Here Comes Anti-Laffey Ad #3
The Chafee campaign has released its newest television ad. They’ve eschewed the cartoon characters of the previous negative ad, and gone with a traditional I’m good because I’ve been photographed in color; my opponent is bad because he’s been photographed in black-and-white attack ad.
The ad takes a couple of swipes at Steve Laffey’s record as Mayor of Cranston that will be familiar to people who have been following the campaign (I’ll link to the ad as soon as it appears on the Chafee website)…
“[Mayor Laffey] promised spending cuts. Instead he raised spending nearly 20% and raised taxes again and again and again”.The Laffey campaign has already issued a rebuttal. According to figures the Laffey campaign has compiled from Providence Journal reports, Chafee raised taxes more times as Mayor of Warwick than Laffey has as Mayor of Cranston…
As Mayor of Warwick, Lincoln Chafee consistently proposed tax increases despite the absence of a financial crisis:(*)[UPDATE: Mayor Laffey also applied a one-time 12.8% tax-surcharge in his first term in dealing with Cranston’s fiscal crisis.] Obviously neither candidate has any objection to raising taxes to pay for the things they believe to be important. A real debate on tax policy should center on 1) what spending the candidates believe to be important 2) what spending the candidates believe can be eliminated (if the answer is “none” then tax-increases might be justified) and 3) why the candidates believe their plans for taxing and spending are sustainable.
Mayor Laffey led Cranston from financial ruin to financial success:
- FY 94: 5.0% tax increase
- FY 95: 2.6% tax increase
- FY 96: 4.4% tax increase
- FY 97: 1.9% tax increase
- FY 04: 3.5% tax increase(*)
- FY 05: 4.3% tax increase
- FY 06: 0% (tax freeze)
- FY 07: -1.5% (tax cut)
Equally obvious is the fact that this ad is an attempt by the Chafee campaign to neutralize the Senator’s political problems originating with his consistent support for high tax rates.