May 25, 2006

Here Comes Anti-Laffey Ad #3

Carroll Andrew Morse

The Chafee campaign has released its newest television ad. They've eschewed the cartoon characters of the previous negative ad, and gone with a traditional I'm good because I've been photographed in color; my opponent is bad because he's been photographed in black-and-white attack ad.

The ad takes a couple of swipes at Steve Laffey's record as Mayor of Cranston that will be familiar to people who have been following the campaign (I'll link to the ad as soon as it appears on the Chafee website)...

"[Mayor Laffey] promised spending cuts. Instead he raised spending nearly 20% and raised taxes again and again and again".
The Laffey campaign has already issued a rebuttal. According to figures the Laffey campaign has compiled from Providence Journal reports, Chafee raised taxes more times as Mayor of Warwick than Laffey has as Mayor of Cranston...
As Mayor of Warwick, Lincoln Chafee consistently proposed tax increases despite the absence of a financial crisis:
  • FY 94: 5.0% tax increase
  • FY 95: 2.6% tax increase
  • FY 96: 4.4% tax increase
  • FY 97: 1.9% tax increase
Mayor Laffey led Cranston from financial ruin to financial success:
  • FY 04: 3.5% tax increase(*)
  • FY 05: 4.3% tax increase
  • FY 06: 0% (tax freeze)
  • FY 07: -1.5% (tax cut)
(*)[UPDATE: Mayor Laffey also applied a one-time 12.8% tax-surcharge in his first term in dealing with Cranston's fiscal crisis.]

Obviously neither candidate has any objection to raising taxes to pay for the things they believe to be important. A real debate on tax policy should center on 1) what spending the candidates believe to be important 2) what spending the candidates believe can be eliminated (if the answer is "none" then tax-increases might be justified) and 3) why the candidates believe their plans for taxing and spending are sustainable.

Equally obvious is the fact that this ad is an attempt by the Chafee campaign to neutralize the Senator's political problems originating with his consistent support for high tax rates.

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.

From the Projo - "I don't believe this is a negative ad. This is a contrast ad." Chafee's campaign manager, Ian Lang, said yesterday.

Hey Ian, I don't believe you are an intellectual lightweight. You are just not very smart. How's that for contrast?

This attack is nothing more than a desperate move by a desperate incumbent who has surrounded himself with incompetence.

Does Chafee think we have forgotten about his four consecutive tax increases as Mayor of Warwick?

Does Ian "Heineken" Lang think the voter is too dumb to pick up on the true meaning of his smarmy comments?

I can't wait for Laffey to mop the floor with these posers (or poseurs, for the Chafee camp) in September.

Posted by: oz at May 25, 2006 11:44 AM

I wonder if Chafee going negative so soon might just be a sign of desperation on the part of his campaign? Yup.

Posted by: Will at May 25, 2006 11:48 AM

What is particularly interesting about this approach by the Chafee campaign is that all he can attack Laffey with is that he raised taxes in Cranston, conveniently neglecting the fact that Cranston had the worst bond rating in the United States, and was on the brink of bankruptcy.

It is an intellectually dishonest attack, yet it is all Chafee has because his campaign is so devoid of anything of substance.

This ad actually says more about Chafee than it does about Laffey. Indeed, Chafee is aware that he is in deep trouble and he is grasping in desperation.

Posted by: Jim at May 25, 2006 12:19 PM

We all saw this coming, but not this soon.

What else can Chafee say? He hasn't got any achievements, plans or policies so let's attack Laffey for saving Cranston. Dooo!

Linc Chafee is a lame senator, candidate, and campaigner.

J Mahn

Posted by: Joe Mahn at May 25, 2006 1:43 PM

PS. The new attack ads are nowhere to be found on the Chafee for Senate web site. Hummm!

J Mahn

Posted by: Joe Mahn at May 25, 2006 2:12 PM

I actually received a copy of Chafee's new attack ad in today's mail. It's an intellectually dishonest, mean-spirited, and frankly outright deceptive piece of work to put it mildly. It'd be a great piece if it were in Pravda. It looks to be extraordinarily weak, nevermind outright desperate. He obviously thinks he can pull the wool over the average Republican voters eyes, and rewrite history -- at least we know what he really thinks about us. Chafee has some nerve selectively using information to fit his own ends. When you don't tell the whole truth about something, it's a form of lying. Keep it in the National Enquirer, not in the US Senate.

Posted by: Will at May 25, 2006 4:42 PM

I dont usually jump into these things, but its hard to throw stones when one lives in a glass house--especially if your the Laffey Campaign. Carroll, since you are such an ardent defender of Steve Laffey, you have obviously taken on Laffey campaigns obsession with saying one thing and doing another.

Point 1: YOU FORGOT THE 12.8% TAX increase we Cranston residents had to burden in the Mayor's first year--or did that just slip your mind??

Point 2: By my count the Laffey campaign has aired 2-3 negative ads to this point--the Chafee Campaign 1 positive the National Committee 1 negative ad.

Begs the question about who the real desperate candidate is here--and since Laffey is flooding the airwaves and mailboxes with negative attacks on Chafee--my guess is--using your own logic--its the Laffey campaign thats gasping for air...

Posted by: Kathryn Smith at May 25, 2006 4:46 PM

Kathryn (would that be Jackvony or Reilly?),

Laffey hasn't run any ads at all recently, negative or otherwise. He's been smart enough not to waste his campaign's money too early. Guess Chafee has money to waste -- he likes wasting ours so much afterall.

If you're referring to the Club for Growth or other outside issue groups running ads, you need to make that distinction, otherwise you are being a "truth modifier." Laffey doesn't control what CFG or other issue groups run. Period. The negative ads now being run are being done directly by the Chafee for Senate campaign, and they are deliberately or otherwise deceptive.

Posted by: Will at May 25, 2006 5:42 PM

Hum, its funny how you Laffey people create your own reality to justify things. First off, you don't acknowledge the 12% tax increase so I will conclude that Carroll was being "deceptive, or misleading" when listing the Laffey tax increases--and also conclude that the Chafee campaign was accurate in its ad.

The second point is even more misleading. On the one hand you talk about Negative Ad #3--which obviously counts the National Committee Ads (I called the campaign and they confirmed the first two ads were positive bio ads). Son on the one hand, CFG is not Laffey and their attack ads and mail are not the "Laffey Campaign", but the NRSC Ads are the Chafee Campaigns?

I now understand why Cranston's taxes keep going up with Laffey supporters using such obviously flawed reasoning. I will give you one tip however. I was in politics for 40 years beforeI retired and returned to RI. One thing, here, is perfectly clear. Whether it's CFG or Laffey someone on that side is polling and knows your candidate is down because campaigns that are ahead start positive and then move to contrast. Campaigns that are behind--have special interest groups go negative first and hope like hell they can gain some ground. You best hope like hell, because it sure looks your canddidate is in "a whole lotta trouble" as my southern colleagues say!

Posted by: Kathryn Smith at May 25, 2006 5:57 PM

Chafee would be better off letting the RNSC do his dirty work for him. Negative ads work much better if done by a third party, garnering comparable impact yet not tainting the candidate as much.

Another problem the Chafee bunker faces with respect to these ads is that the negative stuff helps you mainly with the partisan voter but to a much lesser degree with the independent voter.

Chafee's so-called "team" (a hodgepodge of people from his staff and various Washington insiders)is running a disjointed Kerry-like effort. First the RNSC attack ads for the partisans, then the Alito contortion for the non-partisans, then the register the democrats scheme for the non-partisans, now attack ads - directly from the campaign - for the partisans again.

They are already on record stating that Chafee does not need Republican partisans to win. One would think that they would consistently marshall their resources to go after independents and democrats with hard-hitting stuff.

Studies show that not only are attack ads effective only with partisans, but also their effectiveness rests on the ability to paint the opponent as highly untruthful. Chafee can't get Laffey here, because Laffey is honest and the voters already know that. The tax argument is weak and deceptive. One would think the Chafee bunker would have learned this from the backlash last fall.

It amazes me that Chafee has shown so little dignity in his effort to keep this seat: The "Keep Chafee" slogan, the Alito contortion, overtly trying to register democrats, attack ads this early in the campaign.

It is highly unusual for an incumbent who is even with or marginally ahead of a challenger to resort to these schemes - particularly this early. These moves are usually reserved for challengers 20 points behind in the polls or as kickers in the final few weeks of the campaign.

Chafee does not think for himself so is constantly getting tugged by various factions (the Liz Dole group, the Rove group, the Lang group). Laffey - like Reagan, Bush, and Clinton - thinks for himself and has a loyal, cohesive team who realize that strategy gets set top down by the candidate.

The Laffey campaign has also done a superb job in following the number one rule of political campaigns: namely, to define yourself before the other guy defines you.

Posted by: Bountyhunter at May 25, 2006 6:05 PM

All I can say is, unless both sides have decided to ignore their own polling, none of this makes any sense.

Posted by: Bobby Oliveira at May 25, 2006 8:49 PM


Here's a simple rule. When campaign ads discuss the actual policies relevant to the decisions a Senator has to make, I'll discuss the policies in the ads, as I've done for Senator Chafee's positive ads, as I've done for Sheldon Whitehouse's positive ads, and as I've done for the CfG "negative" ads that discuss actual Senate votes. When ads are superficial, I'll discuss why they're superficial. An ad that hinges mainly on Steve Laffey's raising taxes as a mayor, without discussing the context of why -- a city on the verge of default -- is very superficial, and is not intended to further a meaningful policy debate. Don't expect me to pretend that it is.

I did miss the one-time Cranston tax-surcharge, since I used the Laffey campaign's rebuttal as my source, which is clearly indicated in the post. I also used Senator Chafee's direct description of Mayor Laffey's record in Cranston at the top of the post. And if we're going to put the one-time surcharge on par with a permanent tax increase, does that mean when the surcharge isn't there the next year, it counts as a tax cut?

If you object to my characterization that the most recent ad is the third negative ad launched against Steve Laffey (and nowhere have I said that the previous ads were paid for by the Chafee campaign, so I'm not sure what you are complaining about), would you prefer that I refer to it as the first negative ad to officially come from a Rhode Island Senate candidate's campaign?

And don't blame me and then get insulting because you can't articulate any positive reasons why conservative leaning voters (note: this is a conservative-oriented website) should support Senator Chafee, beyond "it will keep the national Republicans in power".

Posted by: Andrew at May 25, 2006 8:58 PM


Fisrt let me say that I am a conservative. Who, by the way, has worked for three Republican Presidents. Therefore, I am more than qualified to discuss why Republicans, who are conservative, should and will vote for Lincoln Chafee over Stephen Laffey.

Second, while there may be good reasons why Steve Laffey raised taxes--the fact remains that he raised them. Like Senator Chafee, and all other candidates, Stephen Laffey must run on his record. This is politics, plain and simple.

His record is also very clear. No matter the reasons. He raised taxes, and spending increased under his tenure--that is the record--those are the facts. It is not the Chafee campaigns job to defend his record--it is their job to point out the differnces between their candidate and their opponent. They have, and in politics these ads are referred to as "contrast" ads. Now Laffey must defend his record--just as Senator Chafee is having to defend his record amid the barrage of negative attack ads from CFG.

On the point of CFG. Many studies have been written on the effectiveness of third party issue ads. Having been involved with 4 presidential campaigns and written hundreds of ads, I can tell you, first hand, that third party ads are ineffective in driving numbers. If they were--Pat Toomey would be the US Senator from Pennsylvania--not Arlen Spector.

What the Chafee campaign is doing is very effective, and does work for both partisian and independent voters. You can say what you want about Laffey having defined himself, and being cohesive. But, it is also a campaign that has made critical mis-steps along the way--inconsistent with a winning US Senate campaign.

And while I may disagree with Lincoln Chafee on some core issues--as I have also have with former President's I have served under, I respect him for his independence, willingness to make difficult decisions, and ability to respectfully defend those decisions. Having seen him work in Washington, I can tell you he is an ardent supporter of Rhode Island--has delivered many valuable resources to the State--and votes with this administration more times than he is given credit for back here.

Ironically, the same reasons why First Lady Laura Bush came to RI to campaign for him last week.

Posted by: Kathryn Smith at May 25, 2006 11:58 PM

Ms. Smith:

Coming into this discussion late puts you in an unenviable and embarrassing position. You labor to compose a negative from something (Laffey's record in Cranston) that has been recognized by three major Bond Rating agencies and the people who pay the bills as positive (the smart, diverse and independent voters of Cranston), i.e., the exact opposite of your position. Mr. Laffey saved the City from State takeover and bankruptcy no less, and turned its fortunes from ridicule and corruption to praise and honest government. You must have been far away and therefore unaware of these historic and courageous accomplishments. But are these your reasons or your excuses?

Well this leaves a gentleman with quite a dilemma. Does he call out your faux pas or graciously let your twaddle pass unnoticed in a political sea of fetid balderdash. I am a gentleman my dear lady but since you are obviously an experienced professional with presidents and all such wonders on your resume I am compelled to do nothing less than let my lashes fly.

Unfortunately its very late and I will let them fly tomorrow.


Posted by: Sol Venturi at May 26, 2006 1:13 AM


Thank you for your kindness! I am, perhaps, late to this debate and will grant you your defense of Mr. Laffey's record. Having defended many politicians in my time, I appreciate the resolve in which you all support him--and I applaud you.

I will only close with two thoughts, as I, too, have an early flight to the West Coast. My thoughts, are these; John Kerry was awarded three purple hearts in Vietnam--but as we saw in 2004--there was a second side to this story. As we told Senator Kerry in "04 when he cried foul: "If you are going to run on your record, you have to be prepared to defend it". And while I appreciate your defense of his record, perhaps it is time for Mr. Laffey to spend some money in defending his record--as opposed to (appearing) to hide behind CFG.

Out of curiosity, I was just scrolling through open secrets--and it appears that Mr. Laffey's campaign is not only funded by CFG (over 65%) of his donations are from out of state CFG donors--but he is using the same consultant as CFG. Now, while there might be another good reason for this. On the surface, it sure looks like Steve Laffey is another--and I stress--another---CFG puppet running for office.

I, thus, find it very difficult, to dub Steve Laffey "the chosen one," when the reality is--he was chosen by just another out-of-state fringe group trying to push their fringe agenda in DC. Sorry to be so harsh--I have just watch this group for too long to be fooled by them.

Posted by: Kathryn Smith at May 26, 2006 1:43 AM

Ms. "Smith," presuming that is her real name, which I sincerely doubt, is obviously a professional at political spin doctoring -- and has been in the business way too long. Guess she's a tiny part of what's left of that 500K the RNC dumped into RI to prop up Chafee's sugging rump.

Fortunately for most of the blog-commenters in here, of all political stripes, we actually use that glob of cells in our heads -- called brains -- to think intelligently, and to put facts in their correct contexts, and not as as skull-filler. I'd accuse you of willfully distorting the truth, but that would be far too presumptious of me to assume that you actually know what that is anymore.

The CfG is hardly a "fringe group," unless you find the whole concept of being pro-growth to be a bad thing. What kind of conservative are you? Would that be a Rockefeller conservative, perhaps?). If you are a "conservative," then you're a traitor to the principles that made the Republican Party the majority party. Real conservatives don't sell out the principles they believe in for the sake of political expediency. You're no more a real conservative, than Sen. Chafee is a real Republican.

Andrew did a wonderful job compeltely obliterating aforementioned paid political hack, so I will not waste any more electrons in this post doing likewise.

PS Have fun over the "left coast." Make sure to say "hi" to Babs and Mr. Penn for us!

Posted by: Will at May 26, 2006 2:16 AM

I want to make a small correction to my last post. That should read ..."to prop up Chafee's SAGGING rump" [thus, also representing his sagging chances of actually holding onto his job]. I wouldn't want to be misinterpreted now. ;)

Posted by: Will at May 26, 2006 2:22 AM

You are correct that Laffey is using the same consultants that CFG uses and the same consultants involved with Delay's leadership PAC that got into trouble in Texas.

CFG has a much different take to the race than Laffey's people on this blog. CFG doesn't think Laffey can win this seat, but they think that if Laffey can knock off Chafee, it will send a message to people like McCain, Snow and Collins while boosting CFG's ability to raise money.

In exchange, Laffey gets national press exposure. And Laffey loves media exposure.

A true marriage of convenience. Both CFG and Laffey get something out of it while Rhode Island gets another Democrat senator and the GOP loses the majority.

Posted by: Anthony at May 26, 2006 9:05 AM

Did I really read the following:

"third party ads are ineffective in driving numbers"?

1. Then why did McCain-Feingold spend so much time regulating 527's - a set of groups that supposedly cannot drive numbers.

2. Why did anybody waste time with the Swift Boat Veterans?

Posted by: Bobby Oliveira at May 26, 2006 9:18 AM

Bobby O:

I do give you credit for calling them the way you see them - and for being right as rain on this one. Any cursory view of academic research on negative advertising shows that it is far more effective when done by third parties. Moreover, any third rate political hack ought to know this. Ms. Smith is delusional and probably just another alias for James.

Posted by: Bountyhunter at May 26, 2006 2:59 PM

Dear Bounty,

Just one little note:

Ms. Smith is a real human and that is her real name.

She's been in the game for a while and probably serves as the most talented person on the Chaffee staff at current.

Having said that, I am finding places where she and I obviously disagree. (For the record, I am also a real human, have been in the game for a while, however, I am not close to being the most talented on my team by a long shot.)

Posted by: Bobby Oliveira at May 26, 2006 3:17 PM

Not sure if that is her real name or not, Bobby, but I would agree that she is on the Chafee staff. Probably a career RNSC-type planted by Dole to make sure the Chafee bunker is toeing the proper line. However, this campaign is flooded by far to many factions to toe any line. It is the classic recipe for losing a primary. A little dash of NARAL here, mixed up with PETA-type people there, stirred with a little old-line John Chafee nostalgia there, blended with new-wave Chafee 20 somethings, peppered with Karl Rove directives and, finally, laced with warmed-over NRSC operatives such as that rather full of herself Ms. "Smith".

I can just see Lang's eyes glazing over even more than usual in the saloon while Ms "Smith" drones on and on about her 40 years experience and all the Presidents she "served" under.

Posted by: Bountyhunter at May 26, 2006 4:03 PM

Chafee is in real trouble here. He is up attacking Laffey for one reason - to try and see if he can improve his numbers before the deadline to file as a Republican for the September primary. He knows his positive ads that he has been running didn't do the trick. Otherwise he's going independent in a last ditch effort to save his own skin. This is the only reason he's up attacking Laffey so early.

Posted by: observer at May 26, 2006 4:12 PM

Ms. Smith:

To be precise, I would think, is the highest standard for politics and life. To be precise one would have to admit that Mr. Laffey has the emotional and financial support of many Rhode Islanders and thousands of individual supporters from all across the country, and that your very bias and accusatory statement that he is “funded by CFG” is therefore less than precise. A reevaluation is in order on your part.

To bring light into the darkness is the goal of all truth seekers so let me attempt to bring you into the light. My challenge is that you to meet with Mr. Laffey for one reason and one reason only, and that to meet a man who, if anything, is the antithesis of your puppet punch. Perhaps this error is just another element of your coming so late into this debate.

Regarding consultants I am one and so aren’t you. No clichés allowed but something about glass and stones comes to mind.

Regarding defending his record; it needs no defense.

Regarding the use of the term fringe group, again you sound cute and deceptive, and not very ladylike might I add. Laffey is a Reagan republican who will work tirelessly to trim spending, lower taxes, move the country away from dependence on foreign oil and gas, minimize lobbying and corporate welfare, and provide sound leadership where DC insiders like Chafee cheaply sell our future to perpetuate their own power and prestige.

Have a safe fight and consider my challenge.


Posted by: Sol Venturi at May 26, 2006 5:59 PM

Just saw the TV version of Chafee's new ad while having dinner with my grandmother. As it was airing, she said "Why's Chafee doing that? I really don't like those kind of ads. Why can't he just tell me why I should vote for him?" My reply was simple: "because he's become desperate and he thinks he's going to lose." She isn't a Republican, but she sure is a good judge of people.

Anyway, the ad looks to have been spliced together, and obviously attempts to distort Mayor Laffey's record of accomplishment. Fortunately, it won't take much effort for the mayor to refute it. The ad is insultingly cookie-cutter and juvenile. It just comes off as SO PATHETIC coming from a sitting US Senator. Looks like his alleged "Dignity" just made a run for the border. The ad didn't even make a minimal attempt to convince anybody why they should vote FOR Senator Chafee, did it?

Usually the reason for running garbage like that (usually in about the 3rd week in October) is (1) a candidate is running behind his opponent (2) they are running scared (3) they are attempting to depress voter turnout by making the electorate so disgusted, that they just decide to stay home. Who's this ad aimed at? The primary is 4 months away! Is Chafee actually worried about even getting the state GOP endorsement next month? I guess those Democrat disaffiliations haven't been coming in fast enough for him!

Sen. Chafee, or at least his handlers, have a penchant for self-destructive political behavior. First, Chafee was the sole GOP vote for Sen. Feinstein's illegal alien amnesty amendment, and now this stuff. About the only real thing he's had going for him up until this point, was the public perception that he's a "nice guy." Sorry, "nice guys" don't run trash like that -- they certainly don't run it in May!!!

That being said, I hope that Chafee will keep running the ad early and often, because the more he does, the worse it makes HIM look. Rhode Island Republicans may be many things, but they aren't outright stupid.

If anyone wants to watch the ad, it's available here:

Posted by: Will at May 26, 2006 6:07 PM

Dear Bounty,

Ms. Smith and I, based on further intelligence, did actually meet back in the late eighties.

I barely remember it so I'm sure she doesn't. Then again, I was a fraternity VP and of course drunk every day. (For the record, I spent ages 10 through most of 35 drunk every day)

If she walked into the room now, I wouldn't be able to pick her out and I'm alone in my home office.

However, she does come with credentials. You may not agree with her positions, but don't underestimate her. After all, based on the rest of that campaign, she's all Chaffee's got.

Posted by: Bobby Oliveira at May 26, 2006 6:12 PM


Thanks for the input.

I have followed your journey somewhat and am uplifted by your ongoing sobriety. Trudge that road of happy destiny!

Posted by: bountyhunter at May 26, 2006 6:32 PM

I am shocked all you laffeyites are suggesting that Chafee is the first to go negative. Have any of you taken a look at Laffey's website. He takes pot shots at the Senator all the time, not to mention he has represeted him as a stick figure with a bow tie and insulted the Chafee family. You all even sink so low as to call his campaign manager an alcoholic. No one in the Chafee organization has ever made a personal attack about a Laffey staffer, and I think you all should be ashamed. If you want to set the tone for personal attacks on this blog you should all be very careful.

In addition, you all say that Chafee runing a negative add is a sign that his ship is sinking, perhaps you should all look at the polls and the financial standing of the campaigns. Chafee is leading in all of the polling that has been done and if Laffey has information to the contrary he should release it to the public, not lamely dodge the issue on Arlen Violet. Plus all of Laffey's money is coming in through Club for Growth, and out of state money does not equal instate votes. All of you over at Laffey Headquarters need to get out and talk to some real Rhode Islanders and then you will see that Chafee's ship is not sinking, but rather is increasing its lead on Laffey and Sheldon Whitehouse.

Posted by: max at May 26, 2006 6:40 PM

If Chafee is "leading," why is he acting like a loser? Winners don't go so negative, so soon. We'd love an actual answer.

I'm not going to comment on anyone's real or perceived drinking problem. However, it's not exactly coming out of thin air. I'm going to refrain from commenting on that one further.

Secondly, most of us "Laffeyites" aren't from Laffey HQ. We're just here because we want to set the record straight, not throw out RNC talking points in a lame attempt to get the dull and the gullible to believe them. It's something called passion. Passion is what you have when you stand up for things you believe in strongly. That's something which appears to be decidedly lacking among Chafee's supporters.

Posted by: Will at May 26, 2006 8:25 PM

Will, alcoholism is a serious health issue that should never be used as joke on an internet blog. You should really consider the tone that you are setting by making a personal attack on someone. As for the campaign, Laffey and Chafee are both using typical campaign tactics, but lets call a spade a spade. Laffey has used negative messages much more than Chafee, just look at his precious website - side note, what happened to his super cool movies? - so therefore by your standard Laffey was a loser first.

As for "passion" you should look to the polls to see who has more passionate support behind them. Chafee clearly has the support of the state, while Laffey has the passionate support of you Will, hmm, I would take the lead in the polls if you don't mind.

Posted by: Max at May 26, 2006 8:41 PM

Alcoholism is a serious issue, not to mention a deadly disease.

{Cerainly a point worth pondering, but we're straying a bit off-topic here.}

Posted by: bountyhunter at May 26, 2006 9:15 PM

As for Sen. Chafee, I campaigned for him in 2000 because I thought he was a Republican and I thought he was honest. He has proven me wrong on both.

Max, you cannot compare the distortions in Chafee's ads to the press releases on the Laffey website. Chafee dishonestly takes Laffey's unprecidented success story completely out of context. For example, in the ad, the narrator declares "homeowners were smacked with a real estate evaluation increase". What Chafee doesn't say is a) the revaluation is state mandated, b) the tax rate was lowered by the Laffey administration so that the impact of the evalutation was zero, c) Laffey LOWERED the tax rate in his latest budget. In fact, the tax increases that were required to save the city from bankruptcy all occured in Mayor Laffey's first term. Cranston voters understand what had to be done and they showed their support by re-electing him in a landslide. Since Mayor Laffey was re-elected, he held taxes one year and is now lowering them.

In contrast to Chafee's dishonest ads, the Laffey website highlights the facts about Chafee's poor record as a senator. The tone of these messages is merely a by-product of how rediculously misplaced are Senator Chafee's priorities.

Posted by: Stretch Cunningham at May 26, 2006 10:29 PM

You can go on and on all you want about Laffey's record in Cranston, but might I point out that runing a city with a friendly city council is very different than working in the United States Senate. Senator Chafee represents all of Rhode Island, not just the 10% of us who are republicans. It is his duty to work with everyone in the Congress to do what he honestly believes is right for the state.

Laffey can get on the airwaves and say he is going to go to Washington and clean things up, but he needs to understand that he can't just ride into DC and force his policies through. He would be a freshman senator in a very devided congress. He would have to work with all three democrates in our delegation and with members of the republican party he has already insulted on his website. I just don't see how anyone can truley believe that he would be an effective member of the Senate and all of the polls indicate that I am not alone in this argument. I would much rather have a Senator Chafee who helps the Presidents agenda then a Senator Whitehouse who will do nothing but help Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi.

Posted by: Max at May 26, 2006 11:15 PM


First of all, if you want to add "Feinstein" to that list, then you do have a Senator who helps the ultra left. He just voted with Feinstein to grant amnesty to illegal aliens when a week before he issued a press release saying that he is for the guest worker program, and not amnesty. Lets not forget his repeated public indeciciveness.

You are a JOKE. Seriously. Any polls right now are meaningless end of story. You say that "All of you over at Laffey Headquarters need to get out and talk to some real Rhode Islanders," but what is more important is the fact that all Laffey does is spend EVERY FREE MINUTE talking to real Rhode Islanders whereas Chafee spends his time at RIGOP events where the same 50 people are every time. Congratulations. And what do you consider real Rhode Islanders? The average 40 year old in Providence who doesn't know what he is talking about? People like that, aka most of the people in this state, are "useful idiots" for people like Chafee.

Let's look at the facts (and I know that you will not respond to this inconvenient truth): Laffey raised taxes YES but he did it when his city was 28 DAYS AWAY FROM BANKRUPTCY. If you look at the numbers, Chafee raised taxes more than Laffey did when the CITY WAS IN NO FINANCIAL CRISIS.

Chafee gave the Warwick Teachers Union a 19.4% pay raise with no co-pay for health insurance, which was more than what the Warwick School Committee offered. Laffey successfully went to court with the Cranston School Committee to save $3.2 million for the taxpayers in unnecessary school spending.

Chafee signed a crossing guards contract that gave crossing guards (who work 2 hours a day) $5,760 a year, unemployment pay during the summer and holidays, and free health coverage. Mayor Laffey successfully went to court to fire the crossing guards and save Cranston taxpayers $500,000 per year.

Clearly Chafee is adicted to pork and MAKING PEOPLE HAPPY rather than doing what is RIGHT. Chafee is an idiot. The guy won't even speak on the floor of the Senate because he would embarass himself. I think the three photos of him speaking in DC on his website are the only three that exist.

Now I know you will say that I copied and pasted those off of Laffey's site. Yes - I did, and that doesn't make them false. They are quite true. Laffey happens to be on the side of truth every time against Chafee.


Posted by: Hendrik Loon at May 27, 2006 12:09 AM

What are the odds? Two Providence College Alumns who work for both the RNC .... AND .... Chafee's Campaign with the initials "KS"? What an expert they each are! I think someone needs to re-think her north east strategeries... ;) ;) Or maybe not.... She knows that negative attack ads go on at the end of a campaign because they can be effective if done correctly. The thing is that with the disafilliation deadline coming up, this in fact IS like the end of a campaign for the Chafee campaign. At this point they are trying to guage from polls the chance of Chafee winning the Republican Primary. If their numbers don't go up, then Chafee will run as an independent. Makes sense to me. Laffey goes on and shocks everyone to win it all.

Posted by: John Smyth at May 27, 2006 12:16 AM

And another thing ... what great professionalism from someone who works for a campaign to go on a blog and run her mouth. Very professional. Did Mehlman teach you that? Doesn't she have anything better to do? I know Ian likes to view newsletters that get his attention 40 times in 2 days, but this hits a new low.

Posted by: John Smyth at May 27, 2006 12:21 AM

I agree, polls at this point are completely meaningless, because there is nothing for anyone to vote on right now. The primary is over 4 months away. Someone once said that if the election were held today, there would be a lot of confused people. Someone ought to remind the Chafee folks that the garbage they're running usually is done in late October, when you're running double digits behind your opponent and have nothing else left in your arsenal. It just looks really desperate. I've had politically involved people -- who are by no means Laffey supporters -- tell me that they think it is an unnecessary and poorly-timed move by the Chafee campaign, which gives off a general impression of a campaign that's running out of issues on which to run, and of running behind behind in the polls -- or they are conceding that the Club for Growth third party ads are actually having an effect, contrary to Ms. Smith's earlier claim. Again, people who are "far ahead" don't run that type of stuff.

Based on this latest move, I believe that Chafee is seriously contemplating not running in the Republican primary. He basically has up until June 28th to decide that, with the State GOP Endorsing Convention being held the following day. His loyalty to Republican principles has been so shallow, that it would hardly surprise anyone at this point that he might finally ditch the party itself.

PS I'd prefer we keep things issue-based, as well.

Posted by: Will at May 27, 2006 12:49 AM

Chafee is not considering running as an independent.

Posted by: Adam Smith at May 27, 2006 9:36 PM

My Dear Adam: I'm certain that if the liberal Senator had indeed made or could make, such a decision, he would not, in any likelihood, have shared it with the likes of us.

Posted by: David Hume at May 27, 2006 10:21 PM

I'm quite sure the good Senator is "not considering" any number of things at any given moment -- that doesn't mean that it can't or won't happen.

Sadly, I must concur with Mr. Hume, that if Chafee had actually "made up his mind" about it, which I sincerely doubt, given his legendary propensity to ponder and procastinate, that he would be telegraphing it to us!

Posted by: Will at May 28, 2006 3:17 AM

I always like to see how the Laffeyites come to their conclusions.

The ad run by Chafee is obviously designed to keep Laffey where he is at in the polls and prevent him from gaining any momentum. They help define Laffey before he defines himself and Chafee has a financial advantage, so why not? The last thing Chafee needs to do is ignore Laffey as Carcieri did to Fogarty, wake up the next day and find himself trailing.

In terms of the Chafee staff, his organization has been running winning Senate campaigns since '76, and has been the longest and most successful continuously running campaign operation in RI. Just ask Michaelson, Licht, Kushner, Weygand...and the last self-branded "conservative" challlenger, Post.

The thought that Chafee would back out of the GOP primary is simply ludicrous and shows how detached from reality some of the Laffeyites have become. I suppose putting that out provides some faith to the 33% Club as they can make an argument that if Chafee ran as an independent, he and Whitehouse will split 66% of the vote and Laffey would be able to eke through the general election with 34 or 35%. That seems to be the only path to victory for Laffey at this point.

We're three quarters of the way to the finish line of this primary. Nine months have passed since Laffey announced and there are just over three months to go.

Here is the reality going into the homestretch:

1. Chafee is winning in all the primary polls.
2. Chafee has more money than Laffey.
3. Chafee has the support of EVERY significant national Republican.
4. Polls still show that Chafee is the only Republican who can beat Sheldon Whitehouse.

Posted by: Anthony at May 31, 2006 10:35 AM


You're too little too late. Linc will get this sensation at about 9:15PM Tuesday, September 12th.

J Mahn

Posted by: Joe Mahn at May 31, 2006 10:45 PM

Laffet is a joke. We who came out in support of him 2 years ago in Cranston are deserting him in droves. He has done exactly NOTHING to cut spending. The 12% tax hike (on top of the other 3 tax hikes) which Laffey calls "supplemental' is in fact a permanemt increae in the tax base-nothing supplemental about it. The union contracts and benefits have gone up and up and...
Better to keep the seat Republican. Write this down-meglaoaniac Laffey won't even carry Cranston.

Posted by: mike at June 3, 2006 8:07 PM


Your argument is as lame as your ability to write (and spell) in English.

Repeat after me... BOND RATING GOING UP. Every time it goes up Laffey is saving the City millions.

Repeat after me... PROPERTY TAXES GOING DOWN. No increase last year and a decrease this year.

Get real.

J Mahn

Posted by: Joe Mahn at June 4, 2006 12:39 PM