October 19, 2009

Laffey Meets with the RI Tea Party

Marc Comtois

Colleen Conley of the RI Tea Party was on WPRO AM 630's Dan Yorke Show talking about the movement, including the upcoming "Welcome Back Tea Party" for the Legislature on October 28th at the State House. Conley revealed that she had a 3 hour conversation with former Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey but she didn't delve too far into the details. Based on Laffey's earlier declaration that the state's voters aren't ready for the kind of reform a "Governor Laffey" would implement, Yorke has hypothesized (and I agree) that Laffey is looking for some group to call on him to save the state. Yorke also believes that Laffey isn't too keen on going through another primary, so he's looking to be courted by the RI GOP (with a clear slate) or by a grass roots organization like the Tea Party.

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With economic conservative Joe Trillo running for the GOP, it doesn't make much sense for Laffey to run for governor in 2010 as a third-party candidate. If two prominent moderate-to-conservative candidates run for governor, it would pretty much guarantee that either Chafee or the Democrat will win.

If Laffey's looking for a way to make a difference, he can always run in the 2nd Congressional District against the winner of the Langevin-Dennigan primary.

Posted by: AuH2ORepublican at October 19, 2009 4:45 PM

Trillo would never run against Laffey. He already said he won't run against another good candidate or Republican, he'll just run if there's no one better.

Check Justin's post from Meet the Candidates on Friday, that's where he has Trillo saying he's not running.

Posted by: Patrick at October 19, 2009 5:58 PM

Trillo is not running for governor. Trust me, he's not who Laffey is worried about. A person like Rory Smith, who is a complete unknown (and hence, with few known negatives as well), but with a basically bottomless well of money to access for a race, could present a problem when you have a system where the primary is so close to the general election.

Fortunately, Laffey is not under a particular time constraint, since people basically know who he is. If he gets into this at some point, I think it will be later, rather than sooner.

Posted by: Will at October 19, 2009 7:07 PM

Laffey has written op-eds and made radio appearances since he announced he wasn't running. He cares a great deal about the state. Maybe he'll run, maybe he won't. Having lunch with Colleen Conley doesn't mean anything. She may have requested the lunch to pick his brain. He may very well be looking for ways to get involved. None of this means he's manuvering to run. Remember when M. Charles Bakst's panties were all knotted because Laffey didn't announce for Senate on his timetable. Sounds like Yorke (and maybe Marc) just wants to create a story that doesn't exist... at least not yet.

Posted by: Ronald at October 19, 2009 9:16 PM

Ronald, Just reporting what was said by Conley and Yorke. To clarify, Conley stated that Laffey requested the meeting. That's about it, really.

Posted by: Marc at October 20, 2009 2:15 PM

Laffey has no interest in working hard to build a grassroots movement for his candidacy. He's looking to recruit a group already in existence to serve that purpose.

Posted by: Tim at October 20, 2009 2:32 PM
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