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Carcieri, Roberts, and last week's snow storm

The ProJo leads today's paper with the question "Who's in charge here?" and a prominent picture of Governor Carcieri. Here are some of the highlights from the story about the governor's response to last week's snow storm.

Carcieri said he knew nothing about what was happening back in Rhode Island because he was flying from Kuwait to Afghanistan — and probably sleeping — while the storm and the epic traffic jam it created choked most of the state’s major arteries ....

.... "What was missing? There was no single voice communicating what was going on. That’s what was missing. That’s what I would have been doing had I been here.”

In his absence, he said, Adj. Gen. Robert T. Bray “was responsible for doing that.”

With Bray looking on at yesterday’s State House news conference, Carcieri said: “What did not happen here is that General Bray was not in that position, wasn’t doing that … From now on, he will.” ....

Asked yesterday who was in charge of the state in his absence, during the snowstorm, Carcieri pointed to state police Supt. Brendan Doherty and DOT Director Williams.

The governor also defended his decision not to tell Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts that he was leaving the country, a story that was first reported here last week.

Isn't there more than a little dissonance here? No disrespect to General Bray, but he wasn't elected to his position. Neither were Colonel Doherty or Jerry Williams. The governor identifies what was missing as a "single voice communicating what was going on." Is it too much to expect that the the state's second-ranking elected official, in the absence of the governor, be given that authority? Apparently so.

I don't suggest that things would necessarily be any better with a Democratic governor and a Republican lieutenant governor, but it's pretty silly when clashing party affiliations get in the way of informing the public.

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