Friday, September 02, 2005

Fare thee well, Ralph Powell

Wednesday was the official last day for outgoing Solicitor General Ralph Powell. He did an unbelievably great job of finding the correct balance between being tough and being fair. More to the point, he exercised common sense, which often seems to be lacking in our elected officials these days. He served Athens well and will be missed.

Now on the job is Gov. Sonny Perdue-appointed Mo Wiltshire. Wiltshire is eminently qualified for the job. He has been a leading high profile defense attorney here for a number of years. There's no reason to expect that the quality of the office will suffer with him at the helm.

However, his appointment was somewhat political (as is to be expected I suppose with a political appointment). Wiltshire ran as a Republican against the eventual winner Ken Mauldin in the last D.A. race, and he is expected to run as an R in next year's Solicitor election. It will interesting to see who puts themselves out there with a D next to their name to oppose him. One would think that in Clarke County almost any arguably qualified D would have a good chance.

Look for more on this, as we will be following it closely.....


Anonymous said...

Does it really matter what political party a Solicitor belongs to? Seriously, is Mo Wiltshire only going to prosecute Democrats?

DoubleDawgDareYa said...

It always matters which party you affiliate yourself with in an election, because it in large part dictates
a) whose political support you can expect and b)who you can raise money from.
And let's face it. There are a lot of folks out there on both sides that vote a straight party ticket. So yes it matters in the ELECTION, which is what I was talking about.

Hopefully you're right in that it will have little practical impact in the actual functioning of the office. If you read my post carefully, you'll notice I didn't suggest that Wiltshire would have any trouble being Solicitor because he's a Republican. Quite the contrary, I said that he is "eminently qualified" for the job, which he is. I'm merely forecasting a potential interesting race next year.

And oh, by the way, if you don't think party affiliation had anything to do with who got appointed for the year until the election, you're nuts.

Anonymous said...

I'm just saying that it's kind of silly to make solicitor a partisan office at all.

Or now that ACC has nonpartisan elections, does that affect this office too?

DoubleDawgDareYa said...

I think that's just Commission and Mayor, but maybe our resident nonpartisan election expert Publius has some insight.

Publius said...

I usually have insight, but whether said insight is accurate or not...well, kind of a crapshoot.

I'm pretty sure that only the Mayor and Commission are covered under non-partisan elections here, for one of two reasons.

Offices that are more or less state-mandated (i.e., I'm pretty sure that under the state Constitution, we're required to have a Sheriff, Solicitor, DA, Coroner, etc.)can't be changed by local referendum. So, we can't have a nonpartisan election for Solicitor, any more than we could do away with the Coroner's office.

Or, the possibly simpler explanation. I'm pretty sure the ballot only mentioned the mayor and commission. (Maybe because of reason #1).

So, long story short, we still have to decide whether people who leave couches on their front porch should be prosecuted by a Republican or a Democrat.