Thursday, November 18, 2010

Is Strickland's shadow government already in place?

Yesterday we took a look at a very interesting quote from Ted Strickland.

Specifically, the Governor said:
“I wouldn’t call what we’re contemplating a shadow government, but you might,” he said with a laugh. “I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me. I think we all do. We’re going to make sure the incoming administration adheres to high ethical standards. We’re going to continue to fight.”
Shadow government. According to him, that's what we may want to consider identifying what he's planning to do.

So what would a shadow government entail?

Well, an important aspect of it could include people inside the government that are able to fight the will of the Kasich Administration. But how would that happen?

Well, if there were any Strickland allies within Kasich's executive branch, they'd have access to internal information and also be in a position to make news if they decided to protest a decision or action made by the Kasich administration. Think about what happened when member of the Strickland Administration dug up information on Joe the Plumber. Now you can see the potential.

Well, let's connect that to one of the stories of the week - right now there are 198 Strickland appointees waiting for approval by the State Senate. There is some debate as to how many of them should be given the go ahead and how many should be rejected and replaced with Kasich appointees.

90 are Democrats. 35 are Republicans. The rest are unaffiliated.

Now some of these appointees are for relatively harmless panels and boards (which makes me question why they exist at all), and others are in more vital positions.

Does all this mean Strickland is working to coordinate a shadow government by trying to push through his appointees? No, not necessarily. After all, previous Administrations have utilized appointments from their predecessors.

But at the same time, I can't think of any time where a sitting Governor has gone so far as to state his willingness to set-up a shadow government after he left office.

Think about that for a moment. It's one thing to simply say you want to hold the new Governor accountable. But using the words 'shadow government' takes things to a whole new level.

Now, after calling for a shadow government, Strickland is asking for his appointees to be approved by the State Senate.

Excuse the Republicans if that leaves them a bit skeptical.

Onto another interesting aspect of Strickland's statement.

The Governor said he will ensure Kasich "adheres to high ethical standards".

Seriously, Ted?

For the sake of all Ohioans, I hope Kasich comes nowhere close to the level of ethical standards exhibited by the Strickland Administration.

January 10th seems much too far away right now.


  1. The issue here is the size of the standing government and the depth to which appointees descend in the various agencies

    In otherwords if Kasich can fire Strickland's appointees and replace them with his own, but he cannot otherwise alter the nature of the work force, he will always face a threat of embarrassing leaks.

    For example, look at how the standing Federal government treated George W Bush. Mr Bush could only winnow out the very top layers of these agencies, leaving career civil servants in place. If those folks don't approve of Mr Bush's policies they are in a perfect position to thwart them via inaction, leaks, slow downs, bureaucratic shuffling and the like. the infamous NEA stands as a paradigm of civil service insouciance.

    The perogatives of the electorate are therefore diminished. We don't get the government we voted for. Instead we get the best compromise between the folks we elected and the unaccountable, unfireable civil servants whose lips are firmly wrapped around the public nipple.

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