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.