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Monday, January 08, 2007

Ohio Ag Director Dailey's Good-Bye: 5 Pages of Self-Praise?

COLUMBUS (TDB) -- Republican Ohio Agriculture Director Fred L. Dailey has left the building -- or maybe the back 40. But not before his press office had to churn out a 5-page press release that buttered up the boss. Its appearance was timed for the end of GOP control of state executive agencies.

Issued on Sunday, January 7, the final day of the Bob Taft-era, Dailey's document is a list extolling his "legacy" for 16 years of government service. Some might see it as a bit of ego-stroking ordered up by the boss himself to praise himself as a man who toiled in the ag agency to make Ohio ''one of the best -- and safest -- places in the nation to work, live and farm."

Dailey's press release gave him credit for "establishing" the Farmland Preservation program. Actually, voters created the program by adopting Issue 1 in 2000, which was former Gov. Bob Taft's Clean Ohio initiative that set aside about $400 million. Some $25 million has been used for the Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (AEPP) which was administered by Dailey's agency. So far, about 26,000 acres have been protected.

The entire press release about Dailey is quite a read. It is the most recent piece of news put out by the department.

There doesn't seem to be anything similar in state government. A glance around some of the other executive agencies like the Transportation Department, where Gordon Proctor is moving on, discloses nothing akin to Dailey's lengthy legacy report. Dailey can probably recycle the press release as a resume when he looks for a new job. ''I am proud to have helped contribute to the betterment of our state,'' Dailey was quoted as saying about himself.

There seemed to be little about the two men who gave him his job -- former GOP governors George Voinovich and Taft. The Daily Bellwether could find only one sentence, and that began the list of Dailey's accomplishments "made with their support."

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