Thursday, October 06, 2005

When democrats run the place #15: Kulongoski's appointments are blindingly white

Kulongoski's appointments are blindingly white

October 6, 2005

And this is the point at which my friends in the Department of Human Services drive by and shoot out my porch light.

In September, Gov. Ted Kulongoski appointed Dr. Bruce Goldberg to be the director of the department, known as DHS. And everyone I've talked to -- people in the department as well as the most jaded government watchers -- are doing headstands. Goldberg, whom I've never met, is universally hailed as a brilliant choice to run the state's biggest agency.

I don't disagree. I'm sure he's all that and a bag of chips. I'm just concerned that he's yet another white guy. In a long, long list of white guys appointed to the top-dog positions by this governor.

Before my friends in DHS start lobbing produce at me, let me stipulate to the following:

Goldberg is the medical director of CareOregon, the managed-care plan that serves about 100,000 people. He taught family medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. His work there included improving care for migrant and seasonal farmworkers. He once was a medical director for the Zuni tribe in New Mexico. For all I know, he's close to solving that whole cold-fusion thing.

He's a trip to the moon on gossamer wings. I get that. I'm not really writing about Goldberg.

Before he was named to lead DHS, white guy Bryan Johnston had the gig. Before him, it was white guy Gary Weeks. All Kulongoski appointees.


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