GOP-controlled Ohio Turnpike hiring GOPpers - outrage on the left

February 19, 2012

The Ohio Turnpike tends to reflect the state governor's politics at the top. So after Republican John Kasich defeated the Democrats in the last state election the former Democrat politician-CEO George Distel stepped down. Distel, an appointee under Kasich's predecessor Democrat Gov Ted Strickland was replaced by a former Republican pol Richard Hodges last November.

Hodges did compete against other candidates for the job, and the Turnpike Commission chairman said at the time Hodges was "clearly the best" of five contenders.

Of course one of the qualities being looked for was the ability to get along with the governor of the day, so his GOP affiliation likely helped quite a lot.

Now Hodges has appointed as Turnpike 'government affairs director' (lobbyist) a long time GOP activist and Ohio Republican Party staffer - Adam Greenslade.

Greenslade was first appointed a commissioner but resigned to go for the government affairs staff position.

Director of Ops too

The Turnpike's new director of operations Dale Perram is a Republican too according to local reports. But Hodges says he chose Perram because of his business experience and electrical engineering background.

This has all generated much outrage among lefty/Democrat commentators - as seen at the website and at the Plain Dealer newspaper. Too many Republicans are getting jobs at the Turnpike, they say.

Privatize to Depoliticize?

Of course if you really want the Turnpike to be non-political then the best bet is to privatize it via a sale or longterm  lease and concession.  Then the controlling board of directors would be appointed by investors not politicians.

But the lefty/Democrat commentators don't want that either.

They're happy to have the Turnpike political, though they don't call it that, when their lot is making the appointments. But they contrive much righteous indignation against "political appointments" after they've lost the election.

TOLLROADSnews 2012-02-19

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