PROVIDENCE — Republican Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee The debates will begin on Thursday, Aug. 10, on the Arlene Violet Show, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on WHJJ (920-AM). On Thursday, Aug. 17, Chafee and Laffey will face off on the Dan Yorke Show on WPRO (630-AM) from 5 to 6 p.m.
Two television debates will be held. The first, sponsored jointly by The Providence Journal and Channel 12 (WPRI), will occur on Channel 12 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 23. The second, and final debate before the Sept. 12 primary election, will be held on Channel 10 (WJAR) on Thursday, Aug. 24.
“This schedule will give the people of Rhode Island a good opportunity to hear from us directly about the issues that they care about,” said Chafee in a news release yesterday. “I hope Mr. Laffey will join me in working to keep these appearances focused on those issues.”
Laffey’s campaign has been needling Chafee for weeks about debates, but Chafee’s camp said the senator is fulfilling the pledge that he made throughout the campaign — that he would debate once the Senate session went into summer recess.
“The senator has been very busy at the job he was elected to do in Washington representing the people of Rhode Island,” said Ian Lang, Chafee’s campaign manager, said, “We have always intended to debate.”
This will be interesting. I have come up with a few questions. First, I would ask them about net neutrality and whether they support efforts to keep the internet’s playing field level in order to continue fostering economic growth and free speech online. Both Chafee and Reed have refused to take a position on this issue, and candidates Laffey and Whitehouse also made no reply to my inquiry asking them to publicize their position on the issue.
Second, I would love to hear a question posed about the pharmaceutical industry’s influence on government and medicine in the US. “President Bush has come under criticism for allowing the pharmaceutical industry to dictate the terms of the new prescription drug benefit for seniors. Others have charged the the FDA has become increasingly corrupted by its panel members having monetary ties to the pharmaceutical industry. As a Senator, what would you do to ensure that patient care, and not profit, were prioritized in American health care?” This is an issue on which Laffey has taken a strong stand, and it would be interesting to hear his response contrasted with Chafee’s.
I also hope there will be ample discussion of the Iraq war and the recent plan to increase our troops there.
I’ll be forwarding my questions on to the radio and TV stations. If you have any questions you want asked, feel free to post them here. Then send them on to:
We’ll see whose questions get into the debates.