On Union and Restructuring

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We touched on this subject when writing about Governor Sanford’s State of the State Address last week.  We called it the centerpiece of the Governor’s agenda, perhaps his whole administration.  We call it now, an necessary inevitability.

Over the past week, every major newspaper’s editorial board has offered their opinions on this subject; all in support of finally bringing our state’s power structure into a workable matrix that would allow true leadership from the office of the Governor.  If, and we stress if, voters and legislators alike sweep away the political posturing on this topic; what you get is a common sense issue whose time is long overdue.

The arguments against bringing some of the most obvious functions of the executive actually under the purview of the executive are specious at best.  In fact, the only arguement we would entertain is that restructuring would reduce the amount of political fracas every election year. It would certainly limit the fodder for us to write about and reduce the amount of business for political consultants.  All of which saddens us, but not enough to deny our own rational thinking. 

We can only think that if Comptroller General, Richard Eckstrom, were writing this, he would say that despite most citizens not being able to recite his job description; his job is important and affects every one of us.  We imagine that he would say that having to take time away from his job to raise money and run a campaign voters will not pay attention to, is a disservice.  Furthermore, after all that, voters will largely vote down ballot purely based on who’s name the think they recognize.

One of the main arguements against restructuring is that it takes away accountability from voters who would no longer get to close their eyes and randomly push a button, thus casting their vote for a down ballot office.  Actually, the opposite is true.  Consolidating these offices under the direction of the executive makes the Governor accountable, ya know, our head of state. 

Every four years candidates for Governor painstakingly map out their vision for our state.  They talk about improving education, ensuring responsible spending, fixing problems (thinkstate retirement system), preparing for natural disasters (think hurricanes and National Guard); yet when it comes down to it, they don’t have the authority to truely impact or be held accountable for those things.

The bottom line is that the restructuring proposals will reduce government waste and redundancy, make state government more accountable, and allow our leaders to act in an efficient manner on critical issues.  If the Legislature is unsure about all this, then the Senate bill calling for a referendum by the voters will certainly give them the answer they are looking for. 

The time for stalling on this issue because of personal differences between the Legislature and the Governor are over.  Hey, sometimes we think our Governor likes the taste of foot in his mouth, but that doesn’t mean that good policy should suffer.

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