Thursday, April 9, 2009

More on Jordan Barab

Several comments came in that I'm going to address. First:
"Doesn't an appointed acting usually become the OSHA head? I know Snare did not, but he seemed the exception."
No, my memory is that neither Henshaw nor Foulke were appointed as DAS before being nominated. The nominee for Assistant Secretary is expected to stay away until they are confirmed. Second:
"What does a political deputy do? Make sure the OSHA head speaks the party line?"
No, that job actually belongs to the Secretary and Assistant Secretary. The OSHA organizational chart doesn't really show it, and I suppose it's subject to change, but the career DAS oversees the Directorate of Enforcement Programs and the 10 Regions. The political DAS gets everyone else. I think that the term "political DAS" is a bit of a misnomer, it really means is that they got their job because of their political connections to the ruling party. In this case it has nothing to do with their actual job tasks. We do have a political wing, but I think that wing is under the Department, not OSHA.

"It could mean one of two things:

1) They intend to nominate Barab for the A/S but needs to be further vetted (ie: is he yet another tax dodger, etc) so in the mean time he'll be Acting. Or...

2) They intend to nominate someone else (ie: John Howard?) but they want to put someone in there now as acting and Barab will do.

I disagree with some of the comments in the post. Primarily, I am not confident that Barab will do well at all. Remember, it is a very different thing to be an "activist/critic" than it is to actually "manage/lead/etc". He'll learn that pretty quickly.

Solis and Miller can only give him so much cover. But like anything else, there will be a honeymoon period (for the enforcement zealots) but even that will fade over time.

You think OSHA's name is mud now... just wait."
1) I don't for a second believe that Barab is going to be the next Assistant Secretary, it's just not the history to put someone in this kind of position and then nominate them a couple of months later. Now, it is possible that he may become the head of OSHA after the next Assistant Secretary resigns in 2010-2 (assuming Obama is reelected), after all Assistant Secretaries rarely last 4 years and he could be next in line.

2) That's exactly what they're doing, get someone they know in leadership fast. My concern is this means that the nomination for Assistant Secretary may be a long way off.

I agree that "is a very different thing to be an "activist/critic" than it is to actually "manage/lead/etc."" and that "He'll learn that pretty quickly." But don't forget that he has at least 19 SESers around him, most of whom have a lot of time in the agency, and some of whom know him from his previous time with OSHA. Add that to the fact that Acting Assistant Secretaries never get to make decisions, and I think he'll be fine. Like I said before, don't expect an upheaval in the way we do things.

Finally this:
"Don't forget, while you are bashing the profits made by those evil, disgusting, greedy capitalists that it is the taxes paid on those profits that allow you to do what you do."
WTF? Have I even mentioned the word profit in any of my posts? Have I called anyone an "evil, disgusting, greedy capitalists?" I'm not anti-profit, in fact I love it when my retirement account soars! I do, however, object to one person making a profit when it means another person has to die. And I'm pretty sure that God, in all of his or her forms would agree with me on that one. Don't forget, OSHA isn't here for every company, just those who don't follow the rules.

And just for the record, the US Government only gets 15% of it revenue from corporate profits, and 45% from MY TAXES! And no, I'm not willing to have my taxes reduced if it means more people have to die or become permanently disabled.

1 comment:

  1. Speaking of profits, how can managers of an enforcement agency even be allowed to get bonuses? It's based on numbers....simple bean counting and not what OSHA is truly out there to do. OSHA is not supposed to be simply ticket writers.