Sunday, September 11, 2005

 

AG fails vigilance test

When even the small-town papers are dismissing your candidacy this early in the race, you're pretty well done.

From a Willoughby New-Herald editorial:
Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro's political aspirations to be governor are sinking with his slow response to problems at the state Bureau of Workers' Compensation.

. . .

Petro's duties compel him to serve as our watchdog over legal matters involving state government. If there's even a hint that something is wrong, it's time to get answers.
The SEC information should have initiated a deeper probe to learn how big the fire was where this smoke billowed.

The concern about Petro's response isn't that he didn't do this job. The problem is he didn't display the required level of vigilance when he had an opportunity to peel the lid off this scandal.

In light of the millions of dollars now missing, some argue that questioning bureau leaders about the SEC letter might have led to other discoveries. Maybe attorneys would have uncovered red flags by auditors about bureau investments that lost a lot of money.
Possibly, it would have been the catalyst for a conversation with state Auditor Betty Montgomery, who also wants to be governor. At the very least, it should have been checked into. There was no drive to find answers.

When Gov. Taft acknowledged he committed state ethics violations, his insistence to stay in office relegated him to being a wholly impotent leader. Will Petro's albatross - the real or perceived lack of action as watchdog - lead to his political undoing?

The reality is the BWC scandal has become Ohio's political tsunami for Republicans and it's still uncertain who will get caught in its wake.
[Update: You spelling vigilentes and bee-boys should mind your own business. But thanks for the tip.]

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