Friday, January 09, 2009

Bill Sali's next job

Now that Bill Sali is no longer a congressman, he's going to need a new job. He wasn't exactly prospering as a lawyer before going to DC. After all, he had to work three jobs; lawyer, legislator, and musician.

I'd guess that an unpopular 1-term congressman isn't going to be a prime candidate for a lobbyist or consultant job.

So, I wonder if Gov Otter will toss ol' Bill a bone and give him a state job. I know of one that's coming open in a few weeks at an annual salary of $89,711.

The Idaho Industrial Commission, which administers Idaho's workers compensation system, has three commissioners. By statute and tradition, one is a union guy and represents labor, one represents employers, and the third is an attorney. Only two of the three can be from one political party.

Currently the Commission consists of union guy R.D. Maynard, employer rep (and Mayor of Fruitland, also a former state representative) Thomas Limbaugh, and attorney James Kile, formerly of Simplot.

Kile has served two 6-year terms, but was recently notified that he's not going to be reappointed. He will stay until Feb 09. So, this will open up a lawyer slot that perhaps Gov Otter can fill with Bill Sali. Maynard is a D, Limbaugh and Kile are Rs. Almost certainly Kile's replacement will be a Republican.

While at Simplot, Kile knew worked with, Butch Otter, and later Otter was Lt Gov when Kile got the job.

To replace a commissioner, the Gov either wants to put someone in and has someone in mind, so the sitting commissioner gets pushed out. Or, doesn't like the work of the Cmsnr and axes him without necessarily having a replacement in mind. I don't know which is at play here.

In the 90s Gov Bill Batt appointed former legislator Rachael Gilbert. She was so polarizing that she only served one term. I'd expect that Otter is aware of the effect of appointing such folks, and would not appoint Sali.

I'd also be surprised if Otter wanted to help ol' Bill, given that Bill helped shove out Otter's guy Sullivan from the head of the Idaho Republican Party. But, you never know. Also, Larry Craig is looking for work, but I don't think he's a lawyer. Knowing anything about work comp is not a particular requirement.


Sisyphus said...

Uh Alan, the last paragraph is the key. You gotta give me one, just one, motivation Otter would have in appointing Sali when Otter could have saved his Congressional seat with some active support. Little's appointment tells me that Otter is shifting emphasis away from the wingnuts that he previously had been appointing with some wild abandon.

alan said...

Agreed that Otter seems to be trying to support the moderate wing rather than the wingnut wing. I don't really think Sali's got a chance. I was mostly just wanting to talk about the opening at the Industrial Commission.

ericn1300 said...

Whether he appoints a wingnut or a moderate will be telling, but it's obvious he's clearing out the seat for a politically motivated appointment as there has been no apparent dissension with the current appointee.