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Big Staff for Big Agendas

Here’s a gem from the Albuquerque Journal (subscription):

But the number of so-called exempt employees serving at the pleasure of the governor had jumped from 292 to 437 an increase of 145 or nearly 50 percent.

The governor’s own office staff has nearly doubled in size, from 27 to 49, since Richardson succeeded Republican Gov. Gary Johnson.

The administration required the Journal to obtain the classified and exempt employee numbers by a written request under the state Inspection of Public Records Act.

Political observations on the employment changes break down along predictable lines. Critics call it a power grab; supporters say it’s essential for success.

Dave Contarino, Richardson’s chief of staff, said the governor needs more employees who are accountable to him in order to achieve his ambitious agenda for New Mexico.

Well, that last sentence is interesting. A quick review on the Governor’s progress on “his ambitious agenda” is in order. It can be found here. Apparently, Mr. Contarino must be talking about some other agenda. My guess is he must be talking about this in order to achieve this. Speaking of which, I’m still waiting for one of the newspapers to run a story comparing the number of days Governor Richardson has spent in the state against the number of days out of state over the last twelve months. If someone wants to send me a note with how to collect this information, I’ll be glad to do it.