So this is one of my favorite stories. I'm in Rhode Island, I'm running for mayor Cranston, Rhode Island. It’s 2002. And I've never been in a radio studio. Steve Kass, is the premiere number one rated talk show host in Rhode Island for like 30 years, and I go in to the studio to be on his show.
(You can listen on Spotify if you want! See Above!)
Steve looks at me, very seriously. The show hasn't started yet And he says to me,” So where's the coffee?” I'm like, what is the guy talking about? No one said to bring coffee. He says, “Whenever you go on a radio show you have to bring the host some Dunkin' Donuts coffee. Didn't anyone tell you that?”
Or listen on their website!
Of course no one did. He just made it up! So it gets better. I do the show. I become the mayor. I go one Steve's wonderful radio show a lot. I go on a lot of wpro Radio shows and I bring in a lot of donuts! I even do a show during a snowstorm when the Providence Journal is in the car covering me with great reporter Scott Mayorwitz, and a complete liar pro public sector union dude calls in to say that a certain street has not been plowed. I'm with Scott, Jackie my executive assistant and with Harry the Greek driving — I'm actually on the street in question, Aqueduct Road. I say and I paraphrase “Steve, the street’s completely plowed. Who is this complete liar on the phone.” So, Steve Kass says to me, “Steve, how can people get a hold of you if they're streets not plowed?”
I say, “just call me on my cell.” And I proceed to give out my cell number to the entire state of Rhode Island. As you might imagine my phone lights up for the next several hours, and I take down these numbers and messages and we drive around making sure the streets are plowed. Steve Cass is incredulous anybody would hand out the cell number, and I must tell you I don't know if I would do it again! But it was a hell of a story in the Providence Journal the next day!
But it gets better. Now every time after the first show, I go on the Steve Kass Show or any other show on WPRO, I bring in not just a cup of Dunkin' Donuts coffee, but a bucket full of it along with at least a dozen donuts. Steve laughs every time I do it and we do the show eating donuts. It seems like I would eat donuts on every show. But it gets better.
The short version is I simply take over Steve’s show every Friday and he gets the day off. We call it the “Steve Laffey” Show, even though I am just filling in and the Democrats can’t handle me having my own show. A Mayor able to host his own radio show on the biggest station in RI? Exposing Union Contracts on the air?? “AAGGG—NO WAY” said the public sector unions and the democrats they controlled, (Just about all of them!)
So the enemies of the people, used the patsy, board of elections they controlled to sue me It's the single stupidest thing that ever happened in Rhode Island political history. They never heard of the first amendment? It's the first amendment because it's really really important.
But it gets better. We go to federal court in Rhode Island where nincompoop judge, Judge Lisi, announces she wasn't really up on the first amendment to my supreme court winning lawyer, Tom Marcelle, (and college roommate) and we lose in federal court.
Tom tells me this is the greatest thing that's ever happened! And I say, “why?”
He says,” it's because even the liberals respect the first amendment and now that you've been harmed, the First Court of Appeals in Boston has to take this case and they will slap these people around so hard it'll make your head spin. And you'll get all kinds of national positive attention.”
And that's exactly what happens. Two weeks later I am in front of the First Court of Appeals, one court removed from the Supreme Court, and after hearing both sides of the argument, the judge's rule from the bench and they say— and I'll paraphrase, “what the hell is wrong with you people down in Rhode Island, listen it's Thursday, it's 2 PM, you will put steve laffey back on the radio by Monday at 9 AM or we will do it for you. And you want to deal with those “murky laws” down in Rhode Island.
Well, enjoy the show. Steve is still one of the greatest host I've all time, still a radio legend in Rhode Island and I always love being on with him and now with his pretty wife Debbie.
Thanks for reading Steve Laffey's Substack--on the campaign trail! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
You can hear Steve’s wife above. This is my wife Kelly!