Thursday, April 15, 2004

PiPress: "Let governor choose his team" 

After the BarSpitoon's hatchet job Sunday, it is four days later when the Pioneer Press comes round to the idea that commissioners should be confirmed regardless of their politics.
We believe quite strongly that a governor should be able to populate his cabinet with the commissioners of his choice, provided they are qualified, ethical and have a clean legal record.

Minnesota is ill-served by a confirmation process that threatens to descend into Washington-like partisan warfare. Such a system can only serve to convince good people that public service is a bad career choice. Such a system can only result in further partisan gamesmanship. Such a system is a prescription for gridlock at a time when Minnesota state government desperately needs collaboration, cooperation and a shared sense of purpose and the common good.


The Senate should move quickly to confirm Yecke and Molnau (and Rich Stanek at Public Safety and Pawlenty's remaining upper management choices, for that matter). Let the governor govern with the management team of his choice.

Ultimately, Gov. Pawlenty � and his cabinet � will answer to the voters for those choices. That's as it has always been. And as it should be.

UPDATE: The Daily Globe of Worthington agrees.
Bringing out all the juicy adjectives that are often thrown around in these cases, DFLers accuse Yecke of being an extremist right-winger, an ideological zealot who wishes to dictate strongly conservative education standards on an unwilling public.

... In the larger picture, however, this is not just about Molnau and Yecke. It's about using the confirmation process as a political tool. We think it is better to abandon the political posturing and remember that Pawlenty himself said he refuses to play along with "political hostage-taking."