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Va. commission releases 107 recommendations for government efficiency

Rosalind Helderman

Gov. Bob McDonnell's (R) Commission on Government Reform has released a report outlining 107 recommendations to streamline state government, including privatizing the state's liquor stores.

The commission already voted to adopt the recommendations. But Friday was the deadline for the group to put its recommendations in writing.

In a letter accompanying the report, commission chairman Fred Malek writes that the group sifted through 1,700 suggestions from the public to come up with the ideas.

"Our work is far from complete," he writes, promising that the commission will continue to meet through McDonnell's four year term.

The group's recommendations include a proposal to increase the number of state employees who work four-day weeks, to consolidate and eliminate some state boards and commissions, to eliminate some state agency toll-free phone numbers and to shift Virginia's two-year budget cycle, so that governors write two full budgets during their four year terms.

They also proposed new government customer service centers and consolidating different state agency inspector generals into one government-wide inspector general's office.

Some of the changes require General Assembly approval. Others can be ordered by McDonnell.

By Rosalind Helderman  | October 15, 2010; 5:07 PM ET
Categories:  Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman  
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It was a purely political move to appoint Fred Malek the head of the "reform" commission for state government. Malek is long-time Republican fund-raiser, and Bobby McD likely wants to tap the coffers that Malaek can access.

But it was a bad move too, at least for the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia. One must remember that Malek is the guy who wrote H.R. Haldeman, one of Richard Nixon's top aides, that someone in the Nixon administration had to "take the lead in the program to politicize Departments and Agencies" of the federal government. My guess is that many of those "reform" recommendations would lead to the very same in state government; purge capable, dedicated civil servants with political hacks and loyalists. The public be damned.

Malek is also the head of one of the currently-operating Republican 501(c)
organizations that raises money – in some cases, huge amounts from corporations and individuals – without any disclosure of the donors. That money is used to sway voters (often with grossly misleading and inaccurate TV and radio ads) and influence favor of the big money. But there is no accountability; no way for voters to know who is funding the propaganda.

And that's exactly the way Malek, McD and other conservatives like it. Government that is not "of the people, by the people, and for the people," but government that represents the interests of the wealthy.

Didn't we fight a revolution over that?

Posted by: mcrockett1 | October 16, 2010 6:55 AM | Report abuse

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