Blair, Diane Kincaid
January 1984
Public Administration Quarterly;Winter84, Vol. 7 Issue 4, p429
Academic Journal
The article focuses on various aspects of gubernatorial-legislative relationships in the U.S. Analyses of gubernatorial-legislative relationships have frequently emphasized the importance of the governor's appointive power as an instrument of legislative influence. Although such swaps are described as standard operating procedure in all states, there is general agreement that Southern governors and legislators have been the most frequent and fervent practitioners of the appointment-vote exchange. Lacking either a ready-made majority or a sizeable like-minded minority of legislators sharing some partisan bonds of belief and vulnerability, governors must construct majorities for their programs from the ground up, out of assorted individuals and factions. One obvious reason why the practice in question has declined is that gubematorial resources have markedly diminished. State jobs were once secured primarily through connections, they are now obtained primarily on the basis of competence. As state government has grown everjrwhere in size, complexity, impact, and costliness, there has been a corresponding necessity for expertise and proficiency among those executing its functions. While the extent to which merit systems have replaced patronage varies across the states, all contemporary governors are constrained from appointing their friends to responsible positions merely as political favors because, if those individuals are incompetent, the resulting mismanagement could be politically dangerous.


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