Bureaucrat begs Congress to fire him — and everyone he works with

posted at 8:01 am on September 27, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The Denali Commission in Alaska, set up in 2008 thanks to earmarks by former Senator Ted Stevens, came under withering criticism from … the Denali Commission, or at least one member of it.  The Washington Post reported yesterday afternoon on a letter sent by its Inspector General to Rep. Darrell Issa, chair of the House Oversight Committee, asking Congress to fire him and everyone else at the Denali Commission.  Calling the bureaucracy “a Congressional experiment that hasn’t worked out well,” Mike Marsh wants Congress to save $7.4 million a year and eliminate a “middleman” agency.

Needless to say, his co-workers aren’t exactly enthusiastic about Marsh’s latest project:

Until a Washington Post reporter called, Marsh’s fellow employees did not know he was lobbying to have them cut off.

“No. Never heard that,” Joel Neimeyer, the top federal official at the Denali Commission, said when a reporter called. “Thank you for sharing,” he said. Still processing it. This was a man he and other staffers had gone to dinner with: Neimeyer thought Marsh was “charming, with a pretty good sense of humor.” …

Marsh sent his first requests to Washington this summer. Then, this month — as Congress fought a battle over next year’s budget — he sent another letter, this one to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). He said his opponents in the agency were “shooting the messenger, tackling the referee, or berating the pathologist who has to convey the news one would prefer not to hear.”

He’s right that they’re not happy.

“He’s done a great job of flummoxing our ability to serve these communities any better,” Vince Beltrami, a Denali Commission member and a leader of the Alaska AFL-CIO, said Tuesday when the commission met in Anchorage.

The Post has an annotated version of the original letter he sent to Congress in June, and the IG makes a pretty good case. He argues:

  • The infrastructure Congress funds through Denali is unsustainable
  • Denali is just a middleman for federal funds, which other agencies could spend directly
  • Alaska should be taking care of Alaska

On the last point, Marsh argues that Denali could transform into an independent entity for Alaskan support:

At this point, I recommend that Congress no longer send Denali an annual “base” appropriation.  This will give Denali an incentive to leave the federal nest and chart its own course as a federal entity.

This will also give the State of Alaska an incentive to find and fund its own solutions for the residents of “bush” Alaska — as it should.

In an age of budget deficits, it’s refreshing to see a federal bureaucrat point out wasteful spending.  Congress will get right on this, I’m sure. Er

So far, Congress does not seem convinced: The agency appears poised to be funded again (as long as the government doesn’t shut down).

Well, one easy anagram of Denali is denial.

 

 


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Again, if they won’t cut this, what will they cut?

Kafir on September 27, 2013 at 8:05 AM

cripe….
*shaking the head*

let it burn…

cmsinaz on September 27, 2013 at 8:06 AM

…he wants paid pensions!

KOOLAID2 on September 27, 2013 at 8:06 AM

The infrastructure Congress funds through Denali is unsustainable
Denali is just a middleman for federal funds, which other agencies could spend directly
Alaska should be taking care of Alaska

Small Potatoes.

The Department of Education is just a middleman for federal funds, which the states could spend directly. States should be taking care of education.

Happy Nomad on September 27, 2013 at 8:10 AM

So far, Congress does not seem convinced: The agency appears poised to be funded again (as long as the government doesn’t shut down).

Marsh’s workplace environment has got to be a bit awkward these days.

Happy Nomad on September 27, 2013 at 8:13 AM

Happy Nomad on September 27, 2013 at 8:10 AM

Aww come on now. Common core is the bestest idea in all of education history!

watertown on September 27, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Ron Swanson feels the same way.

commodore on September 27, 2013 at 8:17 AM

Aww come on now. Common core is the bestest idea in all of education history!

watertown on September 27, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Frankly, I think we have to lower the bar on education standards. It is too much to expect that we end up with public school “graduates” who are not functionally illiterate, ignorant of history, or unable to do simple math without a calculator.

The states, given free reign, would do a lot better job with education than a system that ties them down with federal requirements. It truly is the Denali Commission on an epic scale.

Happy Nomad on September 27, 2013 at 8:23 AM

So far, Congress does not seem convinced: The agency appears poised to be funded again (as long as the government doesn’t shut down).

We need a constitutional amendment that makes congressional pay contingent upon budgetary performance. Over budget? No pay. Turning a profit? Get a bonus. There is zero incentive within Congress to address this. That needs to change.

NotCoach on September 27, 2013 at 8:23 AM

Congress will double their budget.

Bishop on September 27, 2013 at 8:24 AM

We need a constitutional amendment that makes congressional pay contingent upon budgetary performance. Over budget? No pay. Turning a profit? Get a bonus. There is zero incentive within Congress to address this. That needs to change.

NotCoach on September 27, 2013 at 8:23 AM

If the government shuts down on Tuesday, the federal workforce including essential employees like the military will not be paid. But, by law, Congress will continue to be paid.

So……yes, an Constitutional amendment is the way to go. Hard to imagine that such a proposal would find a champion when they refuse to even participate in the very programs that they force on the rest of us.

Happy Nomad on September 27, 2013 at 8:28 AM

Marsh 2016!

mankai on September 27, 2013 at 8:32 AM

We need a constitutional amendment that makes congressional pay contingent upon budgetary performance. Over budget? No pay. Turning a profit? Get a bonus. There is zero incentive within Congress to address this. That needs to change.

NotCoach on September 27, 2013 at 8:23 AM

The really crummy aspect of your post? My dad was saying this in the …..’70s! Even if 5th grade, I knew what he meant.

We’ve come a long way, baby! /

herm2416 on September 27, 2013 at 8:34 AM

This was a man he and other staffers had gone to dinner with: Neimeyer thought Marsh was “charming, with a pretty good sense of humor.” …

Everyone is charming like Cary Grant and funny like the Three Stooges when they’re paying for your champagne and lobster dinner with an endless taxpayer slush fund.

Marsh would agree.

RepubChica on September 27, 2013 at 8:37 AM

I’m gonna remove my Hot Air book mark if they don’t get rid of the auto play video. I’m sure Ace will let me know if AP says anything funny.

tommylotto on September 27, 2013 at 8:38 AM

We’ve come a long way, baby! /

herm2416 on September 27, 2013 at 8:34 AM

I think the one positive that came out of Ted Cruz’s filibuster is that it shook up the establishment GOP (if only momentarily). They thought they could once again play games where they express faux outrage about Obamacare while actually doing nothing to stop it’s funding and implementation. Cruz put the spotlight on cockroaches like Boehner, Cornyn, McCain, and others.

Happy Nomad on September 27, 2013 at 8:38 AM

Old Mother Hubbard should look in her cupboard a little more for cuts.

blammm on September 27, 2013 at 8:39 AM

We need a constitutional amendment that makes congressional pay contingent upon budgetary performance. Over budget? No pay. Turning a profit? Get a bonus. There is zero incentive within Congress to address this. That needs to change.

NotCoach on September 27, 2013 at 8:23 AM

The only problem with this is that Congress would use it as an excuse to raise taxes.

mankai on September 27, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Heh! Just tried to bring up Denali Home, and got zapped by the sonicWALL!

OldEnglish on September 27, 2013 at 8:52 AM

tommylotto on September 27, 2013 at 8:38 AM

*cough* Firefox +Adblock *cough*.

OldEnglish on September 27, 2013 at 8:54 AM

9 words in 11 seconds

Shy Guy on September 27, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Well, one easy anagram of Denali is denial.

Ha! Good one, Ed. You’ve probably been waiting years for a chance to use that.

KS Rex on September 27, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Old Mother Hubbard should look in her cupboard a little more for cuts.

blammm on September 27, 2013 at 8:39 AM

Old Mother Hubbard (Pelosi) spoke just a couple of days ago and said there was absolutely nothing left to cut… This in the face of the GAO’s assessment that there are BILLIONS that could be saved each year if the federal government would simply combine like-minded departments and avoid wasteful duplication of effort.

Shame. When the media feels their role is more administration water carrier than public watchdog, ancient liberal crones can say pretty much anything with impunity…

CaptFlood on September 27, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Old Mother Hubbard should look in her cupboard a little more for cuts.

blammm on September 27, 2013 at 8:39 AM

“He’s done a great job of flummoxing our ability to serve these communities any better,” Vince Beltrami, a Denali Commission member and a leader of the Alaska AFL-CIO, said Tuesday when the commission met in Anchorage.

Do I really have to say why this is an essential program so far as the left is concerned?

Happy Nomad on September 27, 2013 at 9:03 AM

The only problem with this is that Congress would use it as an excuse to raise taxes.

mankai on September 27, 2013 at 8:42 AM

If they want to get paid they will learn that doesn’t balance a budget.

NotCoach on September 27, 2013 at 9:09 AM

Of course his co-workers don’t agree. They’re happy to siphon off tax payer dollars into their bank accounts each pay day. Hey, why find a job when Uncle Sugar will keep sending you a pay check.

iamsaved on September 27, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Ha! Good one, Ed. You’ve probably been waiting years for a chance to use that.

KS Rex on September 27, 2013 at 8:59 AM

I kept mistyping Denali as denial when I was writing the post, which is why it occurred to me. ;-)

Ed Morrissey on September 27, 2013 at 9:45 AM

What is it exactly does this commish do for the ‘Bush’ people of AK? I kinda live in the boonies in MT and the only thing the county does for us is scrape the dirt road a couple of times a year and plow in the winter. It is a county road and I do pay taxes. People who live outside of urban areas don’t need a lot of help or services. If the people in the ‘Bush’ wanted a lot of services they could move to the city. Uncle Ted was pandering.

Kissmygrits on September 27, 2013 at 9:54 AM

The Department of Education is just a middleman for federal funds, which the states could spend directly. States should be taking care of education.

Happy Nomad on September 27, 2013 at 8:10 AM

As are most federal departments. I have been stressing this point to my wife and friends for years. Some of them are finally coming around to agree with me.

rhit87 on September 27, 2013 at 10:20 AM

I see someone beat me to this, but I had put my 2 cents in here for Ron at Parks & Rec; he would be cheering this guy in Alaska on. :-)

TeaTrekkie on September 27, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Actually we should shut the whole damned thing down and then wait for a couple of months. THEN we’d find out what is important and what is fluff.

GarandFan on September 27, 2013 at 10:59 AM

*cough* Firefox +Adblock *cough*.

OldEnglish on September 27, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Not sure how to install that on our Nook. Spent the other night in my child’s room, after she had a bad dream. She drifted off to sleep, and I fired up the Nook to catch up on Hot Air. All of a sudden some freaking commercial starts blaring on the Nook. Wakes my daughter up and we start all over again.

Hill60 on September 27, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Congress – flummoxed, confused that bureaucrats would suggest cutting their own agencies.
“Thank you for sharing,” they said. “Still processing it.”
And… doing nothing.

Marcola on September 27, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Congress will double their budget.

Bishop on September 27, 2013 at 8:24 AM

With a task to set up an independent commission overseen by the Denali Commission to investigate the leak of highly sensitive information concerning the activities of the Commission.

Perfect.

BobMbx on September 27, 2013 at 12:46 PM

The only problem with this is that Congress would use it as an excuse to raise taxes.

mankai on September 27, 2013 at 8:42 AM

And raising taxes reduces government revenue, driving the budget deeper into debt.

Sooner or later, they’ll learn that taxes are what prevent them from getting paid. At that point, progressivism will die.

BobMbx on September 27, 2013 at 12:50 PM