April 18, 2007

Laffey Writing a "Tell All"

Marc Comtois

Mark Arsenault reports in today's ProJo that Steve Laffey has written a tell-all about his failed 2006 Senate campaign. The title indicates where he's going with this one--Primary Mistake: A Candidate's Tale of How Washington Republicans Tried to Squash a Reagan Conservative but Instead Lost Everything (link added and title revised to reflect information at linked site-ed.).

Laffey will argue in the book that his race epitomized what went wrong with the Republican Party, which lost control of the House and Senate in the last election. “The national Republican Party lost power because it put power in front of principle,” Laffey said yesterday. “I wanted to set forth some principles that we should hold on to.”

His editor at Penguin Group [who is publishing the book], Bernadette Malone Serton, said that Laffey tells the story of the campaign with stunning candor.

“Steve Laffey is so candid in talking about what Washington Republicans did to him that the rest of the country needs to know why they lost the Senate in 2006,” she said.

“And he names names in his book,” she promised.

Neither Laffey nor Serton would describe the contents of the book in detail before it is published, but both said it has nationwide implications.

“It’s a wake-up call to all Republicans for 2008,” Serton said, “because if these are the kind of decisions [by Republican leaders] and the games that are going to be played, that could very well affect the outcome of the presidential election.”

Laffey, who is traveling out of the country, explained by telephone yesterday why he wrote the book.

“I’m a very future-oriented person,” he said. “I don’t sit around and stew. I thought immediately that my race had a lot of implications nationally. I thought I had something to offer nationally for the party and the public.

“I really thought my race was the epitome of how the national Republican Party lost power and did the wrong thing over the last six years.”

The book ends with “a very positive message for the future, a very hopeful” message, he said.


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Can you pre-order on Amazon yet? Can't wait!

Posted by: crowd curfer at April 18, 2007 8:49 AM

This should be great! The publisher says that Laffey "names names". I can't wait to hear the inside-baseball.

Posted by: Carl Elliott at April 18, 2007 10:28 AM

I think this is going to be the best thing to come out of Rhode Island in a long time!

Posted by: Will at April 18, 2007 11:00 AM

Yes! You can pre-order on Amazon.


Posted by: Warbucks at April 18, 2007 9:19 PM

Let's face it: Laffey lost because his platform and views did not even appeal to a majority of Republicans in this state. It had nothing, really, to do with the "LaffeyLand" ads.

Laffey appealed to a very small--albeit vocal--minority. He would have lost by 30 points to Whitehouse in the general election.

Plus, I believe the Red-State shift is starting to run its course. Bush has become toxic, and his residue will linger on the Rep party for awhile. Until the Dems get fat and lazy again, in another 10-12 years.

Posted by: klaus at April 19, 2007 8:02 PM


You couldn't be more wrong, Laffey got 29,500 GOP Primary votes, more than the total of the Bennett-Carcieri Primary in 2002. His appeal is wide-spread, if Matt Brown had been in the race or if the national GOP had let Chafee choke on it we would have seen what Whitehouse-Laffey would have brought.

Posted by: Carl Elliott at April 20, 2007 11:47 AM

Sorry, I couldn't be more right. He ran. He lost. Where's this huge body of support?

Matt Brown? When he couldn't even get past Chaffee? Wow. Talk about missing the point.

Posted by: klaus at April 20, 2007 8:19 PM

Well young gents, maybe I could help a little.
young Klaus your jealousy does not behoove someone with such a happy name. Mayor Laffey is a smart young fellow, a whippersnapper, and what you fail to acknowledge in your youth is that it is very hard to get a book deal with such a major publishing house. He must have done something right again. Ah yes, a successful businessman, a graduate of the finest business school in the land, a successful mayor and radio talk show host and now an author.

He is the finest I have ever seen and I will read his book carefully. Klaus perhaps it is time for you to look at your own life and maybe get to work at something meaningful. Envy is a bad emotion and can destroy a young chap like you.

I wonder what the young master is up to now? Always seems to be working that young fellow.

Posted by: gentlemanjim at April 21, 2007 8:06 AM

Laffey sold out Cranston. Other than the crossing guards he did virtually nothing to cut payroll, benefits, pensions, etc. He had ONE of the many Providence Hispanics who loot the Cranston schools arrested. When the illegal lobby complained he dropped the charges the next day and opened the doors wider for these locusts.
Don't be fooled by Laffey. He is opprotunistic scum. Why do you think he won his Mayor's primary 3-1 and 2 years later ran even in Cranston for the Senate primary?

Posted by: mike at April 21, 2007 9:49 AM

Will Laffey's tell all explain his attempted blackmailing of Governor Carcieri?
Explain his link to Guatemalan racist David Quiroa and the Consular card disgrace?
Explain his excessive taxation policy?
This book will be a self serving excuse filled it's everyone elses fault ditty. I predict this book will provide rich fodder that will be used by his opponents in the future. Don't believe Laffey has broad statewide appeal. Don't believe he has the standing and isn't close to possessing the broad popularity that a Chafee and Carcieri have here in Dem dominated Rhode Island. Laffey could not outvote these two Republicans in this state so why do Laffey's Kool-aiders think he can beat a Caprio or Lynch or Cicilline? His only shot with Cicilline would be the unions hatred for David. Sadly the unions hate Laffey more.
Laffey's already reached the heights of his political career. He doesn't know it yet but this book is the postscript to his political career.

Posted by: Tim at April 21, 2007 10:27 AM

"Laffey's already reached the heights of his political career."

Tim what you and many others don't seem to realize is politics is not a career for Laffey. He sees the problems clearly and is not afraid to call people on it. Yes many don't like him because he is ruining for them because they are robbing us blind and making a lucrative career out of a part time job.
If the Rhode Island electorate can't see the wisdom in having a Laffey fight for them then they shall reap what they sew. And Laffey will move on and become successful at whatever he decides to do.

Posted by: David Davis at April 21, 2007 3:31 PM

Tim and klaus: Ditto.

Or how about when the self-proclaimed Mr. Conservative gave to Jesse Jackson, Jr. or gave money to the Democrats who was running against Fred Thompson and former majority leader Bill Frist in a crucial year that determined the fate of the Senate.

Then he runs against a popular incumbent Republican in another crucial year when the GOP needs every seat?

Steve Laffey has done more to hurt conservative leadership in the country than any other Rhode Islander. He cost the GOP the Senate in 2006 and tried to help the Democrats take control in 1994 well before Chafee was ever in the US Senate.

Carl is right that Laffey got more votes than the Bennett-Carcieri race in 2002, but there was no major Democrat primary in 2006 while there was a heated Democrat primary in 2002. Of course turnout in the GOP primary was heavier.

Let's not forget, it's not like we were all waiting up past midnight to figure out who won the Chafee/Laffey election. Chafee beat Laffey by 8% in the primary and that race was one of the first ones called that night.

I'm not sure who would buy Laffey's book, but at least he made constructive use of his time after getting the boot in 2006. Good for him.

I'll wait for Steve Cabral's book to come out about his race against Patrick Kennedy.

Posted by: Anthony at April 22, 2007 4:55 AM

Waiting for Anthony's book- how a former Chafee campaign staffer who worked on Linc's campagn back around 1999 can't find a PR job and spends some of his free time complaining about Laffey.

Mike- Laffey got big co-pays from the unions (from 10-20%) and reduced the workforce of the firefighters ...what has other mayors done in comparison....not much.

Tim - Carcieri is getting unpopular with his Beacon, Rosati, Doherty, judicial nominating, flip flops, etc. etc. So much bad press he whines about...just like you do about Laffey.

Posted by: FirstGradeTeacher at April 22, 2007 8:22 AM


Another voting block at play in the primary were those who voted Laffey in thinking he'd be easier to beat in the general election than Chafee. These primary vote total numbers are meaningless but I suppose Laffey's crowd needs something to hang onto.


What you and many other 'followers' don't seem to understand is that Laffey is driven by self interest and ego. That's all! That's why he left Cranston after only four years on the job. The job wasn't done in Cranston but two things were motivating Laffey to leave. His ego had gotten far too big for the city and more importantly the real heavy duty issues like city contracts were coming due and Laffey wanted no part of them. Guys like Steve Laffey are always on the move because over time their phoney personalities and ways of doing business get exposed if they stay too long. No question Steve Laffey is brilliant at finance. He's a very bright guy. What hurts Laffey is his megalomania and his ADD. This guy has 'certifiable' personality quirks which have already cost him his political career and make no mistake Laffey obsesses over a future career in politics. Like I was saying earlier, Laffey doesn't know it yet but his book is the postscript of that career.

Posted by: Tim at April 22, 2007 8:53 AM


Carcieri has already won two statewide elections. Laffey has never won anything statewide and couldn't carry his own voting precinct the only time he ever attempted it. How embarrassing is that teacher? Your point?

Posted by: Tim at April 22, 2007 9:03 AM

Tim- Laffey lost the precinct by 1 vote I believe and and I think he doesn't live in fancy Republican EG, a bunch of Demos/unions calling themselves independents did him in during the primary. The 06 GOP primary was very unique.

Also, like I said Laffey got big co-pays (10-20%) in the union contracts so he didn't walk away from Cranston when the contracts came up like you said. What did Carcieri get in his union contracts for co-pays something like 6-11% and the state is still going down the drain.

The point is you bash Laffey all the time, you can hate him, but he got things done. However, Carcieri's popularity is slowly sinking as the state slowly goes down the drain because he didn't get much done- how embarassing is that? I agree Laffey's got faults. But,what's the point of bashing Laffey and praising Carcieri when over the last four years RI's budget just gets worse and worse (Carcieri signed the last couple of budgets-remember).

Posted by: FirstGradeTeacher at April 22, 2007 9:53 AM
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