A move is again afoot to make some of Oklahoma's statewide offices appointive instead of elective. What's new this time is that a key supporter holds one of the offices.
Labor Commissioner Mark Costello last week testified in favor of Senate Bill 598 by Sen. Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City. It would allow the people to vote on whether the governor should appoint the labor commissioner, insurance commissioner and state schools superintendent, beginning in 2018. Costello, a Republican elected in 2010, says the governor should have the leeway to appoint heads of state agencies.
We've long said that the labor and insurance posts are jobs for which competence instead of party affiliation should be the foremost requirement. Including the schools superintendent in this proposal may reflect dissatisfaction with the job done thus far by incumbent Janet Barresi, but at least it's not a political stunt as was a bill this year by Sen. Susan Paddack, D-Ada, who lost to Barresi in 2010 and then decided the office should be appointive.
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