JUST THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR'S OFFICE? ABOLISH EM' ALL BOBBY!
by JIM BROWN (excerpt)
A number two guy in Louisiana? Lieutenant Governor! What Lieutenant Governor? If Gov. Bobby Jindal has his way, the number two spot in the state hierarchy is a gone pecan. But hey Governor, why stop there? Do we really need more elected public officials than any state in the country?
What about other statewide offices? How many are really that critical to protecting the public interest that they require a statewide election? Jindal has suggested the Secretary of State should be the second in line to be elected. I know something about this job, holding it for two terms and being unopposed my re- election. The duties are important: overseeing corporate filings, running the election process, and administering the state archives. But most of this is ministerial. No major policy involved, and the job is appointed in numerous states, particularly the bigger states like Florida, Texas, and New York. By the way, the constitution in Louisiana charges the Secretary of State with being the keeper of the Great Seal. I spent eight years looking for this major symbol of the state’s identity but never found it.
Agriculture commissioner? An overwhelmingly appointed job throughout the country. And electing the insurance commissioner is a dying process. Only 12 states presently elect their insurance commissioner. California does elect, but the present commissioner has called for the office to be appointed in the future. I held this office, too, for 12 years, and can say from experience that having an elected commissioner brings no special benefit to the office. If anything, appointing the job stops all the campaign fund raising from the insurance companies that the commissioner is supposed to be regulating.