General Treasurer’s Letter About Gay Marriage: Was State Letterhead Appropriate?

As of late last week, the House Judiciary Committee was scheduled to vote on a gay marriage bill tomorrow.
Around ten days ago, General Treasurer Raimondo sent a letter to Speaker Fox and Senate President Paiva-Weed expressing strong support for the passage of gay marriage in Rhode Island. Anchor Rising obtained a copy of the letter, available here as a PDF. She sent it on the letterhead of the “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations | General Treasurer” and signed it as the General Treasurer.
Full disclosure: my personal views on the matter can probably best be described as lame. I neither strongly oppose nor strongly support it. If it goes to referendum, I would most likely vote against the measure, though I don’t feel strongly enough about it to write something on the issue itself, rally at the State House or lobby my elected officials on the matter.
Of COURSE, the General Treasurer – and all elected officials – have the absolute right to do what I don’t feel compelled in this case to do: to contact Rhode Island’s elected officials and express their views about any pending legislation. The issue here is the action of a General Officer of the state expressing his or her view on a matter that does not pertain to his or her office but giving those personal views the weight and amplification of the office by transmitting them on General Office letterhead as a General Officer.
Am I out of line in viewing this as an inappropriate use, possibly abuse, of the power and prestige of an elected office?
[Monique is Deputy Editor of the RISC-Y Business Newsletter.]

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
8 years ago

“I am writing to express my strong support”
The “I” and “my” make this an expression of a personal opinion, therefore state letterhead is inappropriate.
Monique, my opinions on the matter mirror yours, I would also prefer a plebiscite. On balance, I suppose I oppose it. Owing to the low state to which marriage has fallen, I cannot really get worked up about it.

Ken Block
Ken Block
8 years ago

Raimondo IS the General Treasurer. Most everything she does is in the public eye and therefore in one way or the other linked to her job (except in my opinion the blatant fund raising from day one for the RI Governor’s race, which is a different beef for a different day).
I don’t see any wrong or harm in her using the letterhead of her position to communicate her stance on anything. Of course, why a Treasurer needs to weigh in on SSM is an issue up for debate, but except for that argument I just don’t see the wrong or harm.

Max D.
Max D.
8 years ago

“Of course, why a Treasurer needs to weigh in on SSM is an issue up for debate, but except for that argument I just don’t see the wrong or harm.”
There’s no debate. She’s has higher political aspirations and she couldn’t let such a large issue pass by without weighing in. It might not be an issue when she starts publicly campaigning. She needs to reconnect with the left ASAP after the pension ‘reform’ and will be taking every opportunity. Has she hit on gun laws yet? Maybe she has. If not wait for it. She really showed her true political colors supporting Cicilline. She’s just another clown in the circus know as Rhode Island. You can’t run on integrity in this state. Look what happened to Doherty.

Show your support for Anchor Rising with a 25-cent-per-day subscription.