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Moore: Raimondo Badmouths Deloitte, Then Breaks Bread With Them

Monday, February 20, 2017

 

Gina Raimondo

I’ve always thought that the best way to discern a person’s true thoughts and feelings isn’t by listening to what they say, but by watching what they do.

That’s because actions tend not to lie in the way that words do so often.

For instance, we’ve all met people who complain about their lot in life, but do little to change anything. They complain about their jobs, but never look for a new one. They say they want to lose weight, but they don’t start a new diet or exercise plan. You get the idea.

These types of people aren’t looking for change, just excuses for inertia.

I’m starting to think Governor Gina Raimondo is one of these types of people.

No Hard Feelings

How else could we explain the Governor spent one day last week complaining about the UHIP fiasco and laying the lion-share of the blame at the feet of Deloitte, the technology company hired to implement the new system that pays benefits to some of the state’s neediest people.

"We paid them a lot of money, we didn’t get what we paid for," Raimondo said on Wednesday, of Deloitte's involvement in the UHIP debacle. "And they represented to us that it was in much better shape than in fact it was: defective functionality, incomplete interfaces, engines that still aren’t working."

The Governor even went so far as to imply the threat of legal action against the company.

Yet on Friday, the Governor was traveling to Silicon Valley to speak at a conference sponsored by...Deloitte. The event was called  "Girls Who Code" and was convened by Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.

Breaking Bread

I’m not sure what was said at the conference, other than a bunch of feel good platitudes about how we need to expand feminism, get more women involved in the tech industry, and level the playing field.

No doubt, I’m sure it was a great opportunity for the Governor to network and expand her personal contacts on the national level. It was good for her.

Yet what about the Rhode Islanders who have suffered lapses in their benefit payments thanks to what Raimondo described as Deloitte’s negligence? Did nobody on the Governor’s communications or other high level staff take a look at the situation unfolding and think maybe, just maybe the Governor shouldn’t be speaking at a Deloitte sponsored conference just two days after lambasting them at a press conference?

I guess not.

First Southwest Redux

This isn’t the first time the Governor rewarded a contractor that didn’t do right by the people of Rhode Island. Remember the 38 Studios debacle? The firm that served as the state’s financial adviser on the deal, then called First Southwest, gave the state the disastrous advice to move forward with the deal. When it all fell down, the state sued the company for, among other things, fraud.

At the time, Raimondo was General Treasurer. She kept the company on as the state’s fiscal adviser, despite the fact that Rhode Island was suing them. It wasn’t until last year that General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, to his credit, replaced the firm.

It didn’t matter. The Governor still cruised to victory in the Gubernatorial election in 2014.

Yet even for for Governor Gina Raimondo, the timing of this latest faux pas was stunning.

I’ll say this about the Governor: this Rhodes Scholar doesn’t seem to be intimidated by the appearance of impropriety.

Do the people of Rhode Island care? What’s your apathy level at today?

Russell J. Moore has worked on both sides of the desk in Rhode Island media, both for newspapers and on political campaigns. Send him email at [email protected]. Follow him on twitter @russmoore713.

 

UHIP Assessment Report to Governor Raimondo

 

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