Four Debates Between Chafee and Laffey

Projo reports:

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:

Arlene Violet

Dan Yorke

Channel 10

Channel 12

We’ll see whose questions get into the debates.

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4 responses

  1. As somebody whom I sense appreciates the sense of fair play, I wonder – do you support Sheldon evading a primary debate as a candidate? Omission of commentary could suggest consent.

  2. I absolutely think Whitehouse should debate you, Carl, if that’s what he said he would do. But what I think hardly matters. This is about the Dems driving their machine to victory. Ihave a sense that they are currently concerned with fair play in name only and/or when it suits their needs.

    Addendum: BTW, I think you have done a great deal to enhance the discussion of many issues for Democrats in the state, and you candidacy is not in vain. But we all know the conventional wisdom about not debating someone who is not a strong challenger, and, be honest, if you were in Whitehouse’s shoes, do you think you would debate?

  3. Excellent points… all. Thank you. Really.

    The winning or losing the debate would come secondary to my continuing proceeding in restoring confidence in both our democracy and the machine we call a party. Honestly.

    The way I grew up, if you want to be a stand up guy, you have to be a stand up guy and take your hits. If I wanted a sure thing I could have run for State Senate, but hope springs eternal when pursuing the right thing.

    As a friend shared with me today, the thing I shared at our Sunday event that really resonated was that I had spent almost six months after Sheldon and Matt announced looking for a good man or woman to run against these two and for financial, personal or political reasons it was left with me. I think, for example, Ernie Almonte would have been an exceptional candidate.

    Until we have untainted candidates, we’ll see many folks vote across party lines because they know the state party nepotism is harming them. Don’t trust polls when there’s such a degree of effort to sway the results with “push polling”.

    Trust new events like the number of Latinos running in Providence Ward primaries and those outside of Providence who disapprove of the machine and believe all people and not just most unions ought to have living wages and healthcare. Also take an hour and so and take a look at the dates of Sheldon’s positions when he posts and when mine were posted as a blog or press release. It is the sincerest form of flattery… but is problematic.

    In many people’s eyes (R, D, G & I), what is going on in Washington is just a mirror image of too much control by one party where the people are not getting a seat at the table and holds true in RI as well.

    I applaud your candor for exposing the formidable wall that some among the Democratic party leadership have erected to protect their candidate… he who showed no loyalty to Myrth when losing to her in the 2002 governor’s race… makes me wince. You?

    It speaks volumes and leaves us wide open to GOP attacks from absence of prosecutions and convictions associated with Plunderdome to financial reporting “issues”. If Laffey wins his primary, it could be quite a blood bath.

  4. UPDATE: Arlene Violet responds: “Brilliant suggestions, Kiersten. I’ll try to get them in!”

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