The Quota Lobby

This morning’s Baltimore Sun printed an op-ed from some outfit named Network 2000 demanding gender quotas in the cabinet of then next gubernatorial administration:

We, as an organization, raised our voice to challenge each of the candidates for governor to commit to having 50 percent of their gubernatorial appointments to commissions, committees, task forces, advisory boards and intrastate agencies be women.

Unsurprisingly, neither candidate was going to play this game and make such an ironclad commitment:

While both candidates courteously responded to our challenge, neither stated an actual commitment to our request for gender parity when making their cabinet and executive office appointments should they become the next governor of the state of Maryland.

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This of course makes all of the sense in the world. Because neither candidate should be involved in the game of setting quotas for the makeup of their cabinet.

Both candidates, should they win, owe it to the citizens, residents, and taxpayers of the State of Maryland to appoint the best qualified people who share that Governor’s philosophy to serve in their Cabinet. They should have skills that enable them to effectively do the job that they are qualified to do. Not be beholden to divide up the posts equally.

According to the Network 2000 website, the mission of this organization is “Championing Women Leaders.” But is it really championing anybody when you are demanding set asides and quotas for cabinet membership? Is it really reflective (or even fair) to demand that gubernatorial candidates declare that half of their candidate will be of one gender and half of another? Is that really the best way to ensure that top talent is available to serve as Cabinet secretaries or leaders under a Brown or Hogan Administration? And wouldn’t the implementation of such quotas create questions in the mind of Legislators and Citizens that people were appointed on the basis of their gender and not the basis of their talents.

Both candidates would be foolish to do anything but appoint the best people possible to serve in their Cabinets. Larry Hogan is fortunate in that there will be any number of qualified Republican women to serve in these posts, and I’m sure that if they are the best people to serve in his cabinet, they will. But Nework 2000 undermines their own position by insisting upon quotas. The type of quotas that Network 2000 is promoting suggests that women are not qualified for Cabinet posts without some type of pre-arranged quota to ensure women’s representation. Not only is that unfair to the people of Maryland, who deserve the most qualified Cabinet Secretaries, but it is also insulting to the same professional women that Network 2000 is purporting to help.

The Quota Lobby is always out in full force trying to promote their agendas. Fortunately at this juncture, such quotas are being rejected for the insulting nonsense that they are.

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