Trust Chafee? You’re Kidding, Right?
My, how quickly Governor Chafee can change his opinion on things. First, on January 10th of this year, his office issued a press release that began:
Governor Lincoln D. Chafee Announces New Transparency and Accountability Initiative, Signs Supporting Executive Order
Providence, RI – In his continuing efforts to promote open and honest government in the State of Rhode Island, Governor Lincoln D. Chafee today announced a new Transparency and Accountability Initiative. The goal of the Initiative is to provide the public with an increased level of information regarding the operation and management of government, as well as ensuring the most efficient use of taxpayer dollars.
Beginning today, Rhode Islanders will have access to a number of documents that have already been uploaded to the Rhode Island state government Transparency Portal (www.transparency.ri.gov). Over the next 18 months (on a rolling basis), the state will continue to add financial reports, audits, forms, and other financial information such as contracts, grants and quasi-public agency expenditures.
“The people of Rhode Island deserve more and better information about the operation and management of their government,” said Governor Chafee.
However, today NBC 10’s Bill Rappleye reported:
Gov. Lincoln Chafee said Friday, he’s learned of waste and fraud in the state’s Medicaid system, and that the fraud involves food stamps too.
Chafee told NBC 10 during a taping of “10 News Conference” that he does not intend to tell the public about what he’s found and instead working on closing the gaps that allow cheating.
Does not intend to tell the public? Wait, what? Can I re-read that press release? Lemme see, “Chafee today announced a new Transparency and Accountability Initiative” and “to promote a more open and honest government.” Really? He was just joking, right?
In the News Conference video, Rappleye even asks Chafee “What happened to transparency?” to which Chafee responds, “You’re heckling me here.” I’m not exactly sure how a media member asking the Governor to live up to his own promise, less than two months old, can be considered “heckling.” Not once during the pointed questioning did Chafee ever say that the public will be allowed to see the contents of the report and Chafee also stated that he is not trying to avoid embarrassing anyone in his administration by releasing the report.
Can someone please explain again those green and blue campaign signs we saw two years ago? “Trust Chafee” Are you kidding me? First he signs his own decree for transparency and then about six weeks later he refuses to release a report detailing fraud and waste of taxpayer money? This is baffling, to put it nicely. November 2014 can’t come soon enough for this Governor’s seat.