Chafee Tidbits

Just spoke with Lincoln Chafee, who announced his independent candidacy for governor today. I'll have a longer piece on his announcement in this week's Phoenix. But for now, a couple of interesting tidbits on his proposal for expanding the sales tax to cover exempt items like food and clothing.

Chafee suggested in his speech that he would tax these items at a lower rate, but didn't get into specifics. In his interview with N4N, he said he would propose a 1 percent tax on these items - raising an estimated $90 million per year. He emphasized, though, that he would be open to negotiating the actual percentage with the legislature.

Chafee also said he had written a version of the announcement speech that did not include the politically risky sales tax proposal. But after a recent meeting with supporters eager for specifics on how he would pull the state out of financial calamity - merely the latest demand for specifics from recession-weary voters - he decided to include the proposal.

Is he feeding a deep craving for detail or damaging his nascent bid for governor? We'll see.

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