Over at Georgia Report, Tom Crawford addresses a familiar cycle of life:
One of the surest signs that a governor’s administration is nearing the end is when the chief executive starts appointing his aides and supporters to well-paid positions in the government bureaucracy.
Political scientists call the process “burrowing in” and you will see it going on at the federal level when a president nears the end of his term in office and tries to shelter his people by placing them in regular government positions.
Gov. Sonny Perdue, whose administration will end in January, has been taking care of his people for several months now.
Heidi Green, who was one of Perdue’s policy advisers early in his administration, was named commissioner of the Department of Economic Development in June, a $140,000-a-year job formerly held by Ken Stewart.
Last Friday, Perdue appointed Green’s husband, Cobb County attorney Reuben Green, to replace Ken Nix when he steps down in October from his $120,000-a-year position as a Superior Court judge.
Perdue recently named his chief financial officer, Tommy Hills, as state treasurer, a job that pays $157,000 a year. Hills replaces Dan Ebersole, who is retiring as of the end of August.
The governor’s personal adviser on transportation issues, Jannine Miller, was named executive director of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority in July (her predecessor, former BellSouth executive Dick Anderson, was being paid $140,000 a year).
Erin Hames, the former middle school teacher who was Perdue’s policy director until last week, is in line to get a healthy bump in pay from the new job she got as chief of staff at the Department of Education.
Hames was paid $63,558 in fiscal year 2009 as a policy adviser to the governor. In her new position at DOE she replaces Stephen Pruitt, whose salary was $118,145.