Whom the Candidates Represent
An article about the RI gubernatorial candidates’ appearance before the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns crystallizes — for those people who still, astonishingly, do not see — that Lincoln Chafee is little more than the candidate of the public-sector unions. On whether he’d pledge not to reduce state aid to municipalities:
Independent Lincoln D. Chafee went at the issue a different way, citing his plan to raise additional money through the sales tax
Regarding whether municipal leaders ought to have more authority over school finances:
… Chafee said school committees are already accountable to the people who elect them. Instead, he said he would work with other governors to secure more federal funding to help cover special-education costs.
On whether teachers’ unions should have recourse to binding arbitration, Chafee’s answer was, “yes.” For Chafee, governing Rhode Island would be all about more money for union-funding activities and union-supporting policies.
The article also makes clear that those pragmatists who claim that Democrat Frank Caprio would be preferable by far to Chafee clearly make a valid point. I fear, however, that Caprio’s governance would be all too familiar. Note, for example, his willingness to pledge to make no cuts to municipalities. That’s a standard political promise to the people who happen to be in the room, and when push comes to shove, it will have either to be broken or to be allowed to supersede other impressions that he’s worked to foster among the electorate, like a preference for not raising state taxes.
The only candidate who didn’t make that pledge, by the way, was Republican John Robitaille, who cited his inability to see into the future.