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Pell’s Failed Voting Record Gets Worse

Saturday, February 22, 2014


GoLocalProv has learned the 32-year-old Democratic candidate for Governor Clay Pell missed even more votes in elections than previously reported.

According to information from Arizona Secretary of States Office and confirmed by the Pell campaign, Pell missed voting in three of the five elections he was eligible to vote in during the 2000 to 2002 election cycles.

Overall, Clay Pell has failed to vote in 10 of the 18 elections he has been eligible to vote in.

In addition, on Friday the Pell campaign corrected their previous data on Pell’s voting record. GoLocal had reported that Pell had failed to vote in the 2008, Democratic Presidential Primary. Pell did vote in that Presidential Primary, but failed to vote in 2000, 2004, and 2012 Presidential primaries.

Pell, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for Governor missed:

5 of 7 Democratic State Primaries (AZ, RI)
2 of 7 General Elections (AZ, RI)
3 of 4 Presidential Primaries (AZ, RI)

Pell was a registered voter in Arizona until 2003 and then changed his voting address to Newport, Rhode Island. Pell attended prep school in California, then attended Harvard and Georgetown Law. Pell graduated from law school in 2008.

Previously, the Pell campaign answered questions about the missed votes by telling GoLocal: 

“He regrets missing these votes and makes no excuses for it. In 06 and 08 he made attempts to vote in general election through absentee ballots. We are not making excuses. He is overseas [at that time]. We don't know why those votes were not recorded. We contacted the board of elections this afternoon to inquire about their process. We were informed that absentee ballots received after an election are not recorded. Again, that is not an excuse. He takes responsibility for those votes not being recorded," according to Bill Fischer, spokesperson for the Pell campaign.

Since establishing residence in Rhode Island, Pell voted in 6 of 13 elections. The lack of participation raises serious questions for the millionaire Pell, who has already injected $1,000,000 of his own wealth into the campaign.

Pell was a resident of Arizona unilt 2003

Reaction to GoLocalProv's investigation into the missing votes and Pell's failure to participate in the majority of the elections can be found in the related articles.

Pell was born in November 17, 1981 and has been eligible to vote in elections since 2000. Pell is married to Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan. 


Related Slideshow: Is Clay Pell the Next Lincoln Chafee?

Privileged bloodlines, prestigious prep schools, lofty political ambitions.  Is Clay Pell the next Lincoln Chafee?  

Below is a look at the similarities -- and differences -- between Governor Lincoln Chafee  and likely gubernatorial aspirant Clay Pell.  

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Family Legacy - Chafee

Lincoln Chafee is the son of John Chafee, the former Governor of Rhode Island, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of the Navy, who was a decorated WWII and Korean War Veteran, and posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  

Named in his honor include the USS Chafee (DDG-90), the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor and the John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge.

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Family Legacy - Pell

Grandfather Claiborne Pell was Rhode Island's longest serving Senator, having served six terms from 1961 to 1997, whose legacy includes the Pell Grant, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  

A decorated coast guard lieutenant in WWII and foreign service officer, Pell's Rhode Island legacy includes the Newport Bridge being renamed the Claiborne Pell Bridge, as well as the Pell Center of International Relations and Public Policy established at Salve Regina University.

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Money - Chafee

Both Chafees and Senator Pell had to disclose as members of the U.S. Senate personal financial information -- and both a considerable net worth.  

The U.S. Senate is known as the U.S. Millionaires Club -- in 2005, while Chafee was still in the Senate, Open Secrets pegged Chafee's wealth at between $40 and $63 million dollars.  

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Money - Pell

In a Time piece entitled "The New Limousine Liberals", the magazine pegged grandfather Pell's net worth at $12.7 million -- in 1992.  

The website Celebrity Net Worth puts wife Michelle Kwan's personal wealth at $8 million. 

While Pell's first campaign finance report has yet to be made public, records show Pell gave Democratic challenger Gina Raimondo $250 during her bid for General Treasurer in 2010.  

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Education - Chafee

Chafee was educated public schools in Warwick, and attended private schools Providence Country Day, and Phillips Academy before graduating from Brown University.  

Chafee then attended the Montana State University in the horseshoeing school.

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Education - Pell

Pell attended the private boarding Thacher School in California for high school, graduating in 2000.  The school's noted equestrian and outdoor programs require that students ride and care for a horse during their first year.  Current tuition is over $50,000
Pell, a JAG who graduated first in his class from Coast Guard Direct Commission Officer School, has a JD from Georgetown University and graduated from Harvard University with high honors in Social Studies and a Citation in Modern Standard Arabic. 
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Early Career -- Chafee

Chafee served as a delegate to the Rhode Island Constitutional Convention in 1985, and was elected to the Warwick City Council the following year.  

He was Warwick's mayor in 1992 until 1999, when he was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 1999 when his father passed away while in office.

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Early Career -- Pell

Named to the 2011-2012 class of White House Fellows, Pell served as Director for Strategic Planning on the National Security Staff prior to his appointment by President Obama as Deputy Assistant Secretary for International and Foreign Language Education last April.

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Wife - Chafee

Chafee's wife, Stephanie Danforth Chafee, holds a B.S. in Nursing from Boston University, an MBA from the University of Connecticut, and an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Rhode Island, helped found the Rhode Island Free Clinic in South Providence, and was featured as one of the ‘25 Models of Promise’ in Shirley Sagawa’s The American Way to Change. 
Mrs. Chafee was a co-founder of Women Ending Hunger and has served on advisory boards for Miriam Hospital, Rhode Island Hospital, the Rhode Island Zoological Society and the Rhode Island Foundation.  Last April, she was recognized as one of the YWCA Rhode Island's Women of Achievement.
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Wife - Pell

A decorated Olympic figure skater and world champion, Michelle Kwan went on to pursue a career in public service, serving as an American Public Diplomacy Envoy as well as on the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports -- and was recently inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame.


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