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Monday, January 15, 2007

Appalachian Commission: Bob Taft Still Guv

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Some federal bureaucracies are famous for operating at one speed: Slow. The most notorious recent example is FEMA, an administrative swamp that was flooded out by Katrina.

Now, we have this example of another federal agency dozing. Ohio has its first Appalachian governor since January 1983 when Republican Jame A. Rhodes -- a native of Coalton (pop. 531) in the coal country -- left office. But the Appalachian Regional Commission so far fails to note Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland's arrival, even though he is from the "Little Smokies" region of Scioto County.

[Update: Tuesday January 16, 2006, 5:21 p.m. Strickland is now the governor on the commission Web site. It was finally changed 8 days after he was sworn in, and notes he is from Lucasville in Scioto County.]

The commission is a Great Society program from the 1960s, and it still says Bob Taft is Ohio's chief executive: "ARC Members, Partners, and Staff Governor Bob Taft Ohio. He was elected Ohio's governor in November 1998 and reelected in 2002. Taft served as the Appalachian Regional Commission's 2005 states' co-chair."

Sure, Strickland is just a week into his term and some might want to give the agency the benefit of the doubt. But New York's Eliot Spitzer was quickly added to the list of Appalachian governors. Spitzer was just sworn in to replace George Pataki. Below is the current list from the agency's Web site. (Ed. Note: Maryland's Ehrlich, a GOPer, is wrong, too. Democrat Martin O'Malley knocked him off last November.)
Appalachian Governors
Alabama: Governor Bob Riley
Georgia: Governor Sonny Perdue
Kentucky: Governor Ernie Fletcher
Maryland: Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.
Mississippi: Governor Haley Barbour
New York: Governor Eliot Spitzer
North Carolina: Governor Michael F. Easley
Ohio: Governor Bob Taft
Pennsylvania: Governor Edward G. Rendell
South Carolina: Governor Mark Sanford
Tennessee: Governor Phil Bredesen
Virginia: Governor Tim Kaine
West Virginia: Governor Joe Manchin III

No doubt the list will be updated soon. There is a lot of information about the Appalachian Regional Commission HERE. And data about the commission's spending in Ohio is HERE.

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