by Max Brantley
The governor's office announced today that The Huckster's policy adviser, former TV news announcer Joe Quinn, will be leaving state government for a job as state health care policy director for Wal-Mart. Quinn labored at Human Services before joining the governor's office. (Say: you don't think he had anything to do with the state's recent announcement that it would no longer tabulate the number of Wal-Mart employees in Arkansas on welfare rolls?) Quinn will be moving to Bentonville and working for Wal-Mart across the country. We'll miss Joe, as we've told a commenter. He was a straight shooter.
It's the time when political appointees look for places to land as the Huckabee administration nears an end. There are only so many jobs on his PAC and family comes first there. We heard just the other day of a shuffle over at Workers Comp to accommodate a Republican in need of work while the current administration was still in a position to deliver it. That is how the system works. Readers are encouraged to send along other lateral moves within and without government as the changeover moves along.
Full news release on the jump.
Huckabee news release
Governor Mike Huckabee announced Wednesday that Director of Policy Joe Quinn has resigned to accept a position as Director of State Healthcare Policy with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc of Bentonville.
Quinn has been a member of the governor's senior management team since December of 2002. Prior to that he served as Director of Communications for the Huckabee 2002 re-election campaign and Director of Communications for the Arkansas Department of Human Services from 1995-2002.
"Over the past nine years Joe has worked hard to make ARKids First one of the best children's health programs in the United States," Governor Huckabee said. "He has also been a key player in the creation of the Healthy Arkansas program that became the basis for the Healthy America initiative during my tenure as Chairman of the National Governors Association. He has been an important part of my team, but I am thrilled he is making this natural transition to one of America's great companies."
Quinn will join Wal-Mart on July 5, 2006. In his new position he will be involved in the company's effort to make healthcare affordable and accessible to 1.3 million Wal-Mart associates and their families nationwide. He will also be part of a team involved with the ongoing work of telling the Wal-Mart health story to elected officials across the country.
Quinn said, "My time with Governor Huckabee has been a remarkable experience. With grace and courage, this man from Hope has fought each day to make quality medical care and a great education a reality for all Arkansas children. Is there a finer legacy any leader could have? I will miss the work here, but I am excited about the future with Wal-Mart. This amazing company is a truly unique American story, and I'm looking forward to this opportunity to continue to be involved in the key issues of our times."
Quinn lives in Little Rock with his wife Shannon. They have two children, Jimmy and Ava.