Does Governor Wannabe Chafee Believe in Bloody Sock Conspiracy?

I try not to dwell on Sen. Chafee too much. But, since he’s leading in the polls, it is worth asking if Rhode Island voters want an ill-informed, gullible conspiracy-believer as their next governor. From the ProJo 7to7 blog:

Former U.S. Sen. Lincoln Chafee is questioning whether Boston Red Sox great Curt Schilling faked his bloody sock in Game 6 of the 2004 AL championship series….Chafee said he doesn’t know if he trusts Schilling, and incorrectly said Schilling’s own teammates questioned whether Schilling faked his bloody sock. A Baltimore Orioles broadcaster claimed in 2007 that Sox catcher Doug Mirabelli said it was faked, but Mirabelli denied it, and the broadcaster later apologized.
A Chafee spokesman said later that Chafee’s mistrust isn’t because of the sock, but because he’s using taxpayers’ money for a business with no track record.

Well, that last is spin (and they’re still spinning). Regardless of whether Chafee really does believe in the conspiracy or if it was indeed a “tongue in cheek” comment, it’s important that Chafee–who supposedly bemoans dirty politics and likes to put forward a holier-than-thou, I’m-above-partisan-politics persona–chose to go with a personal attack. So, to re-phrase my first question: Even if he doesn’t like the new deal cut between the State of RI’s Economic Development Corporation and Schilling’s video game company, 38 Studios (the efficacy of the deal is another discussion), do Rhode Islanders want a Governor who will publicly question the trustworthiness of the owner of a company that just agreed to relocate to your state? That’s impolitic, to say the least, and this whole episode is yet another example of Chafee’s questionable, um, reasoning ability. So, do we really want a nice, albeit sorta crazy, uncle running the state?

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rhody
rhody
11 years ago

On one hand, a dumb mistake by Chafee – we saw what happened to Martha Coakley when she refused to kiss the bloody sock. Don’t take on a sacred jock unless you have complete command of the facts.
But then again, Massachusetts didn’t just blindly hand over $75 million of taxpayers’ money. What a slap in the face to this state’s small business community.
As Curt’s old GM in Philly said, “He’s a horse every fifth day, but a horse’s…”

John
John
11 years ago

“That’s impolitic, to say the least…”
You are so nice in how you call Mr. Chafee and idiot. I just call him an IDIOT!
He thought that when he was shoeing the horse that he was seeing the horse’s ass, but he was actually looking in a mirror.

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

I can’t believe that Chafee brought that up. What a scumbag. Maybe we should go digging in the vaults for things that people have said about Chafee that weren’t true and keep repeating them.
“But then again, Massachusetts didn’t just blindly hand over $75 million of taxpayers’ money.”
Neither did Rhode Island. It’s possible that RI never hands over a penny to the banks loaning 38 Studios the money.
And while we’re on the topic, candidate for Lt. Governor Jeremy Kapstein said that the state’s backing of this loan is a bad idea because if the business defaults, the state is on the hook for the money. I have two questiosn for Mr. Kapstein:
1. If 38 Studios is successful in what they want to do, does it cost the taxpayers anything? Answer, no.
2. If Mr. Kapstein is successful in what he wants to do, namely become Lt. Governor, does it cost the taxpayers anything? Answer, yes, more than a million dollars a year.
Kapstein further proves why the best choice for Lt. Governor is Bob Healey.

George
George
11 years ago

This latest oozing from Chafee’s little brain, and this….
http://colossus.mu.nu/archives/270673.php
are the things he should be asked to explain in debates. But I don’t have a lot of fait the RI media will seize the opportunity. Instead they’ll lob him soft balls on gay marriage and abortion.

David P
David P
11 years ago

It’s hard to tell whether he was serious or not because Chafee just can’t tell a joke to save his life. He has to work so hard at taking himself seriously that his sense of humor has atrophied.

Kathy
Kathy
11 years ago

To quote Bugs Bunny, “What a Maroon!”

Mario
Mario
11 years ago

“But then again, Massachusetts didn’t just blindly hand over $75 million of taxpayers’ money.”

Neither did Rhode Island. It’s possible that RI never hands over a penny to the banks loaning 38 Studios the money.
That’s true, but loan guarantees are worth something, even if the State never actually pays anything. In this case, it would be $75 million multiplied by the chance that the business will fail. If there is 30% chance of failure (which I think would be fair, but feel free to disagree) the state just gave him $22.5 million – or $50k per job. So, at best, we may have just about broke even.

George
George
11 years ago

I stand by my Chafee little brain assertion.
But, as i think this through, I have to admit I don’t think Curt Schilling is making a very smart decision here. He ought to shop around for a state in which to ground his business on the basis of the state’s business environment, quality of workforce, tax environment and the success of it’s educational programs rather than one that’s willing to back his plan based on political motives.

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

“If there is 30% chance of failure (which I think would be fair, but feel free to disagree) the state just gave him $22.5 million”
That is IF the company fails. If the company succeeds, then everyone’s a winner and the state (and the banks) come out ahead. I’d prefer to say that using your numbers, there’s a 70% chance of success. I’ll take those odds every day on a startup company.
“He ought to shop around for a state in which to ground his business”
One problem is that he has a family and a $8M house. The house isn’t too easy to sell. Plus his kids are now an age that he probably doesn’t want to move them around so much. Part of the point of retiring from baseball was to keep the family life stable. He could have eeked out another year or two if he was willing to uproot the family again. I think it was MA or RI.
John Robitaille should immediately get a press op with Schilling and start slamming away at Chafee and Kapstein for their comments. Never let let an opportunity go wasted.

Robert Balliot
11 years ago

I really like Lincoln Chafee. I always have. I will vote for him for Governor. I have had the pleasure to speak with him and found him thoughtful, highly intelligent, courageous and very honorable. I like what he stands for and support him 100%.
I don’t know very much about the deal being made for the gaming company. However, I can see how having that sort of intellectual capital developed and available locally would be conducive to Hasbro – even if it failed. I am hopeful that if the deal does go through, that it will be beneficial to all of RI in the long run.
In the short run, it might attract employees from outside of RI who have the skill sets – along with Mass residents from MIT. I am not sure how that would benefit all of the out of work RI people, but housing sales could pick up a bit the Providence area. Is that worth risking 75m to the rest of us? We do need elected officials to be willing to ask those questions.
I realize that by disagreeing with the posters on AR about Senator Chafee that I will most likely be subject to similar insults. But, I always consider (and track) the source.

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

Robert Balliot wrote:
“it might attract employees from outside of RI who have the skill sets – along with Mass residents from MIT. I am not sure how that would benefit all of the out of work RI people”
So RI doesn’t have intelligent tech people? We’re too stupid to work for a tech company? Only people from MIT and “outside RI” are smart enough for a tech company? Is that what you’re asserting?
I’d be a little more worried about getting insulted for calling RI’s tech workforce inferior to those in MA, moreso than your voting preferences.

Mario
Mario
11 years ago

“That is IF the company fails. If the company succeeds, then everyone’s a winner and the state (and the banks) come out ahead.”
No, the state loses $75 million if he fails. $22.5 million is what the state loses every time a deal like this is made, on average (if my back-of-the-ass estimate is correct), whether he succeeds or fails. $22.5 million is what we are paying for 450 jobs. Whether this is worth it or not is a valid question, but this number, or something similar, is what we should be balancing the gains with. Policy makers can’t just blind themselves to the losses because something might work out, even if the odds are in your favor.
It’s like Powerball. A Powerball ticket right now is worth 36¢* and it costs $1, so everyone who buys a ticket loses 64¢. Every (current) Powerball ticket is worth 36¢ regardless of how much it can eventually be turned in for. The fact that some people will walk away with more doesn’t change that.
*If you ignore that multiple people can share the jackpot, which I did as I’m lazy.

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

“No, the state loses $75 million if he fails.”
Not necessarily. Not if it’s a 20 year loan and they default in year 19. It costs $75M only if they default without ever paying a penny back and the banks get nothing from the auction of the company and whatever else Schilling himself might have put up for collateral.
“$22.5 million is what the state loses every time a deal like this is made, on average”
Ok, so you’re doing actuarial numbers. The only problem here is we’re dealing with an n of 1. Maybe your numbers are correct when this is done hundreds or thousands of times. And if that’s the case, then I’m fine with a 30% failure rate because that’s the same as a 70% success rate, assuming each success is worth at least $22.5M.

Robert Balliot
11 years ago

Patrick –
No, I am not worried about that. No *qualified* tech person in RI with basic logic skills would interpret what I wrote as you have.
You, however, are obviously worried about what you say, hiding behind anonymous postings. When you interpreted what I said as a dismissal of tech people in RI as a group (which I am part of) I think you may have been projecting your own lack of self-worth and feelings of social inadequacy.
That is sort of sad. 🙁

mangeek
mangeek
11 years ago

This kind of company typically doesn’t -exist- for 19 years. Most (I heard the 90% number tossed about) fail after they run out of capital. The vast majority produce one or two titles, the ‘distributor’ takes a huge cut, and everyone gets laid off as soon as the game is done. Only a few percent of games ever get to ‘profitability’. It’s a lot like hollywood movies, the ‘studio’ usually goes belly-up (on purpose), and the financier/distributors walk away with the money. I have gamer friends. Nobody is waiting for this title. Nobody has heard of 38 studios. The idea that RI can step in and seize the assets if things go poorly isn’t reassuring, this is a game development company, all they can ‘seize’ will be a foosball table, a few rapidly-aging computers, and a whole lot of drives filled with well-decorated polygons; nothing of any real value. Three things could happen here, and these are my ‘odds’ on them happening: 1. (80%) The company moves here, most workers commute from Mass, they take advantage of free labor from RISD to reduce their burn-rate. A few years from now they release a mediocre game that sells a few hundred thousand copies. The company lays pretty much everyone off. 250 ‘highly paid’ software developers on RI unemployment. 2. (10%) The company is acquired by their distributor, EA. Soon it’s moved to where you can, you know, hire and fire people in the industry. Right now, developing software in Rhode Island is the H.R. equivalent of setting up a logging company in Death Valley. 3. (9%) The game is a success all on its own! We get our money back, the company actually begins to produce another product. In between the first product and the second, they will lay-off prety much… Read more »

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

Wow Bob, for someone worried about insults flying, you sure threw some there. I don’t know that I insulted you once, but that’s fine.
If you consider me to be “anonymous”, I’ll leave that up to your own lack of research.

mangeek
mangeek
11 years ago

” Powerball ticket right now is worth 36¢* and it costs $1, so everyone who buys a ticket loses 64¢”
Mario, I think you might be on to something. All we need to do as a state is take out loans and get ourselves about 800 million PowerBall tickets.
I just did some napkin-math on this deal, and it looks like RI is only about $10 Billion of loans and taxes away from full employment!
If anyone here knows anyone at the STate House, please direct them to this thread. Actually, forget I said that, it might give them ideas.

Robert Balliot
11 years ago

Patrick –
Do you think it help increase your sense of self-worth if I ‘research’ you?
I guess I could go to your blog and click through the comments if it will help.

mangeek
mangeek
11 years ago

For the record: On a large scale, yes, our qualified technology labor pool is a puddle compared to our neighbors. As a state and as individuals, we’ve done a really crappy job preparing our workforce for this kind of economy.
Instead of helping people get equipped to deal with this new economy, we’ve carved-out special laws to protect the interests of those in the old economy who are most connected to the lawmakers. Instead of streamlining state government and providing services to municipalities, we’ve set up a competitive and adversarial relationships between them.
Robert, Patrick, and I all work in technology in one capacity or another, but it’s telling that there are so many more jobs in our field in the non-profit and government sectors than in corporate. I know I wouldn’t want to jump ship into corporate right now, not here at least. The extra money wouldn’t be worth the risk of prolonged unemployment. I did recently get a nice unsolicited offer to work Boston and New York for a west coast firm, though.

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

“Do you think it help increase your sense of self-worth if I ‘research’ you?”
No more than it apparently helps yours to insult and degrade others who have done nothing to you.

Tim
Tim
11 years ago

Robert sez this about Linc Chafee. “…..found him thoughtful, highly intelligent, courageous and very honorable.”
You would Robert. You would! lol
Lincoln Chafee is not only a bubbling mumbling idiot but he’s quite disloyal and an all around jerk of a person.
He is an embarrassment to Rhode Island and to his family.

Robert Balliot
11 years ago

‘Tim’
Your family must be *very* proud of you.
So would the Dem. Governors Association for supporting their political agenda.
Of course, I am using irony. ‘Tim’ would use his own name if he stood behind his comments and wanted his family to know. But, it does show that having family acceptance is important to ‘Tim’, or at least that they don’t have parental controls set up on his computer. lol

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

I’m starting to think that trolls of old are back and using the name “Robert Balliot”. His comments are the definition of that behavior.
No sure why he’s calling other people anonymous when simply putting two names on a comment doesn’t mean anything.

Mario
Mario
11 years ago

The “anonymous” accusation confuses me, too. If Tim, for instance, were truly anonymous, we wouldn’t be able to call him “Tim.” Pseudonymous might be better, but that implies that Tim isn’t his real name, which I have no reason to doubt. Seminonymous might be more accurate, since he doesn’t give his full name, but then Robert is seminonymous too, unless he doesn’t have a middle name. All in all, a weird accusation.
If I were to call myself Black Beauty, would that make me a hippononymous?
[Yes, this whole comment exists solely to make that joke.]

Mike Cappelli
Mike Cappelli
11 years ago

Lincoln Chafee is a retard. I know a lot of people call him “quirky”, but it’s not quirky – it’s retardation.
Furthermore, one who would be impressed with Lincoln Chafee is speaking volumes about themselves. Only a mere simpleton could be impressed with him in any way.
To describe him as thoughtful could only be done by one completely devoid of any thought.
I’ve been in his presence a number of times and the man is a total and absolute moron. This feeling was only enhanced with each subsequent meeting. Chafee is living off his good father’s name. Period.

noeconinri
noeconinri
11 years ago

this is the same lic chaffee that had a fund raiser at u club 6 months ago and started off the event by doing a 90 sec RAIN DANCE to the utter horror of the 25 people in attendence. i was there i saw it.. thoughtfull whatever i witnessed it it was wierd .. uncomfortible .. and down right moronic .. i was paying to be there and actully felt bad for him wanted to avert my eyes and be anywhere else but there ..a grown man in a room full of grown meen started off a political event by doing a rain dance like an indian from an old cowboy movie … ask around regretible its true if we elect this man governor we get marsha reback george knee and the rifuture crownd.. and well lets be honest a crazy man at the helm

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

I wouldn’t use the term “retard” because people who actually are afflicted with mental retardation are blameless-it’s a medical condition.Few of them would be the kind of posturing fool this nitwit is.
Lincoln Chafee is a fool and seems to suffer from some form of brain damage-I don’t think he has a low IQ,but he has no common sense,and he is quite frankly bizarre.
Maybe there was too much close marriage in his family-who knows?
His father was a very respectable and competent man.Patriotic and honest.
Linc got very little of the father in him.He isn’t fit to run a deli counter at a supermarket,let alone be Governor.
Every time he’s interviewed,it sounds like a comedy skit.The interview on channel 10 News Conference with Taricani and Rapelye was incredible.When Rapelye can make someone look like a nincompoop,you know they’re losers.
Taricani is another story-he even trips up really sharp people.Too bad their show is on at such an early hour on Sunday.I’m always up around 5 AM so I tend to watch it.

rhody
rhody
11 years ago

This is classic Rhode Island economic development strategy – instead of helping our own state’s small businesspeople, we wave big bucks at somebody from out of state who makes promises and gives them a sweetheart loan, tax break, etc. We are inevitably jilted and left holding the bag, but we never learn.
In a way, I don’t blame Schilling for accepting a sweetheart deal here – he’s used to accepting other people’s largesse. He accepted $8 million from the Red Sox not to pitch in his final year in baseball, knowing his shoulder was already done for. Do we blame him for being greedy, or do we blame the people who’ve enabled him?
Give him credit for his ability to get people to hand him money, like we should give Liz Taylor and Larry King credit for their ability to keep getting people to marry them.

michael
michael
11 years ago

Why can’t the media leave Linc and other people running for office alone? Aren’t we all sick of the same manufactured politicians? People are afraid to be themselves, say what they think, or even make a facial expression. We get what we deserve, vanilla people doing a vanilla job. There are no more characters in politics. Characters get assassinated by the very media we support. With no characters, there is no character. With no character, we have nothing but empty shells playing a game.

Monique
Editor
11 years ago

“In a way, I don’t blame Schilling for accepting a sweetheart deal here – he’s used to accepting other people’s largesse. … Do we blame him for being greedy, or do we blame the people who’ve enabled him?”
No question, Mr. Schilling is not to blame here. The problem is our elected and appointed officials who have, in a very scary move, decided to substitute loan guarantees for a good business environment. Not only is it a bad business decision but, once again, the people who purportedly represent us are charting a course with our money (which it will be if this venture fails) that they would not with their own.
Whatever happens with Mr. Schilling’s venture, we, as a state, need to stop giving loan guarantees, effective immediately.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

After ragging on Chafee,I must admitI oppose this project.
It certainly is a case of putting too many eggs into a partially woven basket.
When Duie Pyle,a well-established over the road trucking company,wanted to came here a few years ago,they got mickey-moused off.They HAD a track record and could offer high paying jobs.This is playing craps with the rent money.

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

Mario wrote:
“No, the state loses $75 million if he fails.”
Actually, he won’t. According to a story in the ProJo yesterday, the loan guarantees are tiered where the company needs to meet certain criteria along the way. There is no on guarantee for $75M. So the company needs to work its way up to $75M.

George
George
11 years ago

“No question, Mr. Schilling is not to blame here. The problem is our elected and appointed officials…”
But, but, but…. I thought Mr. Schilling was a free-market guy.
Looks like a case of former RINO versus RINO.
Republicans beware: be careful who you bring into town to endorse your campaign.

OldTimeLefty
11 years ago

Over 30 comments, mostly negative about Chafee. It warms my heart to see how frightened AR’s faithful are of our next governor. The bogey man is here. Booo!
Viva Chafee.
OldTimeLefty

Publius
Publius
11 years ago

Chafee might have made a mistake but EDC guaranteeing a $75 million loan to Schilling is reminiscent of the Alpha Beta loan guarantee foasco of the 90’s. I guess EDC hasn’t learned their lesson or has a very short memory.
EDC had to hire Adler Pollock and Sheehan to recover a defaulted $30 million loan to Alpha-Beta Technology when they went under.
Despite all the hype, the loan guarantee to Schilling is bad business with a high potential for failure. If Mass passed on it, you know there’s a problem.

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