrats; and I for one would like to honestly know why he was fired from Morgan Keegan. In the two speeches of his that I've seen he's offered a public rationale that is very different from what those articles reveal. I think that's an issue!

Posted by: James at April 21, 2006 8:20 AM

J Kramer, you missed my point. It's not that Traficante was replaced, it is HOW he was replaced. If Steve Laffey were concerned about Traficante's credentials or his past record, there was a way for Laffey to go about replacing Traficante without using ambush techniques.

The issue should have been raised and interest in the position should have been openly solicited, giving everyone an opportunity to run. It was obvious that Traficante's rapid removal and the immediate annointment of Manning by Laffey a few minutes was an insider deal orchestrated by Laffey in the backroom. I've had Laffey-supporting members of the state committee tell me as much.

If Laffey had raised the issue openly and Manning submitted his name to replace Traficante, my guess is that the same result would have occurred without engaging in backroom deals.

I'm sure many in the Laffey camp viewed the move as a successful power play. In the short-term, it was. However, when a person abuses the process to gain a personal advantage as Laffey did, it makes people question your integrity and straightforwardness. Think Al Gore and "there is no controlling legal authority". While you gain in the short-term, you make people without a dog in the race question your character.

I bring this up because I find it funny that Laffey has a problem with Chafee's wife writing a letter to her friends asking for their support of her husband. If I were married and running for office, I think I'd value my wife's support.

She wrote a letter to friends who are Democrats asking for their support. Wow. Steve Laffey gave financial support to Democrats to help keep Congress in Democrat hands! Pot meet Mr. Kettle.

I also find it strange that the the pro-Laffey commentaters on this blog don't grasp the political folly of criticizing Mrs. Chafee as "Lady MacBeth" for supporting her husband. They seem to imply that wives should just keep silent and mind their place. I'm willing to bet that most Rhode Islanders view a wife's involvement positively. It's not like Chafee put his wife into a official policy position ala Bill and Hillary.
She's asking her FRIENDS to vote for her HUSBAND--what a scandal!!!

Chafee's campaign treasurer wrote a letter asking people to support Chafee? OUTRAGEOUS!

As I said before, spare me the calculated alligator tears and fake moral outrage.

Posted by: Anthony at April 21, 2006 10:07 AM

James -

I'm a reticent Laffey supporter in the primary (I want Linc flushed, and will worry about the general election later).

I share some of your misgivings are shared by me - I have real doubts about Laffey being a "true" conservative (though he is certainly more of one than is Chafee).

That said, much has been made by Chafee's supporters on these postings that his "independence" from the Republican Party line appeals to RI voters.

I wonder if Laffey - citing some of the same things we are concerned about - is setting himself up to also play that same "independent" (of the Republican Party) card?

Posted by: Tom W at April 21, 2006 10:15 AM

One other quick comment about "marrying money" in response to Laffey's comment. I don't think Linc Chafee was exactly poor at the time he married his wife. It was more a case of "money marrying money". Laffey's comment suggest that he belives a man should always have more money than a woman.

If not, I doubt he would have made the comment. After all, what was the first Mrs. Laffey worth when she married Steve? For that matter, what was Mrs. Laffey #2 (you may know her as Mrs. Laffey #1's babysitter) worth when she married Steve? So who really "married money"?

Once again, Mr. Pot meet Mr. Kettle.

Please feel free to post calculated false moral outrage after my post.

Posted by: Anthony at April 21, 2006 10:19 AM

Anthony,James and the rest of the Chafee crew:

You guys are resorting to personal attacks and bitterness because you're DESPERATE. The babysitter remark isn't even worth acknowledging, and James, for the last freaking time, Laffey was not fired from Morgan Keegan. He orchestrated the sale of the company for hundreds of millions of dollars.

Posted by: Colin Pachios at April 21, 2006 11:31 AM

you really haven no shame at all. you might want to do chafee a favor and get off the blogs, because sooner or later people are going to start attributing your uncalled for nastiness to the man you claim to support.

Posted by: Lorelai G. at April 21, 2006 11:32 AM

You are a twit. Your conspriacy theory about Mr. Facente is further proof that you have too much time on your hands. What is the evidence that he was using tax payer money? I call on Ms. Morse to take that groundless accusation down."

Taking things a little too personally, aren't we? Please explain then why Mr. Facente is listed as the document's original author then? I can easily e-mail you the original MS Word documents, if you would like to provide your real e-mail address. "James," would that be james@chafeeforsenate.com, perhaps? ;)

I actually did not state absolutely that Mr. Facente was using taxpayer money -- that was actually inferred by a latter commenter. What I said was that it appears that Mrs. Chafee had a current city of Warwick employee ghostwrite her plea to Democrats. Andrew (who by the way, is a "he," not a "she") has the originals, as well, which state Mr. Facente as the author. My question was a very simple yes or no: did Mr. Facente do this fine work on his own time or on that of the City of Warwick? Yes or No?

Posted by: Will at April 21, 2006 11:59 AM

Let’s take a deep breath before going on.

Mrs. Chafee has chosen to take a public role in her husband’s campaign. Her e-mail is a valid topic of discussion because it is a political call-to-action sent to a wide audience. There is nothing wrong with Mrs. Chafee taking on this role, but accepting a public role in a political campaign means accepting that your public statements and that your role in a campaign will be open to criticism on both substance and politics.

Mrs. Laffey has not chosen to take a public role in her husband’s campaign, and until such time as she starts making public speaking appearances, or serving on policy committees or something like that, there is no validity in bringing her into discussions about the Senate campaign.

Remember, these are real people running for public office, not just symbols of whatever party we’d like to see. Respect the decisions that candidates make about the roles of their families, or lack thereof, in their campaigns.

And if a candidate you support sometimes (or continually) places you in a position that’s difficult to defend, don’t blame bloggers for pointing it out, and don’t lash out with personal attacks in a crude attempt to change the subject.

Posted by: Andrew at April 21, 2006 12:09 PM

Wow. never been on this site before and I can tell politics is a dirty business. James and anthony seems like little kids wipping sand around a playground.

I just visited all the web sites and Mr. Laffey's is the only one with anything of substance.

If Mrs. Chafee wants to attract democrats to the primary she surely can. It is just such a big political mistake in that now laffey's people will come out to vote is drove's like they did two years ago. She can keep it up. It's just political suicide.

I would say this. Laffey just keeps doing his plan and doesn't seem to care what anyone else thinks. never gets off plan. While Mr chafee is swirling around like a shaken up bottle of mountain dew. So be it.

Posted by: Patrick H. at April 21, 2006 2:04 PM

I find it interesting that Senator Chafee has the gall to ask Democrats to do something he just can't bring himself to do: Change party affiliation. Seems pretty hypocritical.

Posted by: bren at April 21, 2006 3:02 PM

{I'm not spending anymore of my time cleaning up comments from people who have to rely on vulgarity to express themselves. Make one unacceptably crude remark in a comment, and the whole comment still dies, no matter how many other valid points you may have made}.

Posted by: john at April 21, 2006 5:53 PM

Umm, I'm not so much desperate as I am just amused at the hypocrisy of Laffey.

I'm amused that Stephanie Chafee is being criticized for asking her Democrat friends to support her husband while the same people spewing the criticism defend Laffey's financial contributions to Democrats.

I'm amused that Steve Laffey criticizes Linc Chafee in a passive-aggressive manner for "marrying money" when Chafee was wealthy before he got married, while Laffey's wife wasn't.

I'm amused that Mrs. Laffey is complimented for being silent while Mrs. Chafee is compared to Lady MacBeth for voicing her opinion.

Andrew, I personally believe that all spouses and family should be left out of political discussion. Your standard that spouses should only be criticized if they take a public role is interesting.

Laffey's campaign website begins with a picture of his family and has a whole page entitled "It's a Family Affair" which says "This special section of family photos is representative of Steve's committment to his family and is also a great opportunity to show them off."

While Laffey website uses family picture to convey "committment" and says that its goal is "to show them off", Chafee's campaign website simply shows some pictures of his family but does not mention anything about what they represent politically to the campaign.

On the other hand, Chafee's wife sends out a personal e-mail to friends asking for support. The e-mail is "obtained" by the blog and then needs to be "confirmed for authenticity".

Now my question: which spouse is playing a public role?

Look, if you stoop to criticizing a candidate's spouse, you should expect to receive the same in return. To avoid such unpleasantries, just follow the golden rule and treat others as you would want to be treated.

As for the other comments-

Lorelai: I've said repeatedly that I don't comment on this blog to influence votes. I believe that everyone on this blog has already made up their minds so this would be a particularly ineffective way to influence anyone's vote. You should vote your conscience anyway.

Colin: Laffey was fired from Morgan Keegan although he did make a lot of people a lot of money while he was there.

Will: You may recall I defended Laffey when Chafee made unsubstantiated remarks about Laffey's position on Israel as it related to his religous beliefs.

I just call them the way I see them.

Good day!

Posted by: Anthony at April 21, 2006 6:14 PM

Dear "first time reader" John,

Ironically enough, every single attack you just made on Laffey has been asserted repeatedly on this site by the pro-Chafee bloggers.

But all is not lost: Your comment would provide a great synopsis to one of those political fast-cash, book-a-month endeavors: "Lame, Desperate and Otherwise Unsubstantial Talking Points Straight From the Missing Linc."

Posted by: ian at April 21, 2006 6:22 PM

please define what was "crude" in my post...at no time did i curse in my remarks

Posted by: john at April 21, 2006 6:22 PM

Oops... Sorry John, better luck next time. Perhaps the "National Enquirer" would be interested in your commentary.

Posted by: ian at April 21, 2006 6:27 PM

{Comment removed}

Posted by: john at April 21, 2006 6:51 PM

As the Chairman of the Westerly Republican Town Committee I am happy to report that last night we overwhelmingly endorsed Sen. Chafee for US Senate.

His committment to the people of this state is unprecidented. He delivers. I am happy as an elected official myself to run for re-election with the Senator and Gov. Carcieri at the top of the ticket in 2006!

Posted by: caswell cooke, Jr at April 21, 2006 8:05 PM

As a Democrat watching this circus, I only have two comments:

1.) How's it feel to be a "big people"?

2.) Go Laffey, Go.

Posted by: Bobby Oliveira at April 21, 2006 8:26 PM

Gee, Caswell, we're stunned, absolutely stunned that the Westerly GOP endorsed Linc. Never would have guessed that (insert sarcasm here). Yup, he "delivers" the bacon, doesn't he. Don't worry that your children, and your children's chidren are going to be paying for all those earmarks for the rest of their lives. It's not like it's real money anyway. How's that fancy new water tower he bought you working out?

Posted by: Will at April 21, 2006 9:01 PM

OK, I think we've discussed candidate extramarital affairs, Machiavellian plots and comparisons of candidate spouses to evil Shakespearian characters ad nauseum. By any chance, has anyone noticed that Beacon Mutual is imploding?

It's a state issue but it affects everyone. What do the candidates have to say about Beacon?

Posted by: Anthony at April 21, 2006 9:21 PM


You're about the only "pro-Chafee" commenter ever worth reading in here. At least you take the time to try to back up your arguments with factual information. You've also been willing to distance yourself from some of the nonsensical stuff that's been occassionally posted.

My point was basically this: we [local Republicans] have heard a considerable amount from Mrs. Chafee, even before this e-mail issue ensued. I assure you, it wasn't just e-mailed to a few friends and acquaintances. This thing made it to the moon and back before I got a copy sent to me. I commend Andrew for his diligence in verifying with the Chafee campaign that it was indeed sent out by Mrs. Chafee before posting it. To most folks, is appears to be an orchestrated attempt by the campaign, through the use of a surrogate, to say something that they don't want to say directly, which is this: we can't count on Republicans to help Chafee win the Republican primary, so we need to persuade Democrats to vote in the Republican primary to save Linc's bacon. It's certainly a valid argument, but they should be willing to just admit to what they're doing.

Mrs. Chafee has been a "stand in" for her husband at a number of party functions, perhaps most notably on the morning of the Alito vote. She was the one who explained why the Senator finally made the decision that he did, after weeks of hand-wringing. She has taken a public role by being a vocal advocate for her husband's positions; more often that not, doing a better job at it than he usually does. By doing so, she is validly opening herself to criticism. Appearing in a family picture with a husband and children is not what most people would deem a "public role." I'm certain that I've met Mrs. Laffey on any number of occasions. However, I can't recall ever having any conversation with her on public policy, and certainly not anything having to do with Senator Chafee.

Posted by: Will at April 21, 2006 9:36 PM


I am really disappointed in you and from here on out will be inclined to discount anything you purport to be a fact. We had a good discussion on this blog about a few months ago as to why Laffey left Morgan Keegan. This was, at the time, your biggest concern with Laffey. You did not know exactly what transpired and wanted to know. I gave you the answer. You accepted it. The answer hasn't changed one iota. You made no comment then about his being fired; instead, you pointed to baseless rumors about ethical issues. Now, all of a sudden, you come out with the absolutely false accusation that he was fired. Prove it. I will not let you wiggle off the hook on this one.

Your credibility has just suffered a mortal blow, my friend.

Posted by: bountyhunter at April 22, 2006 3:46 AM

Anthony is incapable of backing up much of what he says. As well, he is unable to defend Chafee's odd and peculiar behavior. And that is what it is. Chafee people like to call it "independent", etc. His behavior is anything but independent. The man is incapable of making a decision on his own. In fact, I have heard from a few on the Scituate town committee that were absolutely stupified at the presentation Chafee gave. They said that it was embarassing to the point of anger that the man is a US Senator and making such unbelievably stupid remarks. Does anyone wonder about the "blank stares" he got according to the Washington Post article. They were stares of disbelief!

Now, Anthony is left to his plan B - make up lies about the other guy to divert attention from the paucity of Chafee's candidacy.

No matter how hard you try, Anthony, the Chafee campaign keeps undoing your effort with more utterly ridiculous ideas like this e-mail to Democrats.

Posted by: Jim at April 22, 2006 11:32 AM

Two responses here:

Will, I don't disagree with you, but I think we embark on a slippery slope when you try to define what consititutes a spouse being involved in a campaign. I didn't receive the e-mail, so I wasn't aware of the distribution. Nationally, the media seems to abide by a policy that says it won't involve children under 18. You may recall the deal made when Chelsea Clinton turned 18.

Personally, I think all family should be left out of the debate, but if one spouse is brought into the debate, it opens the door and makes it an issue. Hopefully, that can be avoided because you can see from this thread how quickly the discussion moves away from policy and into the world of gossip.

bountyhunter, I recall your explanation about Laffey leaving Morgan Keegan. You provided a rather strong explanation and I recall saying that is exactly what Laffey should say publicly if it were the truth.

For some strange reason Laffey has never repeated what you said. Instead he continues to say that everything was fine, that he made people alot of money and everyone at Morgan Keegan is now supporting him. So whom are we to believe? As I said before, this issue will continue to haunt him until Laffey publicly says what you write on this blog. My thoughts are very consistent on this matter.

Posted by: Anthony at April 22, 2006 11:56 AM

Personally, I would prefer "all family should be left out of the debate." The problem for Mrs. Chafee is that she keeps inserting herself into the debate, repeatedly, in this case, actively doing the campaign's dirty work for them.

Not to put words in bountyhunter's mouth, but I belive the tactic that Mr. Laffey is currently employing is called "staying above the fray." So far, it appears to be working well for him. Why should he help publicize an issue that isn't an issue to begin with?

Posted by: Will at April 22, 2006 2:00 PM

{Comment removed}

Posted by: john at April 22, 2006 4:34 PM

OK, nobody from the Laffey camp has picked up on my previous comments so I'm just going to spell it out for you guys.

The biggest scandal in the state right now involves Beacon Mutual where Boeniger and Nee (UNION BOSSES!) may sue the State of Rhode Island (TAXPAYERS!) to keep their $25,000 year board appointments despite the fact that the company they oversaw is under grand jury investigation (CORRUPTION)!

Steve Laffey's claim to fame is that he "took on UNION BOSSES and saved TAXPAYERS money in Cranston" while "ending CORRUPTION" and now "can do the same for RI."

HELLO?!? Where is Steve Laffey and his press people? This statewide Beacon scandal is custom-tailored to his talking points and waiting for him to take advantage of it.

Thought: Laffey holds press conference in a mock luxury kitchen with granite countertops symbolizing the countertops that Beacon gave to Solomon while also displaying the dark side of wealth. Ties in nicely to the signature Laffeyesque class-warfare angle, too. It would be a great visual for TV--give Channel 10 the exclusive, they have the highest ratings--and be guaranteed to get some free press (and we all know Laffey LOVES free press the way Joe Namath LOVES female sports reporters).

Someone should take this concept to the good Mayor. No need to send me a check, but I would suggest docking Laffey's press person $500 for not coming up with something about Beacon.

Posted by: Anthony at April 22, 2006 4:42 PM

I am an independent voter who has voted in both Republican and Democratic primaries. I am the voter Chafee is after.

I review several political blogs in Rhode Island to find examples for a class I teach on politics.

I have not posted to any blog in the past, but two recent postings which have since been removed from this website would be perfect examples to my students of what NOT to do to support a candidate.

This past week, we discussed civil liberties and defamation of character, which, of course, can be actionable, even by a public figure. (I note that Mrs. Laffey is not a public figure by any stretch of the imagination).

Unfortunately, "John," has chosen to be anonymous in his posting of libelous statements against the Laffeys.

While I may not be a big fan of Steve Laffey, I have had occasion to meet his wife and first, I want to note that the allegation is absurd.

Second, if John believes that such libelous accusations are beneficial to Mr. Chafee's cause where he has set out to run a clean campaign to continue projecting his image as a likeable figure, he is seriously misguided.

While I do not believe that Mr. Laffey should pursue a lawsuit if John is ever identified, if John is in any way officially connected to the Chafee campaign, he should be reprimanded, if not fired for such irresponsible behavior.

Now, in order to be certain I am making statements relevant to the topic presented, if Mrs. Chafee chooses to play an active part in her husband's campaign, that choice should be respected. Mr. Chafee has been clear all along that he does not expect to win the Republican primary with only Republican votes.

I do think, however, that any Rhode Island voter who would normally vote in either of the primaries is fully aware of the process you follow to be eligible. However, I believe Democrats would be more likely to stay affiliated than to disaffiliate for the purpose of voting for a Republican, with the exception of the unique 2004 Cranston mayoral primary race which included a Republican candidate whose drew support from nontraditional sources.

By the way John, James, Fred Sanford, and all these other names with clearly false email addresses, my name and email address are real. I stand behind my comments.

Posted by: Cindy at April 22, 2006 5:56 PM

There is a history of RI independents voting in GOP primaries. The most notable was not Steve Laffey, but Lincoln Almond, who was able to draw thousands of moderate independents into the gubernatorial primary. In the process he set record turn out numbers for a RI GOP primary and beat Congressman Ron Machtley despite that fact that Machtley was the choice of the GOP base. My guess is that Chafee will try to duplicate that effort.

Now onto the issue of defamation. While John's comments were rude, they wouldn't meet the test to prove libel.

First, even though his comments may mention Mrs. Laffey, John's comments were directed at Mr. Laffey, a public official, in the context of a political discussion.

In order to prove libel (as written defamation is known), Mayor Laffey would have to prove that John published an injurious statement, the statement was false and the statement must not be privileged. Additionally, because Laffey is a public official, Laffey would need to prove that John KNEW the statement was false. That is a very difficult thing to prove and its almost impossible for a public official to prove.

On a pragmatic level, you're absolutely right that it's an example of not what to do. Anyone who launches such accusations should be prepared to back them up or they can come across looking as a snake in the grass. You don't need to look any further than Guy Dufault as Example A of what happens when you can't substantiate such charges.

Thankfully, Carcieri handled the matter expertly, even though I've heard his staff advised him to ignore it. Carcieri's response burst the "gossip bubble" and I think the vast majority of Rhode Islanders were far more sympathetic to the Carcieri than to Dufault when it hit the press. If only Dufault had waited to a week before the election, it would have guaranteed his re-election!

So if true, John's comments are unsubstantiated. If untrue, they are simply rude. Yet they're still protected. However, if someone continues to make unsubstantiated personal attacks, you are right--there is no question that such tactics turn off the average decent human being.

Posted by: Anthony at April 22, 2006 7:42 PM

We have in our state a system of open primaries, where we can affiliate, vote in the primary of our choice, and disaffiliate again.
If the Laffey people on this board who are so exorcised about the possibility of Dems crossing over to vote to Chafee want to put their money where their mouths are, let them offer for the General Assembly (they can get a sponsor easily, I'm sure) a bill to close party primaries.
It should be a lively debate.

Posted by: Rhody at April 22, 2006 9:03 PM


Once again, you have your facts and history wrong. Almond won in 1994 because he was seen as the more conservative candidate in the primary against Matchley. (Other blog comments by non-Laffey supporters on rifuture.org concur with my assessment.) Matchley was the endorsed Republican in the race backed by Senator John Chafee and then Mayor Lincoln Chafee. Matchley was backed by the moderate Republican establishment while Almond was backed by more conservative Republicans. In fact, Matchley himself blamed his defeat(please review ProJo Articles from that time), on conservative gun owners who had come out to vote against John Chafee in the same primary. Almond did not appeal to liberal - moderate independents. He appealed to angry/outsider independents, who liked his image as a corruption fighter as US Attorney. Liberal - moderate independents voted for York over Sundlun in the Democratic Governor's primary.

An old junkman like me doesn't forget, and is honest enough with himself not to change history to suit my polemics.

P.S. This was a very bad move by the Chafee camp. They will get few Democratic disaffiliations but a lot more Republicans will get turned off from Chafee. Go ahead, don't believe me.

Posted by: Fred Sanford at April 22, 2006 9:45 PM


Stay on topic. This post and the thread that follows is not about "the possibility of Dems crossing over to vote to Chafee." This is about a sitting republican Senator whose wife is publicly asking democrats to actively disaffiliate and not vote in their party's primary to vote in the opposition party’s primary, and therefore use the system in an inappropriate way.

Yeah, its legal but its an obvious flaw in an imperfect yet working system. Let's not forget that there is a time limit for disaffiliation for this very reason. The time limit exists so special interest groups can't "use" the primary event to in effect vote twice in the same election; once for the weaker opposition candidate in the primary and then for their party candidate in the general election.

Bottom line: What Mrs. Chafee did is dirty politics and borders on cheating. It shows weakness of character and desperation. This is not what our government is supposed to be about.

J Mahn

Posted by: Joe Mahn at April 22, 2006 10:48 PM

Anthony's post on Beacon Mutual, and the response it (didn't) receive concerns me.

There have been 58 comments on this post, and most of them have simply rehashed the same debate we have seen since the senate race began. Did we know that Chafee would be recruiting independents and dems to vote in the primary? Yes. Should we be surprised that such a debate has ensued after the strategy was confirmed by the Senator's wife? Of course not.

While I understand the allure of the laffey-chafee race, without effective leadership and clean government on the state level, Rhode Island will continue to slip into an eonomic and political black hole.

Nationally, political power has changed hands countless times since Rhode Island became the bastion of liberalism it is known to be. However, throughout all of the shifts to the right or left, one thing has not changed: Rhode Island's culture of corruption. Without a complete overhaul, RI will continue to endure scandal after scandal, high taxes, government waste, and the proliferation of the welfare state.

I just wish that the same people that turn out to post on the Laffey-Chafee race would extend the same energy to matters of state-wide interest that can be routinely found on this site.

Gov. Carcieri has done an admirable job in fighting the powers-that-be, but he cannot do it alone. He needs a unified Republican ticket and strong base of support. So please: support your local Rep., State Senator, and General Officer candidates like Bill Harsch, Sue Stenhouse, and Kerry King. National politics may be sexy, but nowhere can your voice and energy be more effective than on the local level.

Below is a list of some local candidate websites. I encourage everyone to visit them and to tell your friends and family to spread the word!

Bill Harsch -- Attorney General

Allan Fung -- Cranston Mayoral Candidate

Lloyd Monroe -- State Senate

Spencer Maguire -- State Rep, Bristol

Posted by: johnb at April 22, 2006 11:39 PM

Nice try johnb, trying to get us to talk about "the issues"! While I generally agree with your overall assessment, I have to clarify something. Going after Unaffiliated voters, and trying to convince them to vote Republican in a state with barely 10% GOP voter registration; or better yet, to actually convince them to become real Republicans is a GOOD thing.

HOWEVER, what the Chafee campaign is trying to do, by using the Senator's wife, is to convince Democrats to disaffiliate, and violate their own principles, with the SOLE purpose of having them vote in the Republican Primary on 9/12, and then to immediately disaffiliate. This effort has absolutely NOTHING to do with helping to build the Republican Party. It is an utterly pathetic, morally repugnant, last ditch attempt to save Linc's political bacon, and in doing so, to corrupt our state's primary process. While it is not illegal, it is immoral.

As I recall from history, a certain "Republican" candidate for Cranston Mayor tried to do that in 2004, in a labor-backed effort to defeat Mayor Laffey at the primary level, in order to make it easier to "end Laffey's political career." It backfired badly, with Laffey winning 75% to 25%, in a city with a heavily Democratic voter base. Those who do not learn from history, are doomed to repeat it. Or as someone else once put it: "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again, and expecting a different result." Who's crazy now?

Posted by: Will at April 23, 2006 1:52 AM

"If the Laffey people on this board who are so exorcised about the possibility of Dems crossing over to vote to Chafee want to put their money where their mouths are, let them offer for the General Assembly (they can get a sponsor easily, I'm sure) a bill to close party primaries.
It should be a lively debate."

J Mahn, please explain how that is off topic. To respectfully disagree with my view is one thing, but to pick this out of 62 posts as being inappropriate...
I disagree with some of the sentiments posted here, but am not questioning anybody's right to express themselves.

Posted by: rhody at April 23, 2006 2:48 AM


As usual, a very direct analysis. But to debate for debate's sake, you have made a fatal assumption: that Democrats would have to abandon their principles if they voted for Chafee.

Personally, I would say that liberals in fact have no principles to betray! How would the Chafee and Laffey camps spin it?

My take follows below

Chafee Camp: "Senator Chafee appeals across party lines...He is a principled yet moderate Republican who commands the respect of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle...The Independents and Democrats who elected Chafee in 2000 have just as much at stake in the GOP primary as do registered Republicans, and perhaps even more so than those Republicans who voted against Chafee in 2000. yada-yada-yippee"

Laffey Camp: "Senator Chafee cannot win an election based on Republican ideals with Republican voters...Mayor Laffey won in Cranston -- where registered Dems out-number republicans by 5-1. Clearly, he too appeals to the better senses of democrats, but has not resorted to importing his votes from outside the party...In soliciting Dems and relying on Independents to win, Chafee is in fact the one without principles... yada-yada yap-yap..."

Posted by: johnb at April 23, 2006 8:01 AM


The topic of the post is Mrs. Chafee’s e-mail. The e-mail is news because 1. its from Mrs. Chafee and 2. it (Mrs. Chafee’s e-mail) asks Democrats to disaffiliate from their party to vote in the republican Primary as independents (which they in fact are not) and to in fact misrepresent themselves by voting in the Primary of the party they oppose. The story finallly made the front page of the paper today.

Your “if then” argument implies that Laffey people are “exorcised about the possibility of Dems crossing over to vote to Chafee.” That is not the topic of the post (as stated above), and is the explanation of why I opened with, “Stay on topic.” If Laffey people are exorcised (and I don't think they are) it is due to the who and what above not “the possibility of Dems blah blah blah.”

The disaffiliation process is problematic at best because it can be “used” to elect a candidate who would otherwise not be elected. This is why there is a time limitation in the process. The Primary process was primarily designed as a method for each major party to choose from among multiple candidates from their party in any given race so a single candidate from each (major) party and any other candidates from less influential parties could face off in the general election.

Secondly, your implication that abandoning the primary process is what Laffey people want or should do and your challenge to them to put their money where their mouth is also off topic, let alone a false dilemma.

I picked your post out of the huge number of posts because from what I could tell it was your first post on the topic.

Now that we are back on topic do you have anything to add to the debate?

J Mahn

Posted by: Joe Mahn at April 23, 2006 10:30 AM

Dear Mr. Mahn:
I didn't realize you were the sole arbiter of what is on or off topic on this board. Given the lack of objection from other posters, I believe you're the one who's stepped out of line here.
But if it please the one-man court: Ms. Chafee's attempt to line up Democratic votes is no more arrogant than Gov. Carcieri's appeals for Democratic votes in 2002.
P.S.: As an esteemed Republican president once said, never get into a pissing contest with a skunk.

Posted by: rhody at April 23, 2006 12:40 PM


I never assume. The liberals, if they want nothing else, want power. They have been on the wrong side of elections for so long, that they would do anything to get it. Despite Linc's best efforts to help liberals, his presence in that Senate seat deprives them of the ONE thing they crave most, which is to regain control of the U.S. Senate. The reason they will not come out in droves to save Linc's bacon, is because of the one vote he has SO FAR not been willing to make, which is the vote for a Democrat as Senate Majority Leader.

Futhermore, many local liberals have convinced themselves (wrongly) that Mayor Laffey, should he actually win the GOP primary, would be the "weaker" of the two GOP candidates in the general election. Therefore, if anything, they would come out in droves to vote AGAINST the incumbent; not for him.

Of course, that's not to preclude the possibility that if Chafee somehow wins both the primary and the general election, but that the US Senate changes control anyway, that he simply would jump over to the majority party.

Posted by: Will at April 23, 2006 3:54 PM

I wrote a song about this a long time ago. could easily be used for what is on the top of the projo today--Desperado is the tune.

Linconrhino, why don't you come to your senses
You've been sitting on fences for so long now
oh, your a confused one
We don't know your reasons
These votes that are pleasin' you
will crush you somehow.

You drew the king of Cranston boy
He'll crush you cause he's capable
You know the independent race is always your best bet


it's over boys, desperado ...lincoln rhino....it's over!!

Posted by: DonH at April 23, 2006 4:06 PM

Mr. Rhody:

This is between you and me, right?

The Argumentum Ad Populum (because A does it B can/should do it) is a falacious argument. Don't tell us why you can do something based upon the fact that someone else did or does it, but upon why it is inherently right or wrong. Look it up. This is Logic 101.

Your argument needs to work all the time for it to be a legitimate, rational, logical argument. I could use your form of argument like this: My father (insert wrong action here, i.e., cheated on his taxes) therefore it is okay for me cheat on my taxes. Besides that major flaw you are presenting your side of the argument based upon a very dissimilar activity.

Mr Carcieri, and most other candidates, invite members of the opposition party to vote for them based upon a shared policy or personal issue. Again this too is off topic. Mrs. Chafee publicly asked democrats to disaffiliate thereby abusing the Primary system. That is a very different activity than a general appeal to democrats.

FYI-I am not the sole arbiter of anything. It sounds like you are probably now ready to start attacking me personally which is the standard fare on this blog when you run out of legitimate arguments. Better yet, just face the fact that Mrs. Chafee and the Chafee campaign made a very bad decision and now they have to pay the price.

J Mahn

Posted by: Joe Mahn at April 23, 2006 4:54 PM

Great article in the Projo today. Also, I'm pleased that the AP has picked up on Laffey's calls for Rumsfeld's resignation.

All five of you regular posters, I am going to raise my point about Laffey getting fired once again, with the knowledge that you will just shout me down.

I think that the Mayor should be honest about what happened. I do not doubt that he was a talented financial analyst who made lots of money. I think that's impressive and more power to him. However, I do not think it is accurate to say that he orchaestrated the sale of Morgan Keegan and then simply left. Look at those articles and notice the descrepancy.

Yes, the sale went through, but Laffey stuck around. Moreover, he stuck around and departed abruptly. In the article from the Memphis Business Daily, Laffey is described as resigning from the company on a Wed. afternoon. The article goes on to add "current and former Morgan Keegan brokers described Laffey's departure as a "palace coup" in which personality conflicts led a group of longtime producers from the Memphis-based securities firm's investment banking and retail sides to demand Laffey's removal." For the record, people do not usually leave there jobs in the afternoon during the middle of the week. That is not the scenario that Steve usually describes and I think the question arises - what happened at Morgan Keegan?

I respect Laffey for putting this article on his site. I just think it's a valid question that he needs to address.

Text of the article can be found here: http://www.electlaffey.com/site/mediaread.php?id=17

Posted by: James at April 23, 2006 5:00 PM

Look at the source of the comment. It was well-known at MK that certain brokers had a longstanding vendetta against Laffey because of his ongoing efforts to modernize the firm, which by necessity included re-assigning accounts that were being unproductively warehoused by old guard brokers. Now they get a chance to anonymously talk to the press in a rumor-filled atmosphere. It would be like asking the crossing guards to comment on the Mayor. Laffey revitalized Morgan Keegan and its merger with Regions was the coup de grace of those efforts.

The ones with grudges are going to speak the loudest and make for the best press. This quote is not evidence that Laffey was fired. It is telling that the best material you could find was provided by none other than Laffey himself.

Posted by: bountyhunter at April 23, 2006 8:16 PM

James, I just read the article about Laffey's departure from Morgan Keegan. Thank you for pasting it in.

What stood out to me was this statement:

"So extensive was Laffey's presence within the firm that Morgan Keegan will bring in three executives to assume his duties..."

Considering his accomplishments during the last few years, you might conclude that Cranston's going to need four or five new Mayors.

Just using the Morgan Keegan ratio: With Laffey in the Senate, RI gets the equivalent of three conservative Republicans in its congressional delegation giving working families and taxpayers a counterweight to the other three liberals.

While the circumstances around his departure from Morgan Keegan may remain a mystery to some; those of us who have experienced the challenge and grind of the business world know that people's terms end for countless varieties of perfectly legitimate reasons. They move on and so does the rest of the world. [This is, however, a concept that is likely to be foreign to Sen. Chafee and his followers.]

On the original subject of this Post ...asking Democrats to disaffiliate to vote for Chafee. This is clearly a desparate and understandable move by the Chafee campaign, but an insult to anyone who believes in Republican principles.

Perhaps Lincoln Chafee is a useful idiot in the eyes of Elizabeth Dole and Ken Melhman. They support him for their own selfish reasons. But Rhode Islanders deserve better and RI Repubicans should certainly not have to compromise in their beliefs just because Liddy Dole and Stephanie Chafee say that Linc is the best we can do.

As I type this and think of Chafee's abysmal record, not just as a Republican, but as a Senator. I'd say Laffey gives us a 10 to 1 (or better) replacement ratio.

Posted by: Stretch Cunningham at April 23, 2006 9:17 PM

I thought the idea of winning any election involved building as broad a coalition of support as possible. Neither campaign should be faulted for making an effort to identify support among registered Democrats, particularly given the inevitability of a Whitehouse primary win. In a race as close as this one promises to be, you take your votes anywhere you can get them.

P.S. To Mr. Mahn:
I am not going to be driven off this forum by your bullying - I don't need to waste anyone else's bandwidth with a response. This will be my final comment to you - I (and the other people who share their views in this forum) are moving on.

Posted by: rhody at April 23, 2006 11:00 PM

Rhody says: "the idea of winning any election involved building as broad a coalition of support as possible..."


Only a far-left wacko trying to impersonate a Republican would need to do so (court Democrats) to win a REPUBLICAN primary!

You Chafee apologists really go WAY out of the way to spin the Senator's desperate moves into some sort of clever strategy. He cannot make the slightest move without pissing off Republicans...that alone defines him as a Democrat!

By the way I support Joe Mahn! He's the Mahn!

Posted by: Warbucks at April 23, 2006 11:35 PM

Mr. Rhody:

What a novel response. Don't present a counterpoint, just quit. Brilliant!

J Mahn

PS. Thanks for the encouragement Warbucks.

Posted by: Joe Mahn at April 23, 2006 11:46 PM


I think the last point you made is the most intriguing from a political perspective.

Linc may have a 'proven record' with liberals and independents, but i refuse to put anything past Mayor Laffey -- especially when people tell him he can't do something (such as win a general election)

What's the gameplan for Sen. Chafee if Santorum departs or if the show-me state shows Talent the door?

Posted by: johnb at April 24, 2006 12:31 AM


I wouldn't put anything past Laffey either. He's been underestimated many times before.

As for Santorum, I'll ask him tomorrow, when I'll be in Pennsylvania. For anyone who would like to watch, the Pennsylvania Republican Assembly (a state NFRA chapter) is holding an speaking event, with keynote speaker Club for Growth President, Pat Toomey. He has a lot of interest in our little race here. It will be covered by CNN on Monday night. Not sure if it's live or taped though.

Posted by: Will at April 24, 2006 1:39 AM

I wouldn't put anything past Laffey either, Will. I just don't mean that as a compliment.

Another point, I am pleased that the Jamestown Bridge is finnally demolished. However, it would still be standing if Laffey were down in Washington, because he said he wouldn't get any federal funds for Rhody.

When he strays back to the world of the sane, I will consider his candidacy.

Posted by: James at April 24, 2006 8:16 AM

"Only a far-left wacko trying to impersonate a Republican would need to do so (court Democrats) to win a REPUBLICAN primary!"

PRECISELY the kind of attitude that will doom Laffey in November if he wins the primary, in addition to chasing away any remnants of Matt Brown support that absolutely will not vote for Whitehouse. (I don't see the people driven away by the Brown meltdown flocking to the Whitehouse banner.)

"Another point, I am pleased that the Jamestown Bridge is finally demolished. However, it would still be standing if Laffey were down in Washington, because he said he wouldn't get any federal funds for Rhody."

Well played, James. Let's see how Laffey's posturing about state aid holds up if we ever get hit by a hurricane.

Posted by: Rhody at April 24, 2006 9:53 AM

How about trying to demolish the Bridge to Nowhere? If's Linc's greatest accomplishment is securing a few hundred pounds of dynamite, you've got bigger problems than I thought.

Posted by: Will at April 24, 2006 11:07 AM

Mr. Rhody:

In the blogosphere snipers are eventually ignored because they tend to be intellectually dishonest, able only to attack and never defend.

Am I missing something or are you not a sniper?

J Mahn

Posted by: Joe Mahn at April 24, 2006 11:36 AM

James and Rhody -

Comparing the Jamestown bridge demolition to supporting "pork" spending is quite creative if also ludicrous. Removing a public safety risk is one heck of a lot different than building a bridge to nowhere. I guess in Chafee's world you cannot get one without the other? Another lame attempt at sensationalism instead of sane commentary.

As for the Morgan Keegan episode, the generally sound viewers and bloggers here should save their attempts to educate the naysayers of the corporate world regarding mergers/acquisitions. We are dealing with inexperienced parasites who would not know how to navigate through a roll-up of blacksmith operations and the unavoidable differences of opinion that would be created.


Posted by: Tim2 at April 24, 2006 12:44 PM

It has been several comments back (I'm sorry) but I find it revealing that the guy who thinks we "true Republicans" are out to destroy President Bush failed to capitalize the "P" or the "B" in "President Bush" or the "R" in Republican but did manage to capitalize the "T" & "K" in ted kennedy!

Posted by: Mr GOP at April 25, 2006 1:54 AM

Bountyhunter are you Steve Laffey? I ask, because of this eye popping explanation for why it appears that Laffey (you?) was fired
"It was well-known at MK that certain brokers had a longstanding vendetta against Laffey because of his ongoing efforts to modernize the firm, which by necessity included re-assigning accounts that were being unproductively warehoused by old guard brokers. Now they get a chance to anonymously talk to the press in a rumor-filled atmosphere. It would be like asking the crossing guards to comment on the Mayor. Laffey revitalized Morgan Keegan and its merger with Regions was the coup de grace of those efforts."

Last time I checked Morgan Keegan was in Tennessee. How would you know so much about the infighting that went on at this out of state firm.

Also, the explanation sounds a teensy bit paranoid. May want to work on that.

Posted by: James at April 25, 2006 8:59 PM


Nice try sonny. It is a well known fact that many of Laffey's supporters and friends are former colleagues at MK, hence the knowledge level and detail. This has all been public from day one when he entered the public arena in 2001-02.

Try this on for size. The deeper you dig the more you will be faced with the reality that Steve Laffey is fundamentally a serious reformer who wants to fix broken things. Cranston is proof positive that he can and will succeed at even the highest levels.

Get on the love train. Next stop DC.

J Mahn

PS Nobody reads this stuff anyway. You can still support the only guy in the race who really cares about making things right for the stockholders (taxpayers). Think about it.

Posted by: Joe Mahn at April 26, 2006 10:02 AM