Monday, January 30, 2006

Kevin Bassett vs. Julie Sauls

With two years under her belt as COS to the Assembly Republican Leader I thought I would do a little comparison between current COS Julie Sauls and former COS Kevin Bassett.

How they got there
Kevin put in his time as Dave Cox's chief advisor for many years positioning his boss to be at the right place at the right time when they pulled a coup and replaced Bill Campbell.

Julie was able to secure a job with a freshman Assemblyman who had already paved the way to a leadership position.

I would give this a tie. Yes, Kevin was much more influential in his boss becoming leader, but Julie was smart enough to latch onto a rising star and got there without having to do any work.

Relationship with staff and campaigns
Kevin always had an open door and a great relationship with staff. While his boss did not support campaigners Kevin was always available and helpful.

Julie has a kiss my ring bow before the throne policy. If you do not agree with Julie or cross her watch out. If you want a job that has to go through the Leaders office and you have not kissed the ring or if you are not on the favorite list you probably will not get it.

Winner Kevin was by far more liked and respected by staff.

Caucus
Kevin was not only COS he was in charge of Caucus operations.

Julie had those responsibilities stripped from her and additional professional managers were brought in to shape the course of Caucus operations.

I will give this one to Kevin. However, while Kevin did a good job juggling both aspects of the job the Caucus needed professional leadership.

Campaigns
In the one full cycle that Kevin was COS and thus had input into election strategy the Republicans picked up two seats.

In the cycle Julie was COS we had the worst candidate field in recent memory. The Republicans could not even find a quality candidate to run against Nicole Para, the district adjacent to her boss's seat.

Winner Kevin by far.

So to wrap this up, In my book Kevin was a much better leader. Julie should still have four more years, however if we see a repeat of last cycle Mr. McCarthy might be looking at a Committee Vice-Chair instead of the Leaders office.