Writings and observations

Who gets appointed, and larger complexion

Probably the largest single power a state governor has is the power of appointment, and most of the time it’s not much reviewed. In Oregon, as Governor Ted Kulognoski takes his departure (tomorrow), a review of one set of his appointments from Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis:

Governor Ted Kulongoski, one-time Attorney General and one-time friend of many in Oregon law enforcement, has been making it very clear since early in his second term that he has stopped listening to many of us who helped get him elected. He is instead listening to the criminal defense zealots who think that whenever virtually anyone is locked up our system has failed.

Almost without exception, Governor Kulongoski has appointed criminal defense lawyers to judicial positions and has failed to take the counsel of the 72 elected sheriffs and DAs, many of whom helped him get elected in both 2002 and 2006.

No particular comment here on whether Marquis’ argument is right. But it’s something that ought to be tracked. Ridenbaugh Press’ three Public Affairs Digest weekly publications (the next ones come out early tomorrow) note appointment of judges, and usually a bit about their background, but we haven’t been tracking whether there’s an overabundance of one type of background – a significant point that Marquis gets at. We’ll start doing that.

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