Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Proposed Changes to the Personnel Board

From the ADN:

Alaska legislators are talking about changing the law so governors can no longer appoint whoever they want to the state personnel board....

Anchorage Republican Rep. Bob Lynn, who has been supportive of Palin, sponsored a bill that would make the governor pick from a list submitted by the chief justice of the state supreme court. Lynn said it would reassure the public.

"It helps protect and insulate the governor from what could be, and usually is, unfair criticism from the public that you have the fox watching the hen house," Lynn said Tuesday, as the bill passed its first committee....

The current members were all appointed by Republican governors, although two of them aren't registered with a political party....

Lynn said he does not think there's been a problem with the Personnel Board. "But there's always the perception out there and, in politics, perception often becomes reality in the public mind," he said.

Current law says only that the board members can't be state employees and no more than two of the three of can be registered with the same political party. They are appointed by the governor and then confirmed by the Legislature.

Lynn's bill would expand the board to five members. He said that would provide more of a broad range of opinion. The panel would also need to include at least one member from each of the top two political parties in the state.

The governor would be required to pick from a list of at least three nominees from the chief justice of the Alaska Supreme Court, although the governor could reject the entire list and ask the chief justice for another....Lynn described it as a way to deal with potential separation of powers issues involved in the Legislature reducing a governor's ability to make appointments...

Okay. Let's take this piece by piece.

First off, the main point of Bob Lynn's bill seems to be public relations. There's no real problem with the Personnel Board that I can see (they are confirmed by the legislature, they cannot be dismissed without cause, they independently hire their own investigators, and they're not even really state employees), it's just an issue of people claiming that the Board was "whitewashing" the ethics complaints filed against Palin because they're appointed by the Governor.

It should be pointed out that the three members of the board while Palin was Governor had all been appointed by Murkowski (who was no friend to Palin), and she merely reappointed one of them.

The Board also hired an independent investigator for Troopergate and other investigations named Timothy Petumenos. Petumenos is a Democrat who contributed to Tony Knowles' campaign. Knowles was the Democrat candidate who ran against Palin for Governor in 2006, so I hardly think Tim was in Palin's pocket.

As a matter of fact, the McCain campaign was concerned when they heard the news.

I don't really have a problem with Bob's bill. It is, as he said, designed to help "protect and insulate the governor from what could be, and usually is, unfair criticism from the public that you have the fox watching the hen house."

It's really just for PR.

The provisons would be that the governor would have to pick from a list submitted by the chief justice of the state supreme court. But if the governor didn't like anyone on the list, the chief justice would submit another list.

Sounds reasonable.

As for the other two provisions expanding the board to five positions and requiring at least one Dem and one Republican, again, I don't really see a problem with it. I don't think it's necessary, but I don't think it's a problem either.

More from the article:
The Parnell administration didn't object to the bill as it passed from the House State Affairs Committee. The bill next goes to the judiciary committee, chaired by Fairbanks Republican Rep. Jay Ramras. Ramras last year deemed a "whitewash" the report commissioned by the personnel board that found Palin not responsible for any wrongdoing in the so-called Troopergate affair.
Oh the joy. Mr. Corrupty-pants himself.
Zane Henning, who had two ethics complaints against Palin dismissed, last month testified to a legislative committee that elected officials rather than a governor's appointees should oversee the complaints. His concern seemed to resonate with some legislators. "I'm just wondering is there maybe too close of a relationship there," Sen. Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage, asked during that hearing.
More on Zane's frivolous complaints here and here. Let's just say, they were dismissed.

They cannot honestly be considering the idea that partisan legislators who get into daily scuffles with the Governor would be more fair in dealing with ethics complaints than an independent personnel board, whether that board is appointed by the Governor or not. That's crazy. But what do you expect from the guy who thought that Palin giving an interview in her office was unethical?

Oh, and here's Zane Henning's wife:

LOL! "Did Sarah Palin tell you that?" ROTFL!!!

"When you have to pay, you lose." Oh. My. Word.

Eddie, you really should have let her blather on more. When you actually let her talk it was hilarious.

Just to clarify, there was no finding of any guilt on that kids travel issue. The personnel board made sure to outline that there was no wrong-doing. The Governor agreed to pay a certain amount of money back to the state based on a law that, to my knowledge, still hasn't even been written yet. She held herself to a standard that didn't even exist. She paid the money back in an attempt to be above reproach; it wasn't something she had to do. It was a settlement. If they had gone to court, she would have won.

The Governor actually wanted to settle more cases because it was cheaper to just pay the fine than it was to fight the allegation.

And I'm sorry, but I just cannot wrap my head around the kind of person who ignores actual corruption and throws a hissy fit because the Governor wore a jacket. I'm beginning to think that Jesus was yelling at the top of his lungs and pulling his hair out when he said:

"You strain at a gnat, and you swallow a camel!!!!!"

That's kind of what I'm doing right now.

If you ever want to remind yourself of why Palin resigned, just go back and listen to some of these old interviews. You'll marvel that she didn't shoot herself.


Hooi Soon said...

Hey, Uffda, thanks for this write-up on the personnel board. I particularly like the part where you highlight that the Guv has not lost a single case, but she held herself up to a higher standard that to this day still has not been enacted. The bit abt the board apptmts by her predecessor is also impt. These things bear repeating occasionally for those who have not been following the Guv for as long as us 'old-timers'.

Bill589 said...

Mr. Corrupty pants? Oh the vulgarity!!!
I see you can maintain a sense of humor. It’s the best way to handle this stinky-poo-poo, IMHO.