Is Beshear already lying about his personnel plans? (Part Two)
With the merit system investigation being the Democrats' sole focal point of the recent gubernatorial election, it stands to reason that during the campaign and afterwards, Steve Beshear has said over and over again that he and his appointees will take great care to honor the merit system and the employees therein.
That may or may not be true -- and we're leaning toward "may not," given Beshear's track record and the history of his party's abuses of power while in office -- but someone needs to get that same message out to Beshear's operatives.
We've been hearing plenty of stories that give us more pause about how well the personnel laws will be obeyed than anything Greg Stumbo's goons took out of 200 Mero Street in boxes back in the spring of 2005.
Beshear's hacks and cronies in state government are already flexing their newfound political muscle. Some of them were already flexing it, even before the election.
We already know that there was a Democrat patronage system in place for state merit system hiring decisions and still in operation even after Ernie Fletcher was elected in 2003. Most of the mid-level managers in state government were products of the old-line Democrat patronage system. They owed their jobs and their loyalties to the Democrats and were just biding their time until the evil Republican Fletcher was out of office. They took their directives from Democrat elected officials and local party leaders, especially when it came to personnel decisions. In many cases where the Fletcher administration preferred one job applicant and the local Democrat hierarchy supported another, the Democrat preference won out. The thinking was that the continued loyalty would result in rewards when the Democrats got back in power and retook control of the executive branch.
The election results have emboldened these people, who obstructed nearly every Fletcher administration policy and procedure they could the past few years, often past the point of insubordination.
We've heard of one instance in Transportation that portends what's on the horizon. Several weeks prior to the election, during a heated discussion between two merit system employees, an open Beshear supporter threatened someone believed to be sympathetic to and supportive of Fletcher with negative employment consequences after the election. The Beshear supporter is expecting to have some clout and influence with the incoming administration. This was reported to Transportation's higher-ups, but nothing was done. The Cabinet leadership is on its way out the door, and the inspector general is sympathetic to the Democrats and unsympathetic to the Fletcher administration. This has left one employee thumping his chest and another employee wondering if she'll even have a job after next week.
Perhaps more troubling, we've heard of instances where members of Beshear's transition team and merit system employees who supported Beshear are discussing the possibilty of being promoted into merit jobs that are either currently vacant or where vacancies are anticipated. The transition team members are basically in the process of preselecting candidates for promotion within the merit system, and the Beshear supporters are trying to elicit political support as they seek promotions.
Seems like this is what the Fletcher adminstration was accused of doing, doesn't it?
The Democrats have a horrible track record of compliance with the merit system laws, and Beshear's personal history on this subject dating back to his days as attorney general is particularly troubling. The vast majority of people in this state have an uninformed and just plain wrong perception of what actually happened under the Fletcher administration. But even if you accept their perceptions as truth, you ain't seen nothing yet.
Democrats are already trying to position themselves for promotions within the merit system. If they begin to cannibalize themselves in a hunger for power after being out of power for only four short years, will any of this go public? The media has already said that the Beshear administration will invite greater scrutiny on itself for personnel decisions because of what happened the past four years, but will the Democrat sympathizers in the press actually supply that scrutiny?
Judging from what we know and what we've seen so far, they won't. Beshear and his supporters are already lying about their respect for the merit system, but the press has been silent to this point. We aren't surprised.