Ken Block

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee has released a new report on Medicaid fraud. Lawmakers and citizen groups had been pressuring Chafee to make the report public.

And, after declining for fear of jeopardizing fraud investigations, Chafee finally released the report, along with several proposed anti-fraud bills and a timeline of his administration’s efforts over the past few years to crack down on corruption.  

Governor Lincoln Chafee Defends Report Secrecy

Mar 12, 2013
Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee
Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee is trying to explain why he’s withholding a report that details waste, fraud and abuse in the state’s Medicaid and food stamp programs. The report was done by former Moderate Party gubernatorial candidate Ken Block.  Chafee says he asked Block to conduct the investigation about a year ago. But now that it’s done, the governor is refusing to release it.

Searching for waste and fraud in government would seem to be a win-win for a governor. Yet Lincoln Chafee has received the brunt of a critical backlash by declining to make public Ken Block's report on that subject. In an effort to explain himself, Chafee has released this statement:

Governor Lincoln Chafee is throwing his support behind eliminating the master lever.

“It is time for Rhode Island to join the majority of states and eliminate the Master Lever from the ballot,” said Governor Chafee. “Any mechanism that contributes to voter confusion – and worse, voter disenfranchisement – should not be on the ballot. Its time has come.”

In a news release, the governor says eliminating the master lever will further align Rhode Island with neighboring states and provide its citizens with more open and transparent government. 

(PROVIDENCE, RI) Moderate Party founder Ken Block is leading a new effort to eliminate straight-ticket voting in Rhode Island. Critics say the so-called master lever makes it more difficult to challenge the ruling Democratic Party.

Block has created a Web site, masterlever.org, with an online petition calling for eliminating the master lever. He says straight-ticket voting has a distorting effect on politics in Rhode Island.

Everything pales in comparison to the horrific news today from Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman killed more than two-dozen people, including 20 children. Governor Lincoln Chafee says state officials have offered to assist their counterparts in Connecticut . . . . Here's my countdown for the week: 

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