Friday, November 18, 2005
run that by me again...
This is a confession shelfers. I broke one of my own rules. In a brief moment of confusion, I actually read something from Time magazine. I was in someone's office and saw it open to an article that drew my attention. The line of small text at the top of the page read, "The WORST Governors in America". I didn't realize which periodical I was reading, but the first nominee in the article had me agreeing with it. It was Governor Bob Taft of Ohio. If you aren't very familiar with him I'll give you a brief run-down. As governor, the article states that he is "widely considered an inept and ineffective leader". The worst though is his failing to report 47 golf outings paid for by other individuals, who were most likely whispering in his ear whilst the good Guv picked his sand wedge. Can we say "Corruption"? I mean, 47 golfing trips! If he didn't report those, I wonder what else went unreported.
next on the list was the infamous Governor Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana. Do I really need to explain how she made the cut? Borrowing a word from Gov. Taft's bio, with Gov. Blanco ineptitude is served up by the bucket. Until the whole natural disaster thing brought her into the spotlight, I hadn't a clue about her performance. Even though she was not solely to blame (I think Mayor Nagin is swinging the other end of this jump-rope) for the horrible way in which the disaster was handled, it did peak interest in her pitiful performance in the office. In reference to the Hurricane evacuation (or lack of) that she and the Mayor encouraged, it somewhat resembled Hanna Barbera's Wacky Races with the two playing the role of Dick Dastardly and Muttley. I'm not saying I would have been perfect in that situation, but even wild animals know to run to the hills in that situation. Hurricane's aside, look at the pitiful condition of the state she leads PRIOR to the disaster. There was quite a bit of lavish spending as well as spending of allocated monies to other, unnecessary projects. She was pretty much a no-brainer for this list.
Then there was the last Governor on this countdown of the Worst Governors. Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina. He's too frugal it says. Wait,.....run that by me again. He's too frugal? This is where I finally realized what magazine was reading. Only Time magazine would print a list of the Worst Governors and include one who is "too frugal" with a man charged in a government corruption scandal and a woman who co-authored the biggest crisis response situation in our country's history. The story starts of by telling us that "as a U.S. representative in the 90's", he "slept on an office futon instead of renting a Washington apartment" with taxpayer money. Does anyone out there have a problem with that? The major attack the story pitches towards him is the state's slip from a AAA rating in the S&P to an AA+ "citing unemployment of 6.3% and a per capita income of $27,172" and the failure of his state to win a bid for an Airbus plant. Does this mean that the Governor went around the state firing people one by one from their jobs and forcing their bosses to pay them just under $30,000 a year? Somehow I don't think he did that. Personally, I know a lot of people who would love to get a job paying that much. Airbus eventually went to Mobile, Alabama citing a location with much closer water access and a commitment from the Alabama legislature "to get Airbus an Air Force contract to build refueling tankers" also "the Mobile site is near a deep-water berth, allowing large assemblies, some more than 20 feet tall, to move less than 2,000 feet from a ship into the plant for assembly."Another "negative" in the article was the retelling of Governor Sanford's protest of the state legislature's pork barrel spending by releasing to piglets (who had the words "pork" and "barrel" written on them) into the assembly hall whilst they were meeting. I don't know about you Shelfers, but I'm not disgusted. I'm impressed. How Often do we hear newspapers and other media outlets attack politicians for overspending and creating a huge deficit? Anyone seen the details on the Alaskan "bridge to nowhere" that's been all over the news? Why is it that in a country where the need for government frugality is constantly preached, a man is put on the list of our country's WORST Governors for practicing just that? Yet again I wonder: What is Time thinking? Are they thinking? Shelfers, I did a google search on each of the three "WORST" Governors. The search on each, of course, had your standard state homepage and government listings, but the other results were telling. On the first page of listings in the search I did for Bob Taft, one of the listing titles is, "Taft admits ethics violations". The search for Kathleen Blanco has the listings, "Kathleen Blanco:Failure" and "Impeach Kathleen Blanco". Then came the third. The first page for the Mark Sanford search produced three "Draft Mark Sanford for President 2008" links. These are three different links from the private sector, not ones sponsored by him or his staff. Does that tell you something? It tells me that I'm right about Time magazine and I need to make sure I obey my own rules. Lastly Shelfers, notice that I never mentioned to which party these individuals belong. That's because, like we always say here at the shelf, "do not elect the party, only the individual".
Please feel free to comment if the need strikes you.
Deeds, not words shall speak me.