Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Bauer Has A Good Idea

Rep. Pat Bauer (D) has had a lot of ideas this past year, mostly bad, but he's hit on a good idea with his most recent proposal. Bauer wants to move control of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles from the Governor to the Secretary of State. The Star's Theodore Kim reports today:

Consolidating driver and voter identification duties under one chief, Bauer said, would streamline government bureaucracy and give voters a clear sense of who's in charge.

"This (would make) the secretary of state's office more important to the voters," he said at a hastily arranged news conference outside a BMV license branch on Virginia Avenue in Indianapolis.

Secretaries of state in several neighboring states, including Michigan, have overseen motor vehicle services with success, Bauer said.

The governor's office had no comment on the proposal, but Secretary of State Todd Rokita (R) dismissed the plan as "election year antics." At least that's what he's saying publicly. Privately, Rokita is saying of Bauer's plan, "You go girl!" By this point, Rokita has got to be getting bored with the mundane task of managing his office. There's only so much you can make out of managing business registrations, overseeing the elections division and handling small-time securities violation cases.

The BMV's management would no doubt get a lot more attention if the under-challenged Secretary of State had more on his plate. It would also make the office worth keeping. A few years ago, some may recall that Democrat candidate Tim Jeffers ran on the promise of doing away with the office altogether if he got elected to the position. The Secretary of State's office in neighboring Illinois, where I grew up, is considered a stepping stone to the Governor's office because of the high profile the position has administering BMV-related duties. And Indiana motorists badly need the extra attention the agency will no doubt get if it's transferred to the Secretary of State's office.


Sir Hailstone said...

Sorry. This is the dumbest idea from Pat Bauer yet. Not quite as dumb as the repeal of gastax but it's dumb.

Just look at our western neighbor. The Illinois Secretary of State is historically one of the more corrupt political offices. You remember George Ryan? Former SoS and Governor - his henchmen sold driver's licenses in exchange for campaign contributions. The present Illinois SoS Jesse White has packed his office with cronies. And Pat Bauer thinks THAT is better?

No, try again later but thanks for playing.

Anonymous said...

"you go gurl!" ?????

Rokita? really?

By the way-- could someone PLEASE Tell Pat that he needs to come out of the bald closet and just let it all hang out. He would be so much more believable bald and honest.

Gary R. Welsh said...

And during my lifetime Illinois has also sent 2 other governors, the state's attorney general, treasurer and countless other state officials to prison. Your point Sir Hailstone is?

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure bad management is the exclusive provence of MMM's office.

Wherever BMV resides, its problems need full and honest airing, and solid management. There isn't another service of state government that's more essential and ordinary (it touches almost all of us). Who supervises it is really not material. If I were Sec. of State you couldn't give it to me.

A candidate for Sec. of State was once asked what his job would be if elected. He replied:

"The only statutory duties are the securities division, and to protect and keep the Seal of the State. They give you a large budget to do it, so I'm gonna gaurd the hell out of that seal."
Since then, some election duties have wandered over to that office. A bit simplistic perhaps, but you get the point.

In 1989,. when the SOS was in charge of lobbying registration, Bauer & Co., along with Garton & Co., quickly scuttled that attempt at good government, and transferred lobbyist oversight to the legislature. Slick, huh?

Sorta like beating on your thumb with a hammer because it feels good when you stop.

Bauer's idea is goofy. Just like his rug...you're right, LafBlog...it's hard to take anyone seriously with that Hair Club reject on his dome.

As said oft before, he msut not have a mirror in his house.

Sir Hailstone said...

My point is that BMV needs to stay right where it is presently located. Moving it around won't do anyone any good.

Gary R. Welsh said...

The hair piece has certainly become a big liability for Bauer. When people can't talk about you without mentioning it, it's a problem. Maybe he should consult with Ed Simcox about a new designer.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that the best, most logical place for the BMV is under the direction of the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT).

Anonymous said...

Now that drivers license registration and renewal is so intimately linked with homeland security, how could we possible put BMV under anyone other than the person who has ulitmate responsibility for our milita and security -- the Gov? Like it or not, the BMV is NOT just some administrative deal, there are major security issues involved. Really not appropriate for the SoS these days. Duh.

Sir Hailstone said...

Actually I had said back in the previous administration when it was bantered about to move BMV if you were to move it anywhere, put it under the Indiana State Police.

But right now it's fine where it is.