The Office of Governmental Accountability and the nine formerly independent state watchdog agencies that the OGA gobbled up in 2011 have been a lousy fit.
The current nasty fight between OGA executive administrator Shelby Brown and Michael Brandi, executive director of one of the principal watchdogs, the State Elections Enforcement Commission, shows why.
Throwing these agencies together administratively hasn’t saved much money. It has robbed the elections commission and other vitally important agencies such as the Office of State Ethics and the Freedom of Information Commission of needed personnel.
It has slowed their regulatory pace. That’s a loss for people who prize clean elections, ethical behavior by public officials and open government.
And because the governor has the final say in picking the OGA’s executive administrator, he or she has a perch from which to bully any watchdog who has fallen out of favor. After all, Ms. Brown, the OGA boss, has said in no uncertain terms that “I work for the governor.” [Read More]