August was an interesting month for former state Sen. Ken Jacob (Dem.-Columbia). First, Jacob was defeated in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor. But to ease the pain, lame duck Gov. Bob Holden later in the month appointed Jacobs to the state Labor and Industrial Relations Commission which brings with it a boatload of perks.
For starters, Jacob immediately became eligible for a pension of nearly $20,000 more than he would have received from his Senate service. That brought protests from a host of citizen groups who saw the appointment as an obvious pay-off for Jacob's loyal service to Holden through the years.
But the most interesting issue on this appointment - I said it then and I repeat it now - was that Jacob was to represent the "public" on the Commission. One Commissioner represents the employer, one the employee and one the public. But Jacob's background was squarely in the corner of the unions through the years and thus, his "public" appointment was curious at best.
Now that a Republican is headed to the Governor's Mansion, Jacob's tenure appears to be short. It's more than likely that come the first of the year, Gov. Matt Blunt will replace Jacob on the Commission.
So isn't it interesting that Jacob is now shopping the job market and what appears to be the most likely future post for this Democratic loyalist? One of the largest unions in the state is reportedly talking with Jacob about being director. That really should come as no surprise.
Now that the dust has cleared the obvious becomes apparent. Bob Holden gave a golden parachute to one of his lapdogs and then insulted the people of Missouri by pretending that Jacob did not have pro-union leanings.
This appointment was one of the final examples of Bob Holden's politics. He will leave public service in just over a month with virtually no legacy. His tenure will be noted for failure and disappointment. Ken Jacob's appointment was just a footnote in this failure. But it was one too many.