Monday, October 15, 2012, 3:21 PM

Raleigh Ripe For Job Seekers – political experience a plus.

The real perk of the incoming governor is finding meaningful work for qualified supporters and allies; they get hired into what used to be called patronage jobs but are now more aptly termed exempt positions.  In January, when our new governor takes office, he (it’s gonna be a “he” this time) will have a cool one thousand of these exempt positions to fill – up 900 from what our current governor had.

Buried in the 2012 state budget is a statutory rewrite to The State Personnel Act that increases the number of folks who work at the pleasure of from 100 to 1,000. That is staggering for many reasons, one of which is that these are not newly created jobs but jobs that are moving from a civil service-type designation to political.

The 1,000 number is misleading; if the governor wants additional exempt positions he will just list them and forward the list to the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. If the legislature is in session and no legislative action is taken on the request within 30 days, the request is deemed approved.

Remember that this budget was passed by the legislature, vetoed by the governor, and overridden by the legislature -- so this ceding of legislative power was intentional.  But is it constitutional?

And is it unfair? The Republicans smell a victory in November, and the last time a Republican governor was doing the hiring was 1992. If the Republicans win the right to govern our state, should that not include the right to choose the policy-makers that shape its future?

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