July 30, 2008

Quick Note: Frank Caprio

Marc Comtois

I caught State Treasurer Frank Caprio on Channel 10's Newsmakers (video) this past Sunday. He sounded like a conservative fiscal thinker to me and trotted out some examples of the forward-thinking policies he's enacted that have redounded well for the State of Rhode Island. He also described how he worked with the union to get what amounts to merit pay/promotions in place in his office. Overall, I gotta say I was intrigued with what I picked up about his political philosophy and demeanor. It's no surprise, as Ian Donnis explains, that Caprio could prove to be a problem for the progressive RI Democrats come the 2010 gubernatorial race.

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Yeah, he could prove to be a problem for Pat Crowley and Matt Jerzyk and the other ten progressives in this state.

I'm sure he's really sweating that. Like they're gonna vote for somebody else...

Posted by: Greg at July 30, 2008 9:30 AM

Laffey or bust.

Posted by: jp at July 30, 2008 10:44 AM

Didn't see the interview so can't comment directly on Marc's take on Caprio (and don't know that much about him otherwise).

But as described, he might be able to give Laffey a real run for his money. In 2006 Laffey pandered to the illegal alien bloc, and if Caprio follows Carcieri's lead in this respect, and is otherwise fiscally responsible, he would be appealing to many (and even more so if he would take on the public sector unions).

Posted by: Tom W at July 30, 2008 11:24 AM

Caprio worked with his union in cooperative spirit, and didn't feel the need to trash his employees every time he sat down in front of a microphone. Carcieri could've learned something from him.

Posted by: rhody at July 30, 2008 12:51 PM

Caprio can't win the Democrat primary in RI. The unions and the Democrat base will flock to Cicilline and Roberts. Look what happened to "fiscal conservative" incumbent Gov. Sundlun.

Besides, he doesn't have what it takes to really fix things. There's only one in RI who does. Yes jp, Laffy or bust -quite literally.

Posted by: George at July 30, 2008 10:13 PM


you are looking at the basic fundamentals and your are 100% correct in your analysis.

Posted by: johnpaycheck at July 31, 2008 7:46 AM

I diagree. If the liberal base flocks to Cicilline AND Roberts, Caprio probably will win. Caprio has to count on getting the left-wingers to split their votes. Caprio worst-case scenario is that Cicilline OR Roberts runs. He can't run one-on-one against a single well-funded liberal and expect to win. Caprio will do better with more people in the Democrat primary.

Beyond the primary, Caprio will be no doubt highlight his Harvard-educated economics degree in much the same way that Laffey highlights his Harvard MBA.

The campaign would be a great debate for students of economics.

Posted by: Anthony at July 31, 2008 8:15 AM

Caprio wins a one-on-one against Roberts. The Democratic leadership and the good 'ol boys will not allow Roberts to win under any circumstances. They'd rather nominate a sandwich, then vote for Laffey.
Chafee is the real wild card in this race - he offers both Dems unhappy with the nominee AND Republicans unhappy with Laffey a place to park their votes.

Posted by: rhody at July 31, 2008 12:10 PM

As a Laffey supporter, I would warmly welcome Chafee into the race. He'll draw a lot more Dem votes and left leaning independents than Republican ones. Republicans, even most of his most ardent supporters in 2006 have had it with him. They're all walking around with a knife still in their backs.

Posted by: George at July 31, 2008 7:06 PM

George may have a point.

I think Caprio wins in a two-way race against Laffey and I don't see Laffey ever getting 50% of the vote in RI.

But in a three-way race, the situation becomes more intriguing.

If left-leaning independents (a big block of Rhode Islanders) bolt for Chafee, it hurts Caprio and might create the opportunity for someone with 30-40& of the overall vote to win.

More interesting, if it's a 3-way race with Laffey, Chafee and a liberal Democrat, Laffey would probably become the favorite to win.

Posted by: Anthony at August 1, 2008 3:12 PM
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