Independent Lincoln Chafee has loaned his gubernatorial campaign $300,000 this week, bringing to $1.1 million the total amount he has loaned his campaign in the race to replace to replace term-limited Republican Gov. Don Carcieri.
The loan was made late Tuesday by the former Republican U.S. senator, Chafee's deputy campaign manager, Mike Trainor, said Wednesday.
Chafee has been at a considerable money disadvantage behind his leading Democratic rival Frank Caprio, the state's general treasurer, who has raised about $2.7 million. Republican John Robitaille and Moderate Ken Block round out the four-person race. The election is Nov. 2, and there have been no reliable polls in the race.
Much of the money is being spent on TV ads, and Chafee and Caprio have been going after each other for weeks on the airwaves. Both released new ads this week.
Chafee's ad focuses on his key campaign theme of trust and integrity. It features former U.S. Attorney Meg Curran, who led the prosecution into former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci's corrupt administration. In it, she tells viewers that she is a lifelong Democrat who was appointed by former President Bill Clinton and expected to be asked to leave after Republican George Bush was elected president.
But she says Chafee crossed party lines to urge she be kept on until the corruption probe was finished.
"I know Linc Chafee is a person of integrity and true independence," she said.
Caprio's ad focuses on the economy, a key issue in a state where unemployment has been among the highest in the country, at 11.8 percent in August. In his latest ad, Caprio sits in a kitchen and addresses the camera directly.
"Across Rhode Island, families are sitting around their kitchen tables struggling to pay the bills," he says.
He says he wants to create tax incentives for small business to create jobs, cut government spending and "hold the line on taxes."
Until last week, Caprio's ads largely focused on attacking Chafee's plan to close the budget by passing a 1 percent sales tax on items that are exempt from the state's current 7 percent sales tax. But the Democratic Governors Association has stepped in to run its own ads attacking the idea, and Caprio has taken the opportunity to run positive ads.