March 11, 2007

Disappointing Rogers

Marc Comtois

The ProJo reports:

With written pleas for cash to help put “hard-charging, fearless, battle-tested Republican veterans in the U.S. Congress,” they raised more than $415,000 in the 2005-06 election cycle.

Two percent of that money went to federal candidates: a total of $9,000 in two years.

In that same time period, Rogers and Winthrop paid themselves $144,000 from their fund, mostly in “political consulting” fees...

The Special Operations Fund spent more than $300,000 in the last cycle on the mechanics of raising money, including: $111,000 on postage; $76,000 on printing and production; $19,000 on payroll taxes and fees; $6,700 on acquiring donor lists.

So, $9,000 for candidates. And none of them were in Rhode Island!
All the money went to Republicans running for Congress, including Representatives J.D. Hayworth of Arizona and Rob Simmons of Connecticut. The fund gave $250 in September 2005 to U.S. Senate candidate John Spencer, the Republican challenger to Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. Winthrop worked for Spencer on that campaign.

In 2006, the fund made six political contributions totaling $6,250. By far the largest was $5,000 on March 17 to Don Stenberg, a Republican running for U.S. Senate in Nebraska. He did not win his party’s nomination.

In all, the PAC contributed a total of $3,000 to nine U.S. House candidates and $6,000 to five U.S. Senate candidates in the last cycle.

As a guy who supported Rogers in the past, I find this all very disappointing. While I realize that there are complicated campaign finance issues that apply, is it still too much to ask for someone of Rogers stature to have focused his energy on local candidates?

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Rogers raising money for anyone but Rhode Islanders. Holmes actively advising Fogarty campaign. Laffey attempting blackmail to stay out of the Senate race. So called reformers working against/voting against party nominated candidates.
They wonder why they can't get good people to join?

Posted by: Tim at March 11, 2007 11:48 AM

Rogers' tactics could've come from Max Bialystock in "The Producers." I wonder if he had to date these little old ladies to get their money.
A cautionary tale to anyone thinking of donating to a PAC.

Posted by: Rhody at March 11, 2007 3:57 PM

This makes Rogers look pretty sleazy, but the real sleazebag in this is Winthrop.

and tim, this story is based on fact. Holmes is on record making his statement.

But the rumor about Laffey was started by the same crooked GOP insiders who benefited from party cash. The State GOP finance reports list thousands in consulting fee's to "The Bigger Know" which was a company set up by former RI GOP Exec. Director Jeff Deckman. This may have been the party's way of paying his E.D. salary, but it appears Deckman sought to use his position as E.D. to help his business. Deckman is the source of the rumor about Laffey that no one can corroborate. Patricia Morgan may have, but who on earth believes anything she says?

We need to root out the corruption and incompetence in the party before we're ever going to root out the corruption in this State.

Posted by: Perry Ellis at March 11, 2007 6:01 PM


The only one who's ever denied the Laffey blackmail attempt is Laffey.
No one else. Problem here is while you lie this at the feet of corruption and incompetence within the party please answer me one question. Why does the head of your party, the governor, have absolutely no relationship with Laffey in any way shape or form to this very day?
Something for you to consider.
Somehow I don't think it's all Jeff Deckman and Pat Morgan blowing smoke.
Something else for to consider.
If true will you add Laffey into your corruption equation?

Posted by: Tim at March 11, 2007 7:31 PM

Tim, first of all, deal making is politics. Even if it were true, it wouldn't be corrupt.
What the State GOP should have done was make a deal with Chafee to get out of the race so they could focus on electing a Republican. Even if they had made a deal with Laffey, the party would be much better off than it has become by rallying blindly behind incompetent leadership.

But this post isn't about that. (You are the one who started with the innuendo.) Its about sleazy people selfishly using politics as a means to line their own pockets by tugging at the hearts of well-intentioned innocent people. Republicans should have zero tolerance for it! How can we present ourselves as the party of reform in Rhode Island if we keep making excuses for these people. Connect the dots. One way or another, these sleazebags all have some connection to the Governor, and to no-one else.

Posted by: Perry Ellis at March 11, 2007 8:15 PM

Where there is smoke there is usually fire.

As much as people hate to admit it, there might be a valid reason why Laffey was ousted from his job as president of Morgan Keegan after a year. But this isn't about Laffey.

Rogers had to have known what was going on in his own PAC. He got over $30,000 in consulting fees from it. Tim, going back to my previous comment, there might be a valid reason why Rogers was ousted from his job.

I would like to diffentiate this instance from Deckman's. When the RI GOP gave Deckman a check, they knew what it was for. When donors contributed to the Rogers PAC, it looks like that thought Rogers was still running against Kennedy.

Sad to see.

Posted by: Anthony at March 11, 2007 8:57 PM


The Laffey posse keeps pursuing this 'we're virgins in white it's everyone else that's dirty' mindset. You don't seem to realize Mr. Laffey has some major fence mending to do. This mindset will be your undoing. (for Laffey's sake he'd better have made a visit to E.G. on Friday)


Agree completely with your sentiments regarding Rogers. Even more shocking behavior that it came from a former Navy Seal. That's a disrespect of major porportion.
Regarding Laffey if he ever becomes a player on the statewide stage he'll be fully investigated by the Dems re: Morgan Keegan etc. If they can slime a fine man like Don Carcieri with fables about murdered South American workers and extra-marital affairs just imagine the fun they'll have with Laffey.

Posted by: Tim at March 11, 2007 9:39 PM

off topic, but let me just say: Fred Thompson for President!

Posted by: johnb at March 12, 2007 8:05 AM

Ditto on every point.

If Fred Thompson were to enter this race, I'd be tempted to support him.

That makes me ask an interesting quesiton. The GOP presidential primary is shaping up to be a race between Giuliani and McCain. McCain is more conservative that Giuliani, but he has offended the national conservative establishment. Who are people on this blog supporting?

Posted by: Anthony at March 12, 2007 10:00 AM

Tim must have OCD for Laffey. Doesn't matter what the topic is, he attacks Laffey. It's kind of funny actually.

Based on how badly the Governor has been looking in paper recently(beacon,ethics, budget, jobs for old stone pals, judges), I would think people like Tim would either keep quiet or focus on salvaging the Governor.

Posted by: mit at March 12, 2007 10:38 AM

Re: the off-topic on Thompson, he IS looking tempting to this Reagan Republican - perhaps not perfect, but tempting:,2933,258222,00.html

Posted by: Tom W at March 12, 2007 11:07 AM

Mit, ditto on every point.

What's different between what Carcieri's insiders did with state party funds and what Rogers/Winthrop did with their PAC? Jeff Britt alone received more than all candidates combined in the 2006 cycle!

Posted by: Perry Ellis at March 12, 2007 11:16 AM

The difference is obvious.

Contributors giving to the Rogers PAC were led to belief that Rogers was still running against Patrick Kennedy. Instead the money was spent on "consulting fees" that had nothing to do with beating Patrick Kennedy.

The people who contributed to the RI GOP were overwhelmingly Carcieri and Chafee contributors donating to help the RI GOP's stated efforts to re-elect Carcieri and Chafee. Their money was spent to further that goal.

Posted by: Anthony at March 12, 2007 11:59 AM

Anthony, combined with the State GOP's abuse of party funds, your last point is exaclty the reason I've stopped giving money to the RI Republican Party. Two wealthy men running for office and their friends suck all of the party funds dry. At the same time, people running for legislative seats, some great people from all walks of life are left dry because of the selfish, self-serving actions of the governor, the former senator and their inner circles.

I heard Arlene Violet speak at the NK GOP Lincoln Day dinner Saturday night. She gave an outstanding speech. One of her points was that we can't keep giving people a pass if we are to be the party of reform!

Zero f-ing tolerance!

Posted by: Perry Ellis at March 12, 2007 2:07 PM

In years when there is a statewide election, the party will spend most of it resources on those high-priority races. In years when there are no statewide elections, resources go mainly to General Assembly candidates. I don't think that is wrong at all, it's just a matter of prioritizing with limited resources.

If you want to ensure that your contributions go to a select handful of candidates, you should just give to them directly. For example, if you only want conservatives to benefit, just give to them not the party. The party will give money to a candidate with a strong chance of winning, conservative or moderate.

Both Chafee and Carcieri have supported local candidates (for that matter, so did Laffey). But their priority was to get themselves re-elected.

At the General Assembly level, truly strong candidates don't need party support to get themselves elected. At best, the support of the RI GOP might be worth 2 percentage points in a General Assembly race. When candidates lose by 10, 15 and 20 points then blame the RI GOP for their loss, it's ridiculous.

One candidate for statewide office recently posted a comment chastising the RI GOP for not contributing to his campaign and then went on to say that he refused to ask friends and relatives to donate because he didn't want them to spend their hard-earned money on his long-shot bid!

My suggestion to you would be to work with a candidates whom you personally support if you don't like Carcieri.

Posted by: Anthony at March 12, 2007 3:02 PM

Perry cites Arlene's remark that "we can't keep giving people a pass if we are to be the party of reform." Truer words have not been spoken. For how long have the dyed-in-the-wool "Rhode Island Republicans" been giving folks a pass on questionable, dishonrable, and even unethical behavior? From Holmes to Levesque to Jackvony to Gelfuso and on to Morgan, Deckman, Rogers (I'll be kind and leave Carcieri and Chaffee out of this group for now), our party has put up with double-dealing with the Dems and sucking funds out of the organization (or skimming funds in the name of the organization) for far too long. With the headlines we've "earned" in the ProJo of late we continue to stand as a laughing stock in local politics. With the recent stream of e-mails going around about Providence GOP squabbles and the State GOP's bylaws, we continue to disillusion or disenchant those that we need the most: the true grassroots leaders at the city/town committe level.

Some of us at the grassroots level can only stand so much - we'll either ensure change takes place or we'll hang it up and watch from the sidelines...

Posted by: Paul the Paperboy at March 12, 2007 3:24 PM

Arlene Violet? You have got to be kidding me. She's a John Holmes lackey and is to the far left of Linc Chafee politically. This is who you're holding up as a reformer for the RI Republican party? lol
What a mess your party is in. Amazing!

Posted by: Tim at March 12, 2007 4:22 PM

Tim, Not holding her up. Just agreeing with what she said.

Anthony, it never ceases to amaze me, the lengths to which you will go to make excuses for people who have clearly got it all wrong.

The proof is in the results.

Posted by: Perry Ellis at March 12, 2007 4:34 PM


The Republican Governor in one of the most heavily Democratic states won re-election by overcoming the most well funded and organized campaign by the unions/Democratic party this state has ever seen.
Had Linc Chafee not had to burn major dollars and just as importantly time on Laffey he would have been neck and neck with Whitehouse in my opinion stood a good shot at squeaking out a victory.
No question in the local races the Republican candidates were very vunerable because of the strong Democrat wave that was going on.
Perry seems to me you're the ones who've got it all wrong.
The proof is in the results.

Posted by: Tim at March 12, 2007 4:51 PM

Winthrop is finished in politics. Thank god McCain fired him. Winthrop is a sleaze and always has been. Rogrs was greatly hurt by his association with Winthrop from the start. Hey lugnuts go away and hang your head in shame.

Posted by: Pete at March 12, 2007 5:31 PM

Exactly. The proof is in the results.

You seem to find fault with any Republican that is able to get elected--Chafee, Carcieri, etc.

Chafee is a moderate, Carcieri is a conservative, so it has nothing to do about ideology.

What world are you living in that you think you know more about winning as Republican in RI than Carcieri and Chafee?

Posted by: Anthony at March 12, 2007 5:35 PM

Maybe it is time for some people to leave the GOP and form their own party.

There is such venom directed at other Republicans by a small minority at the fringe. While they talk about unity, they don't want it. They want control. Unfortunately, they can't get control through open elections, because they're just not that popular with others in the party. Darn democracy!

So they sit around and complain about it and lauch basesless allegations at those who do win, conservative or moderate. This does nothing more than drain resources from others (both in terms of time and money).

Sometimes I wonder if they're real Republicans or just liberals posting to incite discord.

Posted by: Anthony at March 12, 2007 5:44 PM

>>Chafee is a moderate, Carcieri is a conservative, so it has nothing to do about ideology.


Chafee is a liberal. Carcieri is a moderate. And it is always ultimately about ideology.

Posted by: Tom W at March 12, 2007 10:10 PM

As to Anthony's question, John McCain has unfortunately taken himself off the top of my list with his stance on illegal immigration. Side note: the difference between McCain and Kennedy is that McCain knew better.

Tom Tancredo has been right on illegal immigration for the longest of all the candidates. But it makes me nervous that someone with that feral look in his eyes would have the nuclear codes.

It's a little early but right now I'm leaning towards Mitt, despite the alleged allegation of hypothetical ballot stuffing at CPAC by a possibly over-enthusiastic supporter. In view of the comments here about Fred Thompson, I'll give him a look as well.

Posted by: SusanD at March 12, 2007 10:44 PM

Don't forget the GOP state meeting with the election of officers on Thursday Evening,March 15TH, at 7 PM,.
Place:Radisson Airport Hotel,2081 Post Road,Warwick,RI 02886,.6:30 PM check in for those that can vote.Call to order 7:00 PM,.Non members can attend as spectators.I do not have a vote.
Saturday morning,March 17TH is the South County Republican Coalition breakfast at 8 AM at Camden's Restaurant inside the bowling alley buildingin Wakefield.South Kingstown GOP hosting this month.
We are noting our 250TH Anniversary of our town Hopkinton Sunday.The Governor will attend.
Any questions contact me at 401-377-4643 or ,.I am actively involved in this.Time starts at 2 PM at the Hopkinton Historical Association Meeting House,the former Second Seventh Day Baptist Church building the junction of Route #3(Main Street) and Town House Road in Hopkinton.The Hopkinton Town Hall across the Town House road will be also used that day.Easily accessible off Route#95,Exit#1,go north on Route#3 and not a far drive.

Posted by: Scott Bill Hirst at March 13, 2007 11:38 AM

A resolution should be drafted at the Republican meeting Thurs in RI to condemn the action of Rogers and Winthrop.

Posted by: lou at March 13, 2007 1:31 PM

Anthony, I think the minority on the fringe is the old guard trying to hold on to whatever they can. I do not want control - I want unity and I want the leadership to act on behalf of those that elected them. Giovanni Cicione is starting fresh and will hopefully work on behalf of all interested parties.

The fact that you would even suggest that "Maybe it is time for some people to leave the GOP and form their own party" is an indication that many of the aforementioned old guard do not want to work on growing the party and increasing its strength throughout the state. Instead, they'd rather go to the same functions, see the same people, keep electing the same candidates regardless of ideology or quality of service - and let the activists go off and form their own party.

You may consider this venom but I consider it telling it like it is. I don't sit around - I act (and that includes running for local office). Lastly, I support those that win and represent the party. With their winning, they've earned the right of my support. I expect open, honest, republican, and Republican representation in return.

Posted by: Paul the Paperboy at March 14, 2007 11:49 AM

The future of the RIGOP will begin tomorrow. Morgan is gone. She did an awesome job in the beginning when she bailed the state party out of debt and disaster through sheer will alone.

But she did a HORRIBLE job building a party. It is too bad that she couldnt recognize her strengths and weaknesses and allow others to excel.

Unfortunately her legacy will not be that she saved the party 4 years ago, but rather the opportunity she squandered over the last 3.

Rumor has it that there is going to be a complete overhaul at the top and the new ones are smart, fresh, motivated and very highly skilled.

The RIGOP may have the right people stepping up to take it over. This will be interesting.

Stay tuned......

Posted by: InsideOut at March 14, 2007 4:53 PM
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