Berkshire Jackson One Of The Few

Brent Finnegan -- January 9th, 2010

Del. Matt Lohr’s former aide was mentioned on the Washington Post Politics blog today.

[Incoming attorney general Ken Cuccinelli] announced the majority of his inner circle Friday, and they had something in common: With one exception, they were all men. Of the nine top aides Cuccinelli announced Friday, only one–Director of Legislative and Government Affairs Audrey Berkshire Jackson–was a woman.

Berkshire Jackson, an EMU grad, previously served as Lohr’s legislative director.

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13 Responses to “Berkshire Jackson One Of The Few”

  1. Ken Cuccinelli is an honest Man who will not play games with selection or advancement. Ken is doing what the rest of America should do; select, hire and promote the best talent that you can find, and stop trying to create a phony representative sample of some theoretical population with the hiring/appointment process, that is based on gender or gene pool of origin.

    If you want to wag a finger and say shame, you should point in the direction of those idiots who claim that they will select a staff that, “…looks like America…” when they really mean that they will be handing out jobs as a form of political payback and give no regard to the quality or qualifications of those being placed in appointed positions.

    As a member of the Democratic Party here in Virginia, I wish all elected officials would follow Mr. Cuccinelli’s example and make the affirmative step towards returning America to a MERIT based society. The selection process must be open to all, but the final selection must always be based on MERIT.

    This may be the only time that I agree with Ken Cuccinelli for the rest of his term, but on this issue, Ken is right!

  2. Renee says:

    Yes, but the question raised is whether women with the same merits have been considered for the position. I don’t know much about him or his campaign, but it’s worth raising the question.

    You don’t know for a fact that all of the men had better credentials than all of the women until you look.

  3. Renee says:

    In addition, though I agree with you that merit is most important, having representatives in the cabinet from each “gender or gene pool of origin” is also important in a representative-based government such as ours.

  4. So representing different genders and races is equally as important as merit? That seems to be the point you are making.

    Also, Cuccinelli was the elected official, not his “inner circle”. Who he has as his (non-elected, non-representative) aides and directors is who he feels will do the best job for him. That’s just how Cooch is, and I’ll have to agree with J Tyler Ballance on this one (which is amazing, because he and I tend to be at odds on many topics).

    This is an example of somebody in the Washington Post trying to make a story/scandal/issue out of nothing.

  5. Deb SF says:

    According to the same article, “Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell bragged that half of the deputy attorneys general he appointed as attorney general were women.” So at least someone from the Republican party believes that appointing women to positions of power is important.

    It’s not nothing. Despite the fact that women make up the majority of the workforce and now the majority of the population in college, inequalities unrelated to with differences merit exist. If men in power only appoint men, then it becomes a self-perpetuating cycle where by definition women are denied the chance to build on experiences that can serve as the stepping-stone to other opportunities down the road. Women aren’t appointed because they don’t have the experience; a guy does because he got appointed by the last guy in the position. This is neither a gender-blind nor a color-blind society.

    And, in this case, the state is denied the talents and skills of a pool consisting of half the population interested and willing to serve the public.

  6. Renee says:

    “So representing different genders and races is equally as important as merit? That seems to be the point you are making.”

    No, I said “though I agree with you that merit is most important”.

    I just think it should be considered. Not the most important factor in making the decision, though.

  7. Renee says:

    And I agree with Deb that the cycle is self-perpetuating. Men will have the most experience in the positions if they’re the ones being chosen for them. Of course trust is also a factor, so people are most likely to choose people they’ve worked with before, and it’s also likely that there are more men interested in the positions than women because there are more men in politics in general, so you can argue it both ways.

    I’m not arguing either way on Cuccinelli’s group because I don’t know him or the backgrounds of these appointees. I’m just saying that it is worth raising the question of whether women with good qualifications were also considered for the positions and it’s not just men being selected from the “good ol’ boys” club. The question is worth asking any time appointments are being made, especially when 89% of the aide positions so far have gone to men.

  8. Renee says:

    Just FYI, one of the appointees, Chuck James Jr. is African-American.

    Here is info on the group:
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/virginiapolitics/2010/01/cuccinelli_staffs_up_attorney.html

    Also, the position that Audrey Berkshire Jackson is filling is “Director of Legislative and Government Affairs”, which I couldn’t find a good description of. Does anyone know what that director does?
    Here are the services she has been paid for according to VPAP:
    http://www.vpap.org/vendors/profile/index/77224

  9. Will says:

    Berkshire Jackson? That’s someone’s name? A women, are you sure about that?

    Berkshire Jackson sounds like some preppy dude you meet at a UVa football (laugh) tailgate party wearing a (barf) bowtie…or the name of a retirement village…funny!

  10. Audrey is a woman’s name. Berkshire is her maiden name. Jackson is her last name.

  11. Will says:

    But willingly goes by “Berkshire”…child please!

  12. cook says:

    No, No, No, Will, her name is Audrey. As in, “Hi, Audrey, how do you like your new job?” Or, “Honey, let’s invite Audrey and her new husband over to dinner; I haven’t met him yet.”

    I’ve always known her has Audrey Berkshire (or Ms. Berkshire). She recently married one Mr. Jackson. When dicussing publicly known figures in the news we often refer to “Obama” or “Zorn” or “McDonnell.” It is still up in the air, I think, regarding how we refer to public figures with two last names. In this case, however, the simple explanation for the author using “Berkshire Jackson” is that no one would yet know who Audrey Jackson is.

    Does that clear it up for you?

  13. seth says:

    damn compound names….
    wouldn’t it be easier if she just became jerkshire or backson? when a smith married a whitten, they became smitten. i always thought that was more sensible than some crazy hyphen.

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