A soft landing for Cass Gekas

Well, now we know why Dem/Prog Lite-Gov candidate Cassandra Gekas turned down that job offer from the Vermont State Employees Association. Instead, as Paul “The Huntsman” Heintz reports, she’ll start on Monday as chief of health access policy and planning at the Department of Vermont Health Access. Sounds like a big important job, and one that’s in line with her previous work as a health policy advocate for VPIRG.

Which makes me happy for two reasons. First, after mounting an underfunded campaign against popular incumbent Phil Scott (and losing her VPIRG job for her trouble), she deserves a break. And second, hey, I was right again. Me, August 15:

As you may remember, Gekas is a first-time candidate who was reportedly recruited by Governor Shumlin. If so, I have to say that the Governor and the Party have completely failed to provide any tangible support for her candidacy. It’s looking like she’s nothing more than a sacrificial lamb — a placeholder, so the Dems could avoid the embarrassment of an empty slot on their ticket. I hope she at least gets a good job in the Administration after she loses in November.

Not that there was any quid pro quo involved here. No no no, that would be wrong.

Gekas says she does not believe her status as a Democratic office-seeker played a role in her hiring by Gov. Peter Shumlin’s administration.

“I just went through normal channels,” she says. “I think they’ve been eager to fill the position for a long time. They’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Well, I don’t believe that for a New York minute. Neither do I mind in the slightest if she was given preference. After all, she did disrupt her career to basically serve as cannon fodder for the Dems, and that loyalty deserves some kind of reward. And besides, she’s obviously qualified, so it’s not featherbedding. Indeed, her hiring is a very positive sign that the Shumlin Administration is really committed to health care reform; I’d a lot rather have her than somebody from the insurance industry, for example.

I wish her well in the new job. I hope she can find a way to smooth out some of the apparent wrinkles in ShummyCare.  

One thought on “A soft landing for Cass Gekas

  1. A soft landing indeed.  I don’t doubt her qualifications, but perhaps it should be noted that Cass Gekas is a young, smart, very attractive, and single young woman while Peter Shumlin is a popular, powerful, relatively young and attractive governor who is amicably separated from his wife and just built a nice new house for himself.  Any thoughts here?

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