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Entries in Lincoln Chafee (3)

Tuesday
Jan112011

Rhode Island Governor Declares War on Talk Radio

Photo Courtesy - Office of Governor Lincoln Chafee(PROVIDENCE, RI.) -- State officials in Rhode Island will soon be ordered to stay off the airwaves, provided the interviewer happens to be a talk show host.

A spokesman for Gov. Lincoln Chafee tells the Providence Journal that talk radio is essentially “ratings-driven, for-profit programming,” and “we don’t think it is appropriate to use taxpayer resources” to have state employees use work time to “support for-profit, ratings-driven programming.”

Chafee intends to stay off the air, too, reversing something of a trend.  His predecessor, Republican Gov. Donald Carcieri, was a frequent talk radio guest, as are many current and former governors and big city mayors across the country.

A former mayor of Providence, who happens to be one of the biggest talk show hosts in the state, sharply disagrees with the governor’s stance.

“Chafee is – I don’t want to be critical – but he’s not exactly Demosthenes,” says Buddy Cianci, who hosts the afternoon drive program on WPRO-AM.  “The fact is that he’s got some issues that he maybe doesn’t have the answer to [on the air].”

“But how do I take it?  I take it as a total slap in the face to the public of the state of Rhode Island.  There are thousands of people who listen to our radio shows.  For him to ban all these people from coming on talk radio is certainly an affront to open government, and certainly is an affront to transparency,” Cianci tells ABC News.

The governor’s office has issued a clarification, saying the policy will not apply in “emergency situations,” like impending snowstorms.  Nor will the rule apply to interviews with news reporters or on the local NPR station, Christian Vareika, a Chafee spokesman, said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct252010

Rhode Island Democrat Says He Doesn't Need President's Endorsement

(PROVIDENCE, RIPhoto Courtesy - FrankCaprio [dot] com) -- The Democratic candidate for Rhode Island Governor says he doesn't need President Obama's endorsement.  The president's Monday afternoon campaign visit to Rhode Island follows Frank Caprio learning over the weekend he would not receive the president's stamp of approval.  Caprio told ABC News Radio affiliate WPRO in Providence "I never asked President Obama for his endorsement and what's going on here is really Washington insider politics at its worst."  Caprio went on to say "He can take his endorsement and really shove it."

Mr. Obama is apparently withholding the endorsement out of deference to former Senator Lincoln Chafee.  The Republican Chafee crossed party lines to endorse Mr. Obama for president in 2008 and is now locked in a tight battle with Caprio in the race for Governor.  Chafee is on the Independent party line. 

The president's trip to Rhode Island was intended to raise money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee with 8 days to go before the mid-term elections. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep302010

Former GOP Senator Bucks the Trend in Rhode Island Gov. Race

Photo Courtesy - Chafee for Governor(WARWICK, R.I.) -- As Tea Party fervor spreads across the country, one former Republican senator, Lincoln Chafee, is looking to revitalize centrism and make history in his home state of Rhode Island by becoming the first independent governor in the state's history. Even though the state is overwhelmingly blue, only one of the last four governors has been a Democrat. Most polls show a neck-and-neck race between Democrat Frank Caprio and Chafee, considered to be the most liberal candidate on the ballot.

What Chafee has going for him is a strong base of support and the backing of a family that has a long history in Rhode Island politics. Chafee's father, John, a Republican, served both as governor and U.S. senator.

Chafee may be somewhat of a Republican refugee but he served more than seven years in the Senate and left with an approval rating of 63 percent, especially high for a losing incumbent. He's also separated himself from the pack with an unusual stance -- raise taxes. In a state with a staggering budget deficit and an unemployment rate of 11.6 percent, above the national average, Chafee's opponents have seized on his proposals. The former senator argues that an increase in sales tax wouldn't adversely impact economic growth.

Chafee quietly split from the Republican Party in 2007 after a loss to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse. In a brutal primary and election, Chafee was painted as a Bush supporter, though he often diverged from his party, supporting abortion rights and same-sex marriage. Chafee was the only GOP senator to vote against the Iraq war. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







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