With Rhode Island’s race for governor looking competitive, the Democratic Governors Association is pulling out all the stops to defeat the biggest challenge to the state’s going blue this fall—gubernatorial candidate and former Republican U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee ’75. Chafee, who is running as an independent, was virtually tied with the top Democratic contender, State Treasurer Frank Caprio, in the latest Rasmussen Reports poll.
The DGA unveiled two websites last Friday designed to ratchet up efforts to take on the former Republican’s record and his plans for the state if elected. The sites, SenatorChafee.com and ChafeesTaxPlan.com, feature tabs titled “The Real Chafee” and “Not So Independent.” ChafeesTaxPlan.com even offers a dizzying word collage of items that the DGA alleges Chafee would tax under his plan. The sites seem especially eager to link Chafee to President George W. Bush and to remind voters of Chafee’s past Republican leanings. Under a link urging visitors to “take action,” voters are also urged to fill out a form “to tell a friend” and are provided a number to call Chafee to “tell him to drop his proposed tax plan.”
In a recent Providence Journal article on the websites’ launches, Chafee’s campaign manager, J.R. Pagliarini, described the sites as a “third party effort to attack Chafee and bolster Caprio and Lynch without having either of their fingerprints on it.” Pagliarini added, “It’s obvious that Senator Chafee’s successful campaign has the national Democratic party very nervous.”