Davis Plans To Appoint Two Aides To Medical Commission, San Jose Mercury News Reports
Gov. Gray Davis (D) is planning to appoint Chief of Staff Lynn Schenk and Appointments Secretary Michael Yamaki to the California Medical Assistance Commission, according to an administration source, the San Jose Mercury News reports. The positions on the CMAC -- an "obscure" state medical board that meets twice each year to oversee Medi-Cal contracts -- have annual salaries of $99,000 and do not require Senate approval, according to the Mercury News. The appointments, which the governor's office would not confirm Monday, have renewed questions about the salaries of some state board members. The appointments are part of a "longstanding practice" in which governors and legislators of both parties help aides, campaign contributors and retired legislators "make a cushy transition to the private sector," the Mercury News reports. Assembly member Tony Strickland (R-Camarillo), who has sponsored legislation to replace the salaries of such positions with daily stipends, said, "This is a way for [appointed officials] to land softly," adding, "These [appointments] have been nothing but political payback for political insiders." Although Senate Democrats, who have a 25-15 majority, could have come back into session before Davis' departure to "rubber-stamp" last-minute appointments, they opted not to because they were concerned about the public's reaction to approving appointments by a recently recalled governor, the Mercury News reports (Marimow, San Jose Mercury News, 10/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.