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Lueders Article on Regulators

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Lueders Article on Regulators

Postby gargantua » Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:41 pm

I enjoyed the article, and thought it well done. As a former member of a state agency that had some regulatory responsibilities, I thought it lacked one crucial element. That is, the role of politicians, particularly in the executive branch, in constraining career civil servants. I have heard about calls from the governor's office threatening the job of the 3rd highest ranking official in my agency for not being effective enough in keeping the career civil servants in the agency from doing their jobs. Happened to be affecting the profitability of firms that were doing work related to projects that were dear to the governor. My point is simply this: Don't assume the people in regulatory positions don't want to do their jobs. More likely than not, they are prevented from doing them by people who have real authority.
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Re: Lueders Article on Regulators

Postby David Blaska » Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:10 pm

gargantua wrote:Don't assume the people in regulatory positions don't want to do their jobs. More likely than not, they are prevented from doing them by people who have real authority.


And that would be, whom? The elected representatives of ... The PEOPLE?
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Re: Lueders Article on Regulators

Postby gargantua » Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:00 pm

David Blaska wrote:
gargantua wrote:Don't assume the people in regulatory positions don't want to do their jobs. More likely than not, they are prevented from doing them by people who have real authority.


And that would be, whom? The elected representatives of ... The PEOPLE?


Yes Dave. The ones who are in office thanks in large part to the campaign contributions of regulated industries. Is it your position that campaign contributors don't have more access to said elected representatives than your average citizen?

And to be fair, elected representatives often do act on behalf of average citizens, and properly so. I really don't think I said that the bureaucrats are always right. But you have to be really naive to think that all political intervention is benign.
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Re: Lueders Article on Regulators

Postby David Blaska » Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:09 pm

Or that the bureaucracy is public interested.
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Re: Lueders Article on Regulators

Postby gargantua » Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:31 pm

David Blaska wrote:Or that the bureaucracy is public interested.


Obviously, you're entitled to your opinion Dave, but that is very insulting to an awful lot of dedicated people. They don't all see the big picture all the time, and they sure aren't perfect, but to just say they don't care about the public interest...I'd like to think you're better than that. Public or private sector, most people want their jobs and their lives to matter. There are always exceptions, but people should not be thoughtlessly belittled. Even public employees.
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Re: Lueders Article on Regulators

Postby David Blaska » Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:34 pm

In all sincerity, no insult intended. I've worked both sides of that street: as a civil servant and a political creature. Ultimately, we live in a democracy, which means the people shall rule. Their hired civil servants must serve the public will, not their own version of same. I said this when I served under Tommy Thompson; I said this when I served under James E. Doyle.
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Re: Lueders Article on Regulators

Postby gargantua » Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:57 pm

I agree with you I think. I had a role that involved often correcting honest civil servants who could sometimes get a little carried away. We'd fix it. With respect to Bill's article, I saw an occasion in which very sincere people thought the Governor's office might be compromising public safety...not on purpose. I was talking about the context of Bill's article. I have suggestions about some open records requests if he's interested. Fortunately, no one has been hurt to my knowledge...but the issues are interesting. I really have no ax to grind here, other than it would be helpful for people to understand how the world works with respect to public policy. I'd like to think we agree there is a lot of gray in dealing with those issues. To me, the little guy isn't on a level playing field. At least, that has not been my experience.
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Re: Lueders Article on Regulators

Postby Stu Levitan » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:41 am

I'm a civil service employee with significant independent authority over state and local labor relations. No political appointee or agent has ever attempted to influence or affect my decisions.
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Re: Lueders Article on Regulators

Postby massimo » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:51 am

The cynic in me, then, calls into question the actual significance of your authority.

The optimist in me takes that as evidence that the system isn't *completely* broken.
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