Tuesday, April 22, 2008

So much for Hulshof's license fee office reform

Congressman Kenny Hulshof made big headlines last week with his declaration that he would reform the process of awarding license fee offices, which became a joke during the early days of Gov. Matt Blunt's administration.

Blunt, as you remember, awarded fee offices to big contributors, something which has been done by both parties in the past, but took the process one step further by having them operated by management companies set up by his buddies.

Hulshof said the spoils system will come to an end if he is elected governor, but after receiving donations from several fee office owners, suddenly it appears that those people will likely keep their offices in a Hulshof administration:

Hulshof spokesman Scott Baker insists that the candidate already has established an objective points system to evaluate fee office applicants. If you're now running an inefficient office, you won't be running an office under Gov. Hulshof, he said.

Those agents can be ferreted out, Baker said.

Asked how many current agents he expects will lose their contracts under Hulshof, Baker said he wouldn't put a number on it.

The new evaluation system does not take into account donations made to Hulshof, he said.

"Under a Hulshof administration, zero consideration will be given to political support," Baker said.

Still, under the newly devised Hulshof formula provided to Prime Buzz, applicants with prior experience can win points based on "past performance and reliability." A newcomer, presumably, couldn't win any points in that category, which appears to give current operators, even those who aren't providing stellar service, a leg up.

So much for reform.

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