August 10, 2006

Laffey-Chafee I: Miscellaneous Questions

Carroll Andrew Morse

Senator Lincoln Chafee and Mayor Steve Laffey, the Republican candidates for U.S. Senate, debated on today’s Arlene Violet Show on WHJJ-AM radio. Here are the notes I jotted down as they were debating. "Miscellaneous" should only be read to imply that these questions did not fit into any other category, not that they are less important than the others...

Arlene Violet asks if drug companies or individuals got the better deal from the recent drug bill.
Mayor Steve Laffey answers that drug companies got a better deal, because medicare cannot negotiate for cheaper drugs.
Senator Lincoln Chafee says he voted against the drug bill because it had no bulk purchasing provisions.

Violet asks Chafee if he would support vouchers under any circumstance.
Chafee says no, vouchers undermine public schools.
Laffey says he wants every kid to have the opportunity that vouchers can provide. He mentions he’s trying to start a public school choice program between Cranston and Providence. Laffey says he supports vouchers and public choice.

Violet asks Chafee to name 3 places where he supports the President.
Chafee says he supports the President on free trade, respects his work on No-Child-Left-Behind, and keeps good relations with the White House.
Laffey says he supports the President on free trade, tax cuts, and the War on Terror. He disagrees with the President on NCLB, because education decisions should be made locally.

Violet says part of being a Senator is being willing to compromise, and asks Laffey for 3 issues on which he might compromise.
Laffey says he’s successfully worked with unions on negotiating health co-pays, proving he's is able to compromise and work with others. Laffey names the phaseout of the estate tax as an issue he would compromise on.
Chafee uses his time to mention that Laffey encouraged a primary against a Republican city councilman which shows that he has a hard time working with others.
Laffey questions the relevance of the intra-party politics in Cranston’s fourth ward to a race for United States Senator.

Violet asks Chafee if he knew a consulting firm his campaign hired was connected (by marriage) to an individual convicted of jamming phone lines on an election day. (Violet also asks if the consulting firm’s work will involve phoning voters).
Chafee takes responsibility for the hire and says he didn’t know about the relationship with the convicted individual. The firm can continue to work for the campaign as long as no professional relationship is established.

Violet seems like she’s going to ask Laffey a question about stem-cells, but at the last moment changes direction, and segues into a question about using Medicaid funds for abortion.
Alas, your intrepid blogger couldn’t follow the question or answer on this one. Fortunately, we’ll get three more chances to get it answered!

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.

Is it just me, or did it seem that Arlene spent more time asking the questions than the candidates had to answer them?

Posted by: Rhody at August 11, 2006 12:28 AM

I agree, in that her verbalisms tended to detract from the candidates ability to get into any real depth on virtually any subject. Arlene has a tendency to do that, which is why I rarely listen to her!

Posted by: Will at August 11, 2006 12:55 AM

Chafee 1, Laffey 0.

Laffey is the candidate who wanted to debate, right?

Posted by: Anthony at August 11, 2006 9:49 AM

Anthony, the opinion of one devotee who stumps and spins all hours of the night for Chafee doesn't carry much weight.

Your "score" is nothing but more spin.

Posted by: roadrunner at August 11, 2006 4:51 PM

Please explain how you mark this a win for Laffey? I think for Dan Yorke, someone should definitely try telling his handlers to lower the dosage on his seditives.

Posted by: cabot lodge at August 13, 2006 11:08 AM

Posted elsewhere---

Let me start with a simple fact:
Nobody reads what we are writing except the four people from the Chafee camp and the ten or so from the Laffey camp. I will say that many (not all) of the Chafee posters seem to change their names regularly as has been pointed out and verified by the blog’s host.

That said, all the pontificating about how C is so superior and senatorial and how L is blustery and has a big ego is a huge pile of BS. Both candidates are successful in their own right, but they stand on very opposite poles on almost every issue that means something to the voters.

Arlene is great, blah, blah, blah. Don't talk about my family, blah, blah, blah. Yorke is a blowhard, blah, blah, blah. Laffey is so uninformed about the issues, blah, blah, blah.

There is no substance here. There is very little polished prose and tons of sound bite twists and spins on what the two candidates said and what they stand for.

Chafee voted against middle class tax cuts, the war in Iraq, George Bush, Sam Alito, and the flag burning amendment. He is socially and fiscally liberal.

Laffey wants to make the tax cuts permanent, supports the war in Iraq, George Bush, Sam Alito, and the flag burning amendment. He is socially and fiscally conservative.

Chafee’s tactic of dismissing the issues as unimportant and instead asking voters to look at character traits and what he can do in the future based upon what he has done to date will come back to haunt him before and after he loses the primary. This will obviously be a point well made in future debates and campaign info by Laffey, because in fact people do vote based upon how they perceive a candidate understands their world and the issues they care about.

There is also a very insincere note to Chafee’s rhetoric with his “family” comment when one of the first nasty attack ads run in this campaign attacked Laffey’s family and name. And now comes the “Bully” ad. The king of the cheap shots and head of the Bully’s Union, Karl Rove, must have written that twisted piece of slander himself. These below the belt shots are made even more egregious after hearing Chafee whine and whine about being hammered and hammered and hammered by the CFG. Crying is very unsenitorial.

Laffey took Chafee’s shots on the chin and stood his ground. I actually thought Laffey was quite the opposite of many in the Chafee camp’s character assassinations. He knows where he stands on the issues, articulates his positions eloquently, has the numbers down, and hasn’t as yet attacked Chafee’s character save in response to Chafee’s personal attacks. If you heard the same debate I did Chafee was all bully all the time. He attacked first and most often. Laffey talked about the issues, his plan, and how he wants to fix what is broken down in DC.

I score the first round of our four round bout (using the 10-point must system) 10-9 in favor of Laffey.

See you for round two this Thursday at 5PM.

J Mahn

Posted by: Joe Mahn at August 13, 2006 2:24 PM