Partisanship Putting Everyone in Danger

There is a very concerning aspect to Carcieri spokesperson Jeff Neal’s comment about why Elizabeth Roberts, the Lieutenant Governor, was not informed that the Governor was going out of the country. According to Ian Donnis’s post on the lack of communication between the Governor and Lieutenant Governor:

Neal said he would have to check with the Department of Defense on the specifics of Carcieri’s Iraq trip, “but my understanding is that we were not permitted to share that information [in advance] outside this office.”

So national security now requires not communicating with your own Lieutenant Governor? This is where we have to really wonder if our national security protocols are actually causing more problems than they are preventing. If this is really true (and I doubt that it is) we are going to have real issues with emergency management, if we are wondering whether every piece of information we share outside of our office is going to go directly into the hands of “the enemy.” Come on, Mr. Neal. The Governor was not supposed to tell “anyone outside his office?” Whatever the rules may be, common sense also needs to be exercised. Shouldn’t the Governor of a state tell his successor when he is going to be out of the country, particularly as he is going into a war zone and may be at risk for being caught in the crossfire?

This is partisanship at its worst. And the results were abundantly clear in the ways the city of Providence and the State of Rhode Island could not respond to the needs of the community by enacting emergency management communication on Thursday.

We are lucky to have gotten a “test-drill” and not an even worse emergency with major power outages. Let’s hope we can learn from Thursday’s experience and improve our communication in this divided state.

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3 responses

  1. check out M.Charles Bakst’ column in the ProJo today, it ties in exactly with the point you are making. i am a volunteer with the Rhode Island Medical Reserve Corp. which is funded with some of the wad of Homeland Security money that went to Rhode Island. There is Federal money available to improve our emergency response, if the Governor decides to make it a priority, and there are many talented people who are willing to volunteer their time and skills when there is need.

  2. Jesse from Cranston

    The Station fire.
    The Narragansett Smoke Shop raid.
    And now, this.

    In all three cases, Carcieri was out of the state. And in all three cases, the opportunity to coordinate a response from the Governor’s office was lost. (All right, the Station may be a bit of a stretch, but still…)

    And what answer do we finally get from The Don? A smile, a chuckle, and a “Don’t you dare question how I do things.”

    What a disgrace!

  3. I spent three hours in that ‘inconvenient’ traffic jam. and i got off easy, there were children shivering in school buses, ambulances trying to get through the stalled traffic, a nurses aid i work with had to abandon her car and came back to find it buried in snow and ice so had to miss a days pay because she couldn’t work… and this was just snow. it makes me really worry about what will happen if we don’t learn from this how to prepare for an emergency.

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