Hey Mike Genest, I Wouldn’t Want to Be There Either

Mike Genest, the Governor’s departing Finance Director (and fellow Goldman School Alum!), has brought a lot of tumult to the administration with his departure. Intentionally or not, the change has kicked off some other changes around the Horseshoe.

As Gov. Schwarznegger prepares for his final year in office, he has begun a major reshuffling of his senior staff. Meanwhile, the administration is trying to cobble together a pro-active agenda that will not be overwhelmed by a $20 billion deficit.

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He will also seek to institutionalize the role of inspector general, which he created earlier this year. Up until now, IG Laura Chick has been focused on overseeing the implementation of federal stimulus funds. But Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear said the administration will seek legislation next year to expand the scope of the job and make it permanent.

While the governor mulls his plans for 2010, some new players have come aboard. This week, Scott Reid was tapped as the governor’s sixth Cabinet Secretary, replacing Victoria Bradshaw, who held the job for 14 months. Bradshaw will return to her old job as secretary of the Labor and Workforce Development agency. Former Cabinet Secretary Fred Aguiar will return as a deputy chief of staff.  (Capitol Weekly)

I’m not sure who would voluntarily hop on that sinking ship. At this point, Arnold is persona non grata to Dems, Republicans, and even most DTS voters.  His base seems to be adolescent boys, too bad for him, they don’t vote.

Laura Chick is an interesting case here though. Chick had, and still has, a level of respect her time as LA Controller.  Unfortunately, she’s more of a political type than an actual auditor type. While I don’t mean to dismiss those with a History bachelor’s or a master’s degree in social work, it’s not exactly the education you would script for somebody who is supposed to spend the entirety of their time looking after the state’s money. That is not to say that she won’t do an excellent job, as I’m sure she will hire outstanding staff.  But, perhaps one of these days, we’ll hire Inspector Generals not for their past political experience, but for the fact that they are damn good at looking after money.

Of course, there’s always got to be a little drama, and Genest has already made sure there’s a little of that. But with the upcoming budget battles, the real drama will take place over some spreadsheets and the lives of a few million Californians.