Gubernatorial candidates spar at forum

Providence, R.I. – Former Senator Lincoln Chafee is criticizing some of his fellow candidates for Rhode Island governor for the persistent budget deficits the state faces.

At a candidates' forum in Providence last night, Chafee, an independent, was criticized himself for a proposal to put a 1 percent sales tax on items such as groceries and prescription drugs.

Chafee says the plan would raise $100 million and is a less painful way to close budget deficits. But General Treasurer Frank Caprio, a Democrat, says Chafee's plan would put too much of a burden on families.

Chafee said candidates such as Caprio, who used to be in the General Assembly, should be held responsible for the problems with the state budget, which he describes as a ``catastrophe.''