- Some of the information in this article may be outdated.
|Governor of Rhode Island
From: January 4, 2011 – January 6, 2015
|U.S. Senator from Rhode Island
From: November 2, 1999 – January 4, 2007
|Democrat (formerly Republican (until 2007) and Independent (2007-2013))
Lincoln Davenport Chafee (born March 26, 1953) was the Governor of Rhode Island and was a liberal RINO Senator from the state of Rhode Island (1999-2007). Chafee was appointed to the United States Senate in 1999 upon the death of his father, Senator John Chafee, and was elected to a full six-year term in 2000. Although he was a member of the Republican Party, Chafee switched his political affiliation to Independent after losing his Senate seat and in 2013 became a Democrat. After winning a fierce Republican primary battle against conservative Mayor, Steven Laffey, Chafee lost his re-election bid in 2006 to Democrat, Sheldon Whitehouse by nine percentage points. Chafee began serving as a visiting fellow at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies in January 2007.
Before his defeat in his race to keep his senate seat, Chafee had a very liberal voting record and fell in line with the Democratic Party position on very many issues. Chafee strongly supports abortion. In May 2005, Chafee's senatorial reelection bid was endorsed by the traditionally Democratic-supporting NARAL Pro-Choice America.
In 2003 he was one of only three Republican Senators to oppose the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. He was also the only Republican Senator to vote against President George W. Bush's Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito. While in the Senate, Chafee was the only Republican senator to have expressed support for same sex "marriage". When asked if he would support giving the death penalty to al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, his response was, "Rhode Island executed an innocent man, in the 18th century, and I'm against the death penalty." He has a record of being a tax and spend liberal. Chafee opposes eliminating the death tax and voted against both the tax cut bills of 2001 and 2003.
He was also the only Republican in the Senate to have voted against authorization of the use of force in Iraq. In the 2004 Presidential Election, he wrote-in former President George H.W. Bush instead of voting for the Republican candidate George W. Bush, and in 2008 endorsed Democrat candidate Barack Obama. There are some issues where Chafee is considered to be more conservative. He has expressed support for privatizing social security and has repeadetly voted for the U.S. Patriot act. Chafee is also a supporter of free trade.
His first step as governor was to repeal immigration enforcement laws in Rhode Island.
- 15 Facts about Lincoln Chafee by U.S. News & World Report
- 2006 Rhode Island Senate Candidate List from VIS
- Lincoln Chafee 2016 campaign website
- Gov. Kills Immigration Laws In Name Of Economic Growth, Judicial Watch, January 7, 2011