Laffey, going on the 'net, says RI economy in decline

Former Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey, a likely gubernatorial candidate in 2010, today declined to comment on his political future, although he said a new Web site,, will be unveiled within the next couple of days or so. While it might help to market his forthcoming book, Primary Mistake, the Web site seems yet another preparatory move for Laffey's reentry to the political arena.

Laffey stopped by the set of Newsmakers for a taping that will air Sunday, at 5:30 am on Channel 12 (CBS) and at 10 am on Fox 64.

The high-profile former mayor predicted that Rhode Island will be in worse economic shape in 2009 than when he assumed the reins in Cranston. While the Carcieri administration touts new job-creation numbers, Laffey points to an outflow of RI residents and says the state economy is deeply troubled.

When I followed up on this remark, asking why the Republican governors who have mostly held office for the last 20 years haven't been able, even with the Democrat-controlled General Assembly, to implement a different economic program, Laffey agreed that responsibility has to go to the chief executive. He declined to assign a letter grade to Carcieri's performance, but said the governor introduced a "bad" budget that was made worse by legislative Democrats.

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