Strickland (D) Signs Audit Law Sponsored by Taylor (R)

Gov. Ted Strickland (D) had signaled that he might veto the overhaul of state auditing procedures proposed by Auditor Mary Taylor (R) and passed by the GOP-led General Assembly, citing cost and usurpation of the Governor's authority. Strickland had proposed his own changes, but Taylor's plan creates an independent oversight committee and Strickland's plan did not.

Strickland has now signed Taylor's plan into law, and the key to him doing so was an adjustment to the role of the committee. As Columbus Dispatch reporter Mark Niquette puts it, the committee "now has the power merely to review and comment on audit plans rather than approve them." Having preserved his own authority to some extent, Strickland relinquished the veto pen, despite his continuing concern over the cost of the new panel.

This is another example of Strickland's pattern of getting bipartisan results through occasional compromise. Taylor's plan, like his own, is intended to tighten up the auditing process, hoping to avoid a repeat of the waste and fraud at the Bureau of Workers Compensation that occurred on the watch of two Republican administrations. It is a laudable goal. "This is one more example of a bipartisan effort resulting in something good for our state," he said. Precisely. A much better result than a veto and partisan confrontation, in this instance.

If only

Bush could adopt that same attitude. But then Bush is not the same down-to-earth, results-minded person Strickland is, working for the good of all instead of clinging to some narrow ideological principle. Sigh.

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