In the campaign for Governor of Rhode Island, there was much back and forth on the issues of taxes. Independent candidate Linc Chafee had proposed a 1% sales tax on items currently exempt to help the state out of its gaping budget hole. It would be a minimal addition, but his opponents seized on the proposal nonetheless. They attacked Chafee, stating that he was introducing additional taxes when the state was already hurting. A former Senator and Mayor of Warwick, Chafee understood something would need to fill the hole in the state’s budget. The situation Linc Chafee found himself in very much mirrored a situation his father, John Chafee, went through while running for Governor of Rhode Island himself some 42 years earlier. In 1968, John Chafee, hoping to lift his state out of a similar budget hole, proposed an income tax for the state. His opponent attacked him on the tax issue and won the election, but later supported the tax himself.
Linc Chafee knew proposing a 1% sales tax could cost him the election, but like his father before him Chafee refused to be anything but honest with the people. This spot, “Father” features Linc Chafee speaking directly to camera, telling the people of Rhode Island that, although unpopular, he would stick by his proposal because it was the right thing to do.