Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Leavitt Takes His Popularity for a Spin

Governor Mike Leavitt is a very popular politician. His approval rating hovers around 70% most of the time. He rarely takes the old approval rating around the block for a spin however, preferring to work his magic through good old-fashioned politics. Occasionally, on an issue that seems particularly hot or one that he knows will get significant legislative pushback, he goes directly to the public and enlists them in his cause.

This week Leavitt unveiled his plans for privatizing the worker's compensation fund. WCF of Utah would like to be private, allowing them to go after business in other states. The State has a significant interest in WCF, having been one of the largest backers of the fund over the years. The question is not should they be private---most probably agree that its a good idea. The question is how much they should compensate the State and what should be done with that money. Undoubtedly, the Governor would like to invest it in some new plan to "build a brighter future for Utah." The legislature would likely use it to fix pot-holes or something. There's a serious lack of vision in that group.

So, it seems that the Governor has decided to take his case to the media and the public and try to start momentum growing before the legislature can get their feet under them. If you've got a 70% approval rating, you might as well use it for something.

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