1st steps to national stage

Steve Laffey has answers, now he needs people to listen

Posted 3/22/23

Former Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey brought his campaign to make Americans aware “we are leaving no future for our children” to the Ocean State Friday.

His Rhode Island stop — …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

1st steps to national stage

Steve Laffey has answers, now he needs people to listen


Former Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey brought his campaign to make Americans aware “we are leaving no future for our children” to the Ocean State Friday.

His Rhode Island stop — Laffey, who grew up in Cranston, has made Colorado his home — started with a morning street-side sign-waving  and ended with a chat at Brewed Awakenings on Route 2 in Warwick.

Midday he held at town meeting at Chapel View Grille, which a member of his campaign said was the biggest turnout yet since his declaration as a Republican candidate for US President. About 30 people were in attendance.

The event was hosted by The Ocean State Current with Mike Stenhouse serving as moderator. Laffey, sans a pin, sticker or hat indicating he is a presidential candidate. Standing at a podium with a backdrop promoting The Ocean State Current, he opened recognizing people in the audience followed by his thoughts on topics from Rhode Island roads to inflation, education, dealing with China, fixing Social Security and the country’s role in the war in Ukraine.

He called for an increase in NATO funding from 3 to 5 percent to stop Russia in Ukraine before it moves to grab Poland and Bulgaria.

“It is critically important that Russia loses,” he said.

In response to a question from the news media, Laffey said United States needs to intervene in Mexico to deal with the drug cartels and stem the tide of immigrants, but was hard-pressed to say how that should be done.

On the home front, Laffey excoriated the pharmaceutical companies for squeezing profits out of Americans while selling the same medications at half price overseas and spending $300 million on Washington lobbyists. He also took aim at public schools, relating how he stayed at home to school his kids when his wife stayed with their daughter in the hospital as she underwent cancer treatments.

He recommended people stop sending their children to public school, homeschool them or find alternatives. He called the existing situation where teachers aren’t educated in the courses they are teaching a “cycle of death” that has to stop, suggesting recruiting the best teachers and making their lessons available for free on the internet. He introduced three of his children who are accompanying him in an effort to meet New Hampshire voters in preparation for the state’s presidential primary.

Laffey cited how as mayor he took Cranston with the lowest bond rating in the country to the fastest fiscal turnaround “in American history.”

“I know how to put the right people in the right places at the right job,” he said. He said he has been “right” in foreseeing inflation and the recent banking crisis, questioning whether any the of candidates running  for president really know what the Federal Reserve does except for him.

“The Federal Reserve has been designed to destroy the middle class,” he said. “That’s the message we have to get out, keep saying it, we’re going to get out of this hole — the truth is very hard to hear.”  He said once the country crosses $30 trillion in debt, “there’s no going back.” 

First in his family to attend college, after graduating from Bowdoin, Laffey graduated from Harvard Business School. He is the former president of Morgan Keegan & Company Based in Memphis, Tennessee, a brokerage firm with $500 million in revenues and more than 2,000 employees. After helping broker the sale of the company, he felt called to his hometown to run for mayor in 2002. He faced the popular Aram Garabedian, but knocked on doors to get his message out. He also handed out Laffey Taffy. He had the media’s attention. He served two terms.

Politics has been in Laffey’s blood from the days he was president of the Cranston East student council.  He aimed for the US Senate, taking on Lincoln Chafee in the 2006 Republican primary. He lost, using the experience to author “Primary Mistake: How the Washington Republican Establishment Lost Everything in 2006 (and Sabotaged My Senatorial Campaign),” one of several books he has written. He was rumored as a candidate for governor in 2010 and then after moving to Colorado sought the GOP nomination for the state’s 4th Congressional District in 2014. He finished fourth in the primary.

In addition to his books, Laffey produced the documentary “Fixing America” that involved traveling across the country and talking with people.

The Laffey strategy is to get on the presidential campaign marquis.

 “When you’re running a renegade campaign it’s not about money,” he said.

Rather, by taking his message to the people of New Hampshire, he hopes to show up in the polls.

“If I’m at one percent, I’ll be at three, then seven,” he said describing a scenario where with increasing recognition the money will follow.

And what about Donald Trump? How does the former president fit into his plan?

“I’m not running against Donald Trump,” he answered. It’s not only Trump.

“I’m the only one who can break through all the others,” he said.

Asked what’s he’s found upon returning to Rhode Island , Laffey said, “(I) only left this state when people didn’t want to fix it.” He commented on the deplorable condition of roads and how property taxes here are twice those in Colorado. Later he was on his way back to New Hampshire and the campaign trail.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here