Betsey Bayless: Long in connections, short on job qualifications

Betsey Bayless stares at us this morning from an above-the-fold perch in the Valley & State section of the daily newspaper. The “moderate” Republican, usually the recipient of high praise from that corner, is taking a jab in the chops today.

In an article titled, Health-system director scrutinized after report, Bayless, 64, is exposed as overpaid and under-qualified for her job as chief executive officer of the state’s largest public hospital system. Paid $368,000 a year for a job for which she acknowledges she has no credentials, she has come under scrutiny by a national health care accrediting organization for flaws in the system.

Bayless was widely regarded as the spoiler in the 2002 governor’s race which Napolitano won by a slim margin over Matt Salmon, a former Arizona GOP congressman. Immediately after Democrat Napolitano’s win, she rewarded Bayless by appointing her Director of the state Department of Administration, a job which normally goes to a party loyalist of the governor.

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8 Responses to Betsey Bayless: Long in connections, short on job qualifications

  1. Joe Evans says:

    Mary Elizabeth “Betsey” Bayless comes from a well-connected, well-heeled old Phoenix family. She had a brief marriage many years ago, but since then has been married to the left-side of GOP politics. Few conservatives trust her after her well-known gubernatorial bid that was actually a calculated assist for Napolitano. Matt Salmon was regarded as a winner and her entrance into that race caused the political dam to break. Napolitano won by approximately 7 (!!!) votes a precinct, statewide. Her numbers soared in Bayless’s home district among the older, liberal, pro-abortion GOP women. They were a great help in putting Napolitano over the top.

    Of course she rewarded Betsey Bayless, with the DOA top position after the election. If Bayless had not entered the race and siphoned votes in that contentious primary, Republican Matt Salmon would have won the top state office in the general. Napolitano was simply showing her gratitude.

    Bayless was appointed to most of her high level positions and then ran as an incumbent. Nice greasing of the skids–if you can get it. She’s done quite well with that strategy.

  2. Sideliner says:

    Hey, Joe:
    You’e got a good memory. Thanks for jogging mine.

  3. Jay Bird says:

    “Spoiler” is right! Many of us remember her all too well. Then state GOP chairman, Bob Fannin, was quite a fan of hers. He’s now the Ambassador to the Dominican Republic. During that election, before he got out of Dodge, he did little to assist Salmon.

  4. Kim says:

    “A job which normally goes to a party loyalist of the governor?” The job did go to such a person when Bayless got it! Nothing abnormal about that.

  5. Jane says:

    Bayless has always found a soft landing with high pay. She knows the right people–many of whom have done her work while she gets the accolades. She’s the consumate politico.

  6. Real Analysis says:

    Way to go, Joe! Your recall and discussion of the situation is most enlightening.

  7. SherriAZ says:

    Hey, I’m not qualified for the job either- where do I sign up?!

  8. [...] a $375,000 yearly salary, Betsey Bayless, as CEO of Maricopa County’s public health care system, earns nearly four times more than [...]

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