It looks like the biennial Sacramento ritual of handing out prize appointments to political allies has begun. I haven’t been paying close enough attention to give a real rundown, but here are a few that have been reported:
On the Sac Bee’s Capitol Alert: Assembly Speaker Bass just appointed outgoing Assemblyman Laird to the Integrated Waste Management Board where he’ll join other folks with good connections (like a former lawmaker’s wife) and just miss another ex-lawmaker (Wes Chesbro) who landed on the board as a bridge between elections. Annual salary: $132,178.
In the Bee proper: Bass also appointed longtime aide to former Speaker Núñez, Danny Eaton, to the California Medical Assistance Commission. Annual salary (on top of the ‘golden handshake’ he’ll get if he leaves the Assembly this year): $56,025 for two meetings a month.
Making gifts of coveted appointments is nothing new to Governor Schwarzenegger, who made a habit of handing out plum posts to his campaign contributors. I have yet to check if he kept up the tradition this year, but he did appear to broaden the candidate pool:
In the LA Times: Schwarzenegger appointed his childrens’ nanny to the Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind. $100 per diem for every day the board meets.