Chafee, Caprio swap charges

Providence, RI – Independent gubernatorial candidate Lincoln Chafee is criticizing Democratic rival Frank Caprio for helping direct a $25,000 legislative grant to a private school attended by his son.

Caprio was a state senator in 2000, when he helped steer the grant to the private French-American School of Rhode Island on Providence's East Side. Chafee's campaign says it was inappropriate for Caprio to help steer public funding to a private institution with what it calls "close personal ties to his family."

Caprio's campaign manager, Xay Khamsyvoravong says Caprio supported the school before his son was a student there, and that Caprio has backed a range community groups.

"I think we're talking about an institution that is contributing a lot back to the city of Providence," says Khamsyvoravong. "It provides great opportunities for kids in the city, so I see no issue with that."

Meanwhile the Caprio campaign has a Twitter stream called, "Chafee Checker," to highlight what it calls inconsistencies in Chafee's statements.

Chafee's campaign says it's looking into whether Chafee owes any taxes for his past mayoral campaigns in Warwick. This comes after Caprio raised the question.

Chafee spokesman Michael Trainor says the answer is unclear.

"Well, we don't have any knowledge as of today whether that's an issue or not. We will be happy to look into it," says Trainor.

Trainor says it's a sign of desperation that Caprio is reaching back to Chafee's time as Warwick's mayor in the 1990's to criticize him.

But Caprio's campaign says it raised the issue after reports that Chafee owed back taxes on interest from his 2006 Senate campaign fund.

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