Tuesday, February 14, 2006

 

Nepotism, Democratic-style

The Bush administration has gotten a lot of heat lately for hiring cronies to important positions in government. Michael Brown, former head of FEMA and the idiot who drowned New Orleans, was a college buddy of Joe Allbaugh, chief of staff for Bush when he was governor of Texas, Bush's campaign manager in the 2000 run, and former head of FEMA. George Deutsch, the 24-year-old non-graduate of Texas A&M and public affairs officer for NASA -- who injected political spin into scientific reports -- worked for the Bush/Cheney 2004 campaign. These appointments have done untold damage to the country. Brown is repsonsible for the death of hundreds. Deutsch contributed to the Christian right's jihad against science and interfered with important information on global warming. So now Governor Schweitzer's college roommate, Joe Maurier, was named the new head of Montana state parks. Are we seeing Democratic nepotism at work? Maybe. But with one difference: Maurier is actually qualified for his position.
Maurier worked for Colorado State Parks for 25 years, said Chris Smith, chief of staff at Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Maurier started as a ranger and worked his way up to deputy director, retiring last year through an early retirement incentive program. The fact that Maurier helped run Colorado's state parks when that state experienced rapid population growth gave him an edge over the other candidates, all Montanans, Smith said.
That's an essential difference between Democrats and Republicans. Republicans, with an avowed contempt for government, seek to use important administrative appointments to either spread their ideology, reward old drinking buddies with cushy desk jobs, or to enrich themselves. Democrats seek to govern responsibly.
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