(Because of a technical malfunction that crashed this site on April 4, and took down every post and comment after March 14, the following has been re-posted. It was originally written April 4, 2008.) One of the many disturbing aspects about the media and punditry in Virginia politics is the ongoing discussion during each governor's term as to what his legacy will be, or, more precisely in recent years, how he will add more government to our lives as a monument to his time in office. Usually, it is how he will get through some campaign promise of a new department or program or the raising of taxes to pay for roads or some "vital services."
So it is with Governor Tim Kaine. Even with the tight budget circumstance he claims necessitated the cutting of abstinence education funding (while allowing funding for Planned Parenthood) he pressed on with his Utopian pre-k education plans at taxpayer expense. Although the General Assembly didn't give him nearly anything close to what he wanted, he still got something. With that inch, he apparently intends to take a few miles. See below, in its entirety, the news release he issued yesterday about his new Office of Early Childhood Development. Particularly disturbing is the fifth paragraph, which we put in bold. It promises "high-quality early childhood development programs - birth to age five - providing a seamless continuum of services and education. ..."
We were ridiculed when we blogged that the proposed pre-k was for "indoctrinating" rather than educating our children. But Governor Kaine says it himself - "birth to age five"! What else would you call that? What possible educating is there at birth? Could it be anything more than more state control over our lives, now starting at birth? The Nanny State, literally.
But back to the original question: How is it that "legacies" have come to mean starting new, unwanted and counterproductive government bureaucracies? Have we really come to that point where governors have to be conscious of establishing a legacy from day one? And that the "legacy" is to be purchased by taking ever more of the hard earned money from the pockets of Virginia families trying to build their own, real futures?
What ever happened to leading and practicing good stewardship and governance, and letting the historians and vox populi come to an understanding of what a governor's legacy is? If one governs well, his legacy will take care of itself. It's not to be ransomed at the hands and fruits of others' hard earned labor, to further entrap them into the leviathan state.
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA Office of the Governor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 3, 2008
GOVERNOR KAINE ANNOUNCES FORMATION OF THE OFFICE OF EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT
~ Kathy Glazer will serve as Director ~
RICHMOND - Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced the creation of the Office of Early Childhood Development, which will be headed by Kathy Glazer. She will report to the Department of Education and the Department of Social Services.
"Kathy Glazer has done an exceptional job reaching out to the early childhood community statewide," Governor Kaine said. "They have great confidence in her and that gives me great confidence in her. I can't think of a better person for this job."
Glazer was a principal staff person working on early childhood initiatives in August 2006 when Governor Kaine asked her to lead the Working Group on Early Childhood Initiatives in the office of the Secretary of Education. The working group, which includes the heads of more than a dozen state agencies and secretariats, is charged with coordinating services for children and families.
Glazer was a key advisor on Governor Kaine's Start Strong initiative, guiding the Start Strong Council and other state-level efforts to strengthen early development from birth to kindergarten. She also is an officer of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation.
The Office of Early Childhood Development will work to expand access to and coordinate Virginia's system of high-quality early childhood development programs - birth to age five - providing a seamless continuum of services and education to Virginia's neediest children and their families.
Prior to 2006, Glazer was Early Childhood Initiatives Director at the Department of Social Services. She designed the Smart Beginnings Initiative, the community partnership grants program, and coordinated the Virginia Early Learning Council, whose work resulted in the formation of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation.
Glazer received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and a master of public administration degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she was awarded a Markel Scholarship for non-profit leadership.