Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The 'P' in GMAP Stands for...Politics

In 2005, shortly after The Election, Gov. Christine Gregoire signed Executive Order 05-02 creating a government program. Government Management Accountability and Performance, or GMAP, was designed to turn the Polis into the Market, as author Deborah Stone would say. It was designed to run government by way of advanced quantitative means--through a positivistic lens all with the hope of achieving better results from state government. (I cough the word, 'transportation' and sneeze through, 'Department of Corrections.'

Outside observers viewed the wonk-centric effort as a rare initiative and bold; at least on the scale that it was employed. Most in Washington, however, saw this as political pragmatism or an iterative government scheme that seemed like 'more of the same' regarding bureaucratic performance. Interestingly enough, the central theme that allayed from the Governor's communication shop was that GMAP is for hard working tax paying citizens who want their government to perform at a high level and become more transparent. That statement could have come from a Republican.

Cut to mid 2008. Gregoire and Rossi hover around a 3 point split, which is notable considering the Obama touchpass. State agencies are thoroughly confused about 'GMAP', the average citizen in most hamlets have no idea what it is and publicly funded higher education institutions have all rejected the schema.

I touch on a singular issue, yes, but perhaps this example puts sunshine on the inherrent problem that the Gregoire campaign now faces: an identity crisis. I will vote for her, for a variety of reasons, but won't find myself shocked if she loses. Missteps are earth shattering in high stakes politicking; and all this rests against the virulent reflection of 2004 that has come to fore with 46-48 percent of Washingtonians.

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