[Lnc-business] Lincoln Chafee

Joe Bishop-Henchman joe.bishop-henchman at lp.org
Thu Jun 6 09:58:46 EDT 2019

I hadn't seen an email on this but wanted to share in case anyone hadn't 
seen. Former U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee has registered as a Libertarian 
and confirmed to the Boston Globe that it's because he agrees with us 

"I bought property in Wyoming and registered to vote out there in my 
fourth party — I’m a Libertarian. It’s what I’ve always been — fiscally 
conservative and socially liberal. They are against capital punishment, 
pro-choice, against war, strongly for the Fourth Amendment, no torture. 
All these things that American has gotten away from."

Chafee was appointed to his father's U.S. Senate seat out of Rhode 
Island in 1999 after his father died. He was elected in 2000 and 
defeated 54-46 in 2006, after winning his primary against a strong 
conservative challenge. He had considered challenging Bush in 2004 on an 
anti-war platform but chose not to, although Chafee was the only 
Republican senator to vote against the Iraq use of force resolution. He 
endorsed Obama in 2008, with whom he had served in the Senate. In 2010, 
he decided to run for Governor of Rhode Island as an independent. 
President Obama, presumably returning the 2008 endorsement favor, chose 
not to endorse the Democrat but rather to stay neutral. The Democrat, 
angry, denounced Obama on the radio and his campaign imploded 
thereafter, clearing the way for Chafee to win with 36 percent of the 
vote. Chafee joined the Democratic Party in 2013 but chose not to run 
for re-election in 2014. In 2015, he ran briefly for the 2016 Democratic 
presidential nomination on a ten point platform: not giving 
ambassadorships to political contributors, ending torture, ending 
warrantless wiretapping, bringing Edward Snowden home, ending drone 
strikes, signing new trade agreements, easing tensions with Russia, 
re-engaging with South America while revisiting the Drug War, banning 
capital punishment, and adopting the metric system. He moved to Wyoming 
in 2018.

On tax issues, which is the area I know best, in my opinion his record 
as Senator was not great, but as Governor was good (though he wasn't 
really able to pass anything). We worked with his office on a number of 
ideas. I first met him when I had the opportunity to be a panelist for 
one of the 2010 gubernatorial debates, which was a four-way one (Chafee, 
the Democrat, the Republican, and a millionaire tech "Moderate Party" 
candidate). In the end I think Cato gave him a "B" on tax and budget.

Pat Ford, our RI chair, gave some comments posted to Twitter:
"We welcome Lincoln Chafee on what is clearly the first stage of his 
Libertarian journey. I look forward to the opportunity to share a cup of 
coffee and point out how more nuanced our movement is. There is so much 
more to the Libertarian movement than that we are fiscally conservative 
and socially liberal. We reflect the primacy of the rights of the 

"I find the political evolution of Lincoln Chafee to be fascinating. I 
consider him to be a decent man."

[On Chafee's move to Wyoming] "Our movement is spiritually strongest in 
that part of the country - they believe in rugged individualism."

I've heard that the Wyoming party has put out or is working on a 
statement, but I haven't seen it yet.


Joe Bishop-Henchman
LNC Member (At-Large)
joe.bishop-henchman at lp.org

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