Friday, June 29, 2007

I agree with the president on something. Hard to believe, I know.

The planets must be aligned, because I find myself agreeing with President Bush in a dispute with Ted Kennedy. Perhaps I have a fever or something, I'm sure this will pass.

Anyway, the issue is Reed Hillman. The man who was an unsuccessful candidate for Lt. Governor in 2006--and looks a lot like the suicidal cult leader Marshall Applewhite--has been nominated for US Marshal for Massachusetts. Kennedy is opposed:
President Bush yesterday nominated Reed V. Hillman, a former State Police commander and an unsuccessful candidate for lieutenant governor in 2006, as US marshal for Massachusetts, but both US senators from the state immediately said they would oppose the nomination....

"I am disappointed that the president has chosen to move forward with the nomination of Reed Hillman, and I will be opposed," Kennedy said in a statement issued by his office. "It is important for our citizens to have confidence that political considerations are not unduly affecting law enforcement administration. Mr. Hillman does not meet the criteria."
And what is the criteria?
Traditionally, the marshal's job has gone to a prominent political figure from the same party as the president. The White House has usually allowed local political figures in the 94 marshal districts to reach a consensus on a candidate.

But Kennedy has advocated for what he has termed professionalizing the US Marshals Service, and last year he added a provision to the Patriot Act establishing criteria for marshals. According to the criteria, marshals must have experience in "command-level" management and experience protecting court personnel.
Seems to me that a former Commander of the State Police would have "command-level" management and experience. Kennedy should take his own advice and ensure "that political considerations are not unduly affecting" his opposition to Hillman's nomination.

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