July 24, 2007

Steve Laffey’s Thoughts on What a Rhode Island Governor Needs to Do

Carroll Andrew Morse

Officially, he hasn't yet declared if he's running for Governor in 2010. However, according to Projo columnist Edward Achorn, former Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey has some specific ideas about the role that the leader of the executive branch should play in reforming Rhode Island…

Mr. Laffey argues [that] public-employee unions have to be brought around to face the real world. They will do so, if they think they are being treated fairly by someone who does his homework, and won’t back down. The state government must become much more efficient, and much more oriented toward serving the common good. Business leaders would flock to this beautiful state if taxes were competitive, government was honest and public services were strong.

Rhode Island is small enough that its citizens could rally behind change. But change will not happen, Laffey said, without a leader who wants to shake everything up, knows how to run complex organizations and fix financial problems, and does not care how much he is hated by interest groups as a result. His political heroes are Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan — stubborn chief executives who knew what they wanted and did not hesitate to tread heavily on toes.

And Mayor Laffey is not reticent about offering his thoughts on how well he thinks the current executive is doing or not doing in these areas…
Mr. Laffey contends that [Governor Donald Carcieri] lost the moral authority to speak out against the crisis when he submitted a budget this year that promised massive future deficits and used one-time gimmicks to plug gaps. The governor also inexplicably kept telling Rhode Islanders that the state was headed in the right direction.

“There is not a crisis mindset in the state because the guy at the top says things are going good,” Mr. Laffey said. “Things are not going good…We are not a place where anyone would consider right now starting and growing a business”.

From a political perspective, something worth watching for over the next year or so will be whether publicly telegraphing a split with Governor Carcieri encourages someone from the other wing of Rhode Island’s divided Republican party to jump sooner into the Governor’s race than they otherwise might. (Mayor Scott Avedisian of Warwick is the other possible Republican gubernatorial often mentioned).

On the other hand, Mayor Laffey (did I mention “if he decides to run”?) may be betting that the disaffected Chafee-wing of the party won’t offer enthusiastic support to him under any circumstances, so there’s nothing to be lost by moving directly to the positions he wants to take, as early as possible.

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.


What Laffey needs to fear is Gov. Carcieri's payback to him for this public cut-throating by dropping some verbal bombs about Laffey's attempted blackmail to land a plumb job in lue of a Senate run and other assorted and sundry sleazy Laffey behaviors. Can you see those political ads now?? Grandfatherly governor 'letting slip' one day when talking to Jim Taricani and Bill Rappleye on Ten News Conference about these episodes which then expose Laffey's lack of integrity and character and somehow the 'letting slip' finds its' way onto the Democratic party political ads run statewide? lol Carcieri is in prime position to destroy the credibility of Steve Laffey. Laffey may want to rethink his strategy of running for Governor in 2010 by cut-throating the man now holding the office. The Democrats could make any public showing of the deep and nasty Carcieri/Laffey rift a major character issue to use against Laffey. Btw does anyone honestly believe Laffey voted for Carcieri in '06 after Carcieri supported Chafee? Laughed out loud when I saw that bit o' propaganda in Achorn's column this morning. It's almost as funny as Laffey telling the Newsmakers panel that he's a friend and supporter of the governor. Those who lie so effortlessly about the small things will lie so effortlessly about the big things. I'll never vote for Steve Laffey and I'm exactly the voter Laffey desperately needs statewide. Perhaps I'll write in Ronald Reagan's name on my ballot.

Posted by: Tim at July 24, 2007 5:31 PM

"The Democrats could make any public showing of the deep and nasty Carcieri/Laffey rift a major character issue to use against Laffey."

Ok we get it, you're a Laffey hater. So the Democrats, big labor, and the Journal have spent the last 8 months flaming the Governor on a daily basis and you think a rift between Don and Steve will be perceived to reflect negatively on Mr. Laffey's character???
It ones thing to be a hater, it's quite another to let your hatred lead you to provide shitty analysis of a possible Laffey gubernatorial campaign.

Posted by: jd at July 24, 2007 6:14 PM

Laffey destroyed his own credibility with most of the voters, including some of us who share many of his issue positions. I don't have any idea what the guy really believes, other than in his own self-importance.

He contributed to Jesse Jackson, Jr. and other Democrats running against Republicans in a crucial election year and then blames Republican leaders for sinking his longshot Senate bid. Now Laffey starts hitting Carcieri after he sought Carcieri's assistance, just as he did with Chafee. Typical.

As for Avedisian, I haven't seen anything that makes me think he'd do a better job at Governor than Carcieri. Maybe he understands government better than Carcieri, but he seems better suited to running a small city than a state facing significant problems.

2010 is a long way off, but I think a Democrat is going to win, unless an aggressive, credible and popular Republican emerges. Maybe Arlene Violet now that she has some extra time on her hands?

Posted by: Anthony at July 24, 2007 6:50 PM


Laffey is not a good guy. Let me put it another way. He's a bad guy. A word to the wise jd, you greatly underestimate how much damage a public fight with fellow Republican Gov. Carcieri would do to your hero. The Democrats would exploit that in two seconds and would use it against Laffey. Have you ever heard the addage 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend'? Any rift between Carcieri and Laffey that spills out into public will have the Dems portraying term limited Don Carcieri as Billy Graham with Laffey accurately (lol) portrayed as Satan himself. It's called political advertising and consultants would seize that moment and run with it. Let Laffey keep cut-throating the governor. He'll get his in the end. Keep in mind jd that your hero has never won a thing statewide.


Very much in agreement with your takes here. Don't think Arlene will enter the joust but I do expect another candidate or two to join Laffey in the Republican field by '09.

Posted by: Tim at July 24, 2007 7:53 PM

I could not disagree more with your take. Laffey hasn't won statewide office, so what? Laffey has done something that nobody else in this state has, he has a proven track record of taking on the public employee union slugs that have dragged this state into the gutter. Sure Steve Laffey is polarizing, but if the Governor and the GA continue to postpone the inevitable structural changes needed to ensure our states fiscal solvency and instead continue using one time fixes and nickel and dime tax and fee increases to balance the budget each year suddenly Steve Laffey becomes the guy who can say, "I told you so".

Posted by: jd at July 24, 2007 8:34 PM

i don't know what the future holds for laffey.. but the state fiannces will definitely play right into the palm of his hand

Posted by: johnpaycheck at July 24, 2007 8:57 PM

If Laffey was really interested in helping the state, he'd be trying to help Carcieri push his agenda forward, not taking pot shots at him from the peanut gallery.

Carcieri is in the trenches fighting the battle against the General Assembly. The last thing he needs is a "fellow Republican" giving Democrats fodder for their attacks.

This is just more evidence that Laffey is about Laffey, not principles (as if we needed anymore evidence). It's exactly why I didn't vote for him. He is not a team player. When he has been placed in senior management positions, he has been forced out by colleagues.

If Laffey does run for governor, he should run as an independent, not a Republican. He has spent years trying to package himself as a "maverick independent", so he should just run that way.

Posted by: Anthony at July 24, 2007 9:45 PM

Dear Anthony,

Carcieri is in the trenches?? Are you kidding me??

Carcieri sits in his ivory tower and smears people. That's the only game he has.

Being in the trenches alludes to doing work. Something we know this all too important king is allergic to.

Posted by: Bobby Oliveira at July 24, 2007 10:11 PM

I think that Laffey might reclaim the Cranston mayor's seat in the next election, and use that office as his platform for Governor.

If he was quoted correctly, his statement about unions "if they think they are being treated fairly" is a lot more nuanced than the posturing in his last campaign, and much more reminiscent of his first campaign for Mayor when he actually had some labor support over Garabedian.

Say what you will, he is likely to already have formed a detailed plan for his comeback and he will stick to it. The Achorn column and his recent TV appearances are all part of it, as is his forthcoming book.

Or, it just all could be about selling his book.

Posted by: Jake at July 24, 2007 10:25 PM

Something smells about this alleged rift.
Carcieri only endorsed Chafee because he was shamed into it by other GOP state chairmen who live by the bredo that you must support any incumbent of your party. And in the end, a social conservative won't abandon another social conservative.
Like Carcieri would back Avedesian in a primary.

Posted by: Rhody at July 25, 2007 12:24 AM

There is no "rift" between Laffey and the Governor -- except in the imaginations of some who would like for there to be one. They have a lot more in common than they have differences. Laffey is being truthful about the state of Rhode Island's economy -- and unless something drastic changes, it's going to get a lot worse.

I think the current governor understands what the problems are. However, he still has a lot of deadweight around him that give "not the best" advice and hold him back from what is possible. The budget that he submitted was a good start, but it was just that. It wasn't a structural solution. He's a great man and leader -- he just needs to take his message directly to the people, instead of trying to work everything out behind the scenes.

In reply to Jake, I don't think there is a chance in heck that Laffey will be running for Cranston mayor again. I'm very much under the impression that Allan Fung will be running again, and this time, he'll win. I know a lot of people in Cranston, including more than a few Dems, and Nappy has definitely not worn well on them. I don't expect a 70 vote margin this time either.

PS In regard to the 1000 "layoffs," I'm convinced that it will happen, mainly, because it needs to. To borrow someone else's phrase, it's a start. Personally, I think the number should be more like 3000 to 5000. The number of "workers" isn't so much the issue, as it is the amount of money saved. Personnel costs in this state account for so much of our budget, that it's simply an area that we cannot afford to ignore.

Posted by: Will at July 25, 2007 12:55 AM

Dear Will,

Mr. Fung should have won the last time (wow, did I say that??)

As regards to the layoffs: name them.

There aren't a 1000 to get. You have sold a bill of goods.

Will there be some?? I'm sure there will be becuase someone promised a 1000 before actually doing any counting. (There should be some, I just can't find 1000)

Now, he'll name a 1000 that won't work just to have another press conference.

Later, we'll find out that the original 1000 was just more press conference material.

Anyone who thinks anything above 1000 is doable is just a "state worker hater." We know this because if you actually look at staffing, the DOT audit, the Department of Education, and our environmental protection needs, you would never come up with such a number.

Keep having the pipe dreams. The rest of us have a government to run.

By the way, let's start with cut 1: the office of constituent affairs everybody gets fired from. I suppose that the Governor needs to make at least 2 more staff cuts (Kass - making more than white house speech writers for 1/10th the work, Neal - effectively useless) before any of us believe he's serious.

If he doesn't do that, his bloated untalented staff will be thrown in his face on a daily basis.

Posted by: Bobby Oliveira at July 25, 2007 10:12 AM

I don't know what is defined as a "rift", but you've got Laffey openly criticizing Carcieri.

I agree with you that the Carcieri adminsitration has some problems. You're right, Carcieri doesn't always get the best advice. His administration has a reputation of being unresponsive and politically naive. His own appointees (like the state's child advocate), complain about being locked out of the Governor's office. His directors feel free to do whatever they want, whether or not the Governor agrees (like the former EDC Director openly supporting Sheldon Whitehouse for the Senate).

However, the Governor is trying to do the right thing. He has vetoed budgets in the past and generally takes the right positions on issues. He doesn't need criticism from Laffey, he needs support.

Posted by: Anthony at July 25, 2007 12:35 PM


I really hate to burst your GOP fairytale but Don Carcieri and Steve Laffey do not like one another and are not on speaking terms. Laffey is now cut-throating a sitting Republican governor and you're trying to spin that all is well? lol Makes you look rather bad Will because you're either in spin control for Laffey because this is potentially very damaging for him or you don't know what's going on in your own party. Either way it's not a good reflection. Wonder why you won't acknowledge what is pretty common knowledge in political circles. These two men don't like each other. At all!!


If conservatives always support each other then explain Laffey cut-throating Carcieri? Btw Carcieri would support Avedisian over Laffey and it would take him all of 1.2 seconds to make that decision. Payback is a b!tch!

Posted by: Tim at July 25, 2007 1:44 PM

We NEED accountability and responsibility at ALL levels of government and that includes LOCAL government.
I will focus on one aspect:local school spending? Do you judge the work your local school district does by only SAT and other test results or how many go on to higher education?
Do you know or care how your school district compares in its budgets,adminstration,and other aspects? There is more to education than test scores and how many students go on to higher education,not that these and other academic things are important.
One idea I support is management studies of school districts and I have been advocating one for my own chariho Regional School District.These studies need to be independent in most cases at least outside of the bureaucracy that is being examined.Just one thought impacting our local communities.
The state needs to address the school financing issue better but appreciate school districts are NOT necessarily all run as effectively as each other.
Scott Bill Hirst
Member,Hopkinton,R.I.,Town Council

Posted by: Scott Bill Hirst at July 25, 2007 2:10 PM

>>Anyone who thinks anything above 1000 is doable is just a "state worker hater." We know this because if you actually look at staffing, the DOT audit, the Department of Education, and our environmental protection needs, you would never come up with such a number.

Funny how New Hampshire has better roads, schools and economic vibrancy than Rhode Island, all with something like 9,000 state employees!

We could dump a couple thousand Pelosi's and stimulate the economy, for now they could spend all day spending money in our local bars instead of merely a 3-hour lunch!

Oh, and can we dump Magistrate Harwood too?

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at July 25, 2007 3:32 PM

I know a lot more about what's going on in the state party than you could possibly want to know. It's not very pretty. We have big problems. Pretending that they don't exist is not a way to correct them.

As for the "not on speaking terms" thing: Baloney. They have a great deal of mutual respect for one another. I don't know when the last time the governor and the future governor spoke. However, the last time I saw them at an event together this year, the governor had rather glowing words of praise for Laffey. I don't think it was for show.

Laffey and the governor are usually in agreement, however, they do have different management styles (understatement, indeed!). Laffey is doing the governor a big favor, by telling it to him straight and giving him an opportunity to make some needed changes. Some of those changes could begin by changing some of the upper level staff that give poor advice. The governor is not served well by some people around him that may say what he (and we) would prefer to hear, but who are otherwise in it for themselves, instead of looking out for the best interests of the people of the state.

Though the analogy is not quite exact, "you chastise those you love."

Posted by: Will at July 25, 2007 4:26 PM

I know I'm always touched by the 'love' given to George W. Bush by Nancy Pelosi...

Posted by: Anthony at July 25, 2007 4:33 PM

Posted by Will at July 25, 2007 4:26 PM
Funny how New Hampshire has better roads, schools and economic vibrancy than Rhode Island, all with something like 9,000 state employees!
Don't confuse looney Lefy Bobby with facts. Next lie you'll be telling is is they have no sales or income tax which is of course "impossible' in Looney Left Land.

Posted by: Mike at July 25, 2007 7:42 PM

Why is the myth of thenumber of New Hampshire state employees still being spread?

From the Bangor Daily News:

"The Federal Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that in 2005, the last year for which statistics were available, Maine had 26,248 state jobs, a ratio of one job for every 50 residents. Neighboring New Hampshire had a slightly lower ratio, with one job for every 54 residents, and Vermont had a higher ratio, with one job for every 39 residents."

Those stats give NH over 23,000 state jobs.

Posted by: Jake at July 25, 2007 9:44 PM

Dear Ragin and Mike,

We have been over numerous times why New Hampshire cannot be compared to Rhode Island.

The fact that you would try to do so is prima facie evidence of why people like you do not deserve to run a government.

Please come back when you can do a little better job.

Posted by: Bobby Oliveira at July 25, 2007 10:45 PM

Tim and Anthony,

You sound like a couple of little adolescents with your illogical characterization of Laffey's rather mild, yet perfectly accurate comments.
"public throat cutting", Tim??
"starts hitting Carcieri", Anthony??

Or, maybe you do pay your credit card bills from your IRA/401K accounts, like the governors reliance on one time revenue sources for the operating budget.

How about trying to debate the substance of what Laffey said? Or, is it just that you two can't debate it, because it is entirley TRUE, and what is really eating at you is you are a couple of Chafee bumkissers, and you just can't let it go.

Posted by: Rob Schaeffer at July 26, 2007 5:37 PM

Uhh Rob, I'm not the one engaging in name-calling, so I'll pass on addressing on your "adolescent" comment.

Here are the facts-

Steve Laffey

1. Gave money to liberal Democrats at a crucial time because it was in his best interest.
2. Attempted to shakedown Carcieri into making him president of URI.
3. Was fired from his only real private sector leadership position after his subordinates and colleagues demanded it.
4. Blames everybody but himself for his Senate loss even though he couldn't win his own voting precinct.
5. Claims to be a conservative yet supports the most liberal Republican presidential primary candidate in decades.
6. Engaged in the downright immature behavior of "pixelating" out one of his political opponents on his website and then blamed it on "aliens".
7. Claimed to be protecting a woman during a scuffle with Cranston firefighters when video evidence proved there was no woman behind him.
8. Made ill-advised remarks about old people dying, when the person to whom he referred did more for Republicans than Laffey could ever dream to do.
9. Criticizes the only conservative in the state who has successfully managed to get elected as having lost "moral" authority.
10. Cost the nation the Republican majority in the US Senate.

As for his record in Cranston, his first inclination was to turn to the state to take over the city. When that failed he raised taxes like they were going out of style. He may have improved the city's bond rating, but suggesting that is was the result of brilliance is ridiculous. It was the result of necessity.

Is it to much to ask for a gubernatorial candidate that:

1. Has a consistent record of being conservative.
2. Is honest.
3. Can get people to unite ala Ronald Reagan instead of dividing them.
4. Didn't get fired from their only leadership position in the private sector.
5. Takes responsibility for one's own actions.
6. Demonstrates statesmenship instead of immaturity.

Notice, I didn't mention anything about Chafee. In all of my previous 4 posts on this topic, you mentioned the name Chafee as many times in your 1 as I did in all of mine. This has nothing to do with a former Senator who is now a college professor, don't you get it?

Feel free to vote for Laffey, if you want. I think most of the hardcore Laffey supporters have something in it for themselves anyway. Maybe there's a small minority who just like the taste of Kool-Aid. So by all means do what is in your best interest, that's a democracy.

But please stop trying to convince me that Laffey is some type of public servant who is trying to save either a.) the country (last election) or b.) the state (next election).

And stop the comparisons to Reagan, too. Laffey couldn't hold the Gipper's jockstrap.

Posted by: Anthony at July 26, 2007 7:07 PM

Wow, Anthony,
Are you not over it YET?? What's the matter, Anthony, still need more time to heal. Man, you are obsessed. All the guy did was say you haven't addressed the substance of Laffey's commments, which is true, and you launch into a litany of crap that sounds like you're still running against Laffey in the primary. Get over it you loser.

And this:

1. Has a consistent record of being conservative.
2. Is honest.
3. Can get people to unite ala Ronald Reagan instead of dividing them.

You worked for Chafee you dope, and he showed none of the above, so save your sanctimonious whining about what a principled Republican you are.

Posted by: Rocco at July 26, 2007 10:10 PM

I addressed the substance of Laffey's statements when I mentioned that Carcieri vetoed General Assembly budgets in the past, that success will require opposing the Democrats with a united front and that Laffey's statements to the press claiming that Carcieri has lost moral authority doesn't help.

I'm not sure how that relates to the 2006 Senate primary, but if you think it does, by all means go ahead and believe it.

Personally, I think you should direct that accusation to the only people who are still talking about the 2006 Senate primary--Rob, who mentioned it well after my posts on the Laffey/Carcieri rift and the guy who just published a book about what it's like to lose a Senate primary. Now, that's what I'd call not getting over it.

Posted by: Anthony at July 26, 2007 10:47 PM

By the way Rocco, I supported Chafee in '06, but did not "work" for him as you suggest. Unlike others, I never worked as a government bureaucrat at any level--city, state or federal.

Posted by: Anthony at July 26, 2007 11:12 PM


anthony is lying as usual... he worked on linc chafee's senate campaign around 2000 and used to work for the state at one point and is looking for pr work...maybe nowadays anthony is helping the governor get all the good pr he has been getting recently

Posted by: ohyeah at July 26, 2007 11:38 PM


You're a good guy so I'm not going to pile on too much but your spin is embarrassing. Your comment about Laffey doing the governor a favor by publicly cut-throating him is disingenous and silly. You drink Laffey's kool-aid to the point of lacking credibility Will. Do you just not know of the significant rift between the two or you won't acknowledge it? Either way doesn't look good.


How many times did Laffey raise taxes in his brief 4 yr stint as mayor in Cranston? Oh but wait we can't refer to that as a one time fix on Laffey's part because he did it more than once didn't he. lol Now how can we lend any credence to Laffey's moral authority comment given his own track record? Ouch! Also do explain how a man with the IQ of a chimp in Mike Napolitano somehow undid the Cranston fiscal 'fix' from genius Laffey and undid it in under 5 minutes?
As to the usual and predictable Chafee buttkissers remark all I can say is this. Linc Chafee was always far too moderate and wimpish for my taste. Was never a fan of his. My views on Laffey have nothing to do with Linc Chafee but if it makes you feel better trying to marginalize me through that assertion then knock yourselves out. Problem for you is I see Steve Laffey for exactly who and what he really is and that's a big problem for Steve Laffey since I belong to a voting block he desperately needs. Laffey is as disingenuous and phony as a 3 dollar bill and it's more than my pleasure to point that out to any and all voters I run across on a daily basis. Says volumes about his lack of character that he's praying for economic armageddon around here to help boost his chances in 2010. What a sicko!

Posted by: Tim at July 27, 2007 6:52 AM

I supported Chafee in 2000 and '06 and would support him again if it gave the GOP the majority back. I think Carcieri is the best governor this state has had in decades and we should support him, but I have nothing to do with his pr. I never worked for the state and I'm not looking for "pr work".

You might not like to believe it, but the reality is that I'm not on any politician's or government's payroll, an elected official or political appointee, and I have the freedom to call things pretty much the way I see them. I have nothing to gain or lose professionally from annonying some people with a healthy dose reality (I wouldn't be posting on the Internet if I did).

Now think about which person has the greater liklihood of having a personal agenda.

An individual who has a legitimate interest in conservatism and posts items about a range of issues or an individual who only appears only to address one topic or candidate.

It's usually those people who continually post on a single topic or only on behalf of a single candidate's interest that has the personal agenda.

But I do give credit for the attempt at trying to divert the discussion back to the Chafee/Laffey race when the comment was original comment was about Laffey's criticisms of Carcieri.

Posted by: Anthony at July 27, 2007 9:34 AM

Anthony is still spinning. He worked for both Chafee's and worked on Linc Chafee's 2000 campaign. He worked for the government. There's no need to get annoyed the truth will set you free.

Posted by: ohyeah at July 27, 2007 9:51 AM

So onto to the topic at hand.

Maybe some of the Laffeyites can explain to me the justification of Laffey invoking Reagan's 11th Commandment when it pertains to him, while at the same time criticizing Carcieri to the press?

If Laffey really wanted to address the problem as Will suggests, don't you think he could have just picked up the phone and spoken privately with the Governor? Or driven the 10 minutes from Cranston to Providence and met with him?

Doesn't hammering Carcieri publicly only help the Democrats?

I think Tim is right.

Posted by: Anthony at July 27, 2007 10:10 AM

oh yeah, your knowledge of my background is about as accurate as your political analysis, but why don't you answer my questions on Laffey's public criticism of Carcieri?

Posted by: Anthony at July 27, 2007 10:19 AM

I guess "Anthony" hasn't had enough time to heal yet.

Posted by: Carl Elliott at July 27, 2007 11:30 AM

Those who suggest that Laffey should pick up the phone and call the governor have an obvious lack of perspective on this situation, as well as the others being bantied about here. That is a laughable and idiotic assertion. Laffey doesn't need help; the governor needs help - BIG TIME. It would behoove him to pick up the phone and call Laffey, but he doesn't because Carcieri is fully aware that, while Laffey knows just how to deal with the mess we are in, involving him would expose Carcieri's innumerable weaknesses.
Furthermore, Anthony, you've exposed yourself with glaring hilarity by your suggestion that Laffey should call the governor. If, as you say, Laffey is such a bad guy, then why would you suggest he should call the governor? As much as you hate to admit it, even you know that Laffey is the one guy that can fix this mess.
And, the suggestion that all Laffey did was raised taxes is an amusing canard for desperate people. That he won re-election with 65% of the vote in a Democratic city is all one needs to look at as confirmation of his success and his popularity as it relates to dealing with a crisis, as even Anthony has unwittingly admitted.

Posted by: Ted Martin at July 27, 2007 11:35 AM

I don't think Laffey can fix the problems. RI has such a weak governorship that it will take the General Assembly coming to the realization that it must take action.

What would happen if Laffey were Governor? He'd submit a financially responsible budget. The General Assembly would ignore it and develop its own. Laffey would veto the General Assembly's budget. The General Assembly would override the veto.

Carcieri knows the feeling and we should support his efforts, not criticize them.

The only advantage I would give to a Governor Laffey is that his antics may further raise awareness of the issue with the public.

But I'd weigh that one positive against the negative factors like the inevitable gridlock that would result, what I consider questionable ethical standards (when I say ethics, I don't mean that he does illegal things, just that he does things like justifying personal behavior by claiming to be protecting a woman during a scuffle when there isn't one--in my book that's still lying) and a domineering personal style that I think is particularly ill-suited to public service (leads to groupthink).

I don't have a "grudge" towards Laffey. I barely know the guy. I've just watch how he behaves and am not impressed.

As for his popularity, I don't think he would win a Cranston election today with 65% of the vote, but maybe he would. Popularity doesn't really matter to me. I'm posting on a blog where 85% of the people probably disagree with me on this issue. I've said many of the same things about another former mayor, Buddy Cianci, who has his fair share of rabid supporters and could still probably get re-elected with 90% of the vote.

Posted by: Anthony at July 27, 2007 12:08 PM

I do like the use of the work "canard", though...I think I'll add it to my vocabulary...

Posted by: Anthony at July 27, 2007 12:18 PM

And for those who were wondering-

'Canard is French for duck, and is often used to refer to a deliberately false story, originating from an abbreviated form of an old French idiom, "vendre un canard à moitié," meaning "to half-sell a duck."'

Posted by: Anthony at July 27, 2007 12:21 PM

Fell free, Anthony,
Pay attention to what I am saying and you'll learn a lot.

Posted by: Ted Martin at July 27, 2007 1:07 PM

Laffey has integrity - HAH!

Continued from above.

Steve Laffey

11. Allowed his administration to give a (complex) Building Permit to a Concrete Batching Plant in a record 11 days, just 3 days prior to a Citywide Ban. Laffey has avoided answering questions. Let's hear the economic genenious answer: in what way is placing a Concrete Batching Plant that will emit chrystalline silica good for the residents. This is a thickly populated residential neighborhood that is a wetland. Also ask him: how does this fit in under the State approved Comprehensive Plan of 1992 - and how does it balance the open space. How did he think the legal battle taxpayers would pay would fit into the plan?

12. Ethics - marry your nanny

13. Refuse to pay on Insurance Claims (relating to water other than sewer).

14. Here is one of several misuses of money which resulted in Laffey Administration wrongdoing: Superior Court case "Providence Supply Board vs. City of Cranston", approximately $1.7 when all is said and done (Docketed 7/23/07 City Council Resolution). Taxpayer's foot that bill.

15. Wouldn't sit down with group's of residents to discuss a petition (Petition re: Storm Water Drains being cleaned - a basic public service). He refused to sit and discuss, claiming it was related to a legal battle ~ my prominent attorney said that was incorrect. I had to have legislation passed to make him do his job and be accountable for his inability to accomplish this basic service to the people. Cranston Citizens for Responsible Zoning & Development (CCRZ&D) wanted answers to his grant of the Cullion Concrete Batching Plant and the many problematic issues surrounding the Permit. Please answer Mr. Laffey, what kind of strategy was this? and why do you think you can now accomplish dealing with people as Governor?

Just answer one.

Posted by: Suzanne Arena at July 27, 2007 10:52 PM


'Fell free, Anthony,
Pay attention to what I am saying and you'll learn a lot.'

Great substantive comeback to Anthony. Not! I think Anthony stumped you because he actually talked reality, i.e the legislature. Why is it you Kool-aider can't talk substance and reality? Is it that you haven't received your ~Laffey's running for governor and here's his state issues talking points~ yet? lol
Clear from your comments about the governor/Laffey that you don't have a clue about that relationship either.


Do you have as much fun pushing their buttons as I have reading the responses? It's too easy!


You're not going to get an answer on this thread about your very relevant questions. At some point these issues that you've raised will have to be addressed by Laffey. This time around Laffey will not get a free ride. When he ran for the Senate the focus was on national issues and not his track record locally here in Rhode Island but that will change in a big big way this time around. Btw Laffey has already received some bad news before he's even announced. Former Cool Moose head Bob Healey is getting into the race for governor in 2010. Bob Healey is a well known and viable candidate who has the capability of pulling thousands of votes away from Laffey.

Posted by: Tim at July 28, 2007 7:48 AM

You are an angry and bitter individual. Maybe you should forget your own petty little interests for once and look at the larger picture. Your criticism of Laffey is a result of pure ignorance. It is understandable that you are mad because you aren't getting your way. What is not understandable is your personal attacks such as "marrying the nanny".
As for the concrete plant, if you are so right about it being illegal, why is it still in the works? You have also alternated between attacking and praising Napolitano. Perhaps you should get your meds adjusted, because you sound like a real nutbag.
When legal cases are instituted, there is a certain process that must be followed. That is not going to change because Suzanne Arena just doens't like it.
This concrete plant issue is one that is baffling. Since all I heard and knew about it earlier on was through the press and the neighborhood groups, I didn't think it had a chance. When DEM issued them their permint, however, I began to think differently. My experience with DEM is that they are a bunch of obstructors who don't give in to anything. Since they did, it told me that there is a lot more to this story than I know about, that has not been accurately portrayed by people like you.
The claim that they were bought off is absurd. With all of the opposition to this case and it being under such a microscope, I am not buying that they did anything but go by the book.
Also, just because people bought a house near this plant, does not take away the property rights of the company. I'm sure that is something else you don't want to hear. You don't care about due process, or property rights.
All you want to do is slander those who do follow the rule of law, if it doesn't fit your agenda. And if you want to say Laffey is wrong and you are right, then answer a simple question - why hasn't this been stopped yet, after all the time it's been in the works? Maybe, just maybe, it's the other way around. Laffey is right and Suzanne Arena wrong. SO far, that is a fact.
Whatever the root is of your deep seated anger, you really need to get it under control.
One thing I've realized since coming into this area is there area lot of people like you who prefer to go through their daily lives with total blinders on, completely oblivious to reality.

Posted by: John Campbell at July 28, 2007 11:03 AM

Tim: it's just too easy to rile some people up.

I do learn things occasionally. In this post, I discovered that I once worked for the state. Now I almost have to vote for Laffey, because I think I can collect a pension for my time at the state if he wins!

I also discovered the origination of the word "canard" and being able to accuse someone of "half-selling a duck" is cool.

Posted by: Anthony at July 28, 2007 2:04 PM

I wonder what the discussion in a Laffey-Cicilline race would be regarding who did a better job in turning around which city - without turning to the state for help?

Posted by: Jake at July 28, 2007 7:25 PM

Disgusted with Laffey is more accurate. Angry - I was angry when I was stonewalled by his office after having flooded a couple of months after moving to Cranston, only to uncover it was due to the blocked catch basin in front of my house. (Don't give any B.S. about Buyer beware or do your due diligence on buying a house - please.) Fact, the storm drains weren't cleaned, and up to 15 families on one street suffered because of the City not cleaning them. I am not going to violin the story - but, he didn't help and his Administration put a gag on anyone helping me. Yes, some x-laffey admin have shared and said how wrong it was. So Mr. Campbell you and your Republican buddies can spread whatever fairtales you want. My story is one that I felt compelled to get even, which meant having Legislation passed to mandate the City to clean on a regular basis the drains. When I get angry I actually am proactive and accomplish turning things around. Laffey did accomplish some financial turnaround for the City - however, some of this is at the cost of my family and others. So get used to it, as I plan to make sure I will be there to ask these questions when he runs. Actually, we are anxious to see how he's going to do. As far as the plant is concerned he sold us out. Previous plans were for a storage facility and then a Batching Plant (wink wink) - defies logic. Humnn, as far as the DEM....I'm not going to dance that tango publically.

I am a person of ethics to the core and I stand strong to my convictions - I am passionate about my "knitting" projects. My recent project on the S.O.N. in my neighborhood worked because abc6 did a story on him and poof = he's gone. So, I'm not some fluff, angry, nobody....I just don't sit around and feel sorry for myself because I work on a solution.

Now Bob Healy he's my man.

Posted by: Suzanne Arena at July 28, 2007 9:35 PM

"So, I'm not some fluff, angry, nobody..."

Oh but you are Suzanne, oh but you are..

Posted by: jd at July 29, 2007 7:10 PM
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