Ron Crane is much in the news these days for losing Idaho funds, anywhere from $10 million to $27 million. The Idaho Legislature in its infinite wisdom has decided to give him some help with a five person advisory panel rather than punish him in any way. Mr. Crane was a long time Idaho legislator and we all know they watch out for their own there. The grilling of Ron Crane featured such tough talk from JFAC Co-Chair Senator Dean Cameron as “I truly believe you were trying to do the best you could.”
But perhaps we are being too hard on Mr. Ron Crane. After all, a little digging shows that he is not qualified for his job. One might expect that the State Treasurer in charge of almost 3 billion dollars of state funds might at the least have some kind of finance degree from college. Ron Crane‘s resume on the state website lists a high school education and an Associates Degree “from college.” Sounds a little vague, don’t you think? Ballotpedia says his Associates degree is from the Bible Missionary Institute. I had never heard of it either. It turns out the Bible Missionary Institute is not an accredited college and is basically a training center for Christian missionaries. He got an honorary doctorate from Ohio Christian University in 2008 but all you have to do is show up to get that. So whatever experience he has in finance certainly didn’t come from college.
Quit being a snob, I can hear some of you saying! Relevant work experience can be equal to college if not better, some may say. For the sake of argument, we will accept that premise and look at any relevant work experience of Ron Crane’s. He was in the Idaho National Guard for six years in an unnamed capacity so we can’t know if that was relevant. He started his own alarm company in 1979 and served in the Idaho House of Representatives for 16 years and was on the Idaho State Affairs and Business Committees. It is important to note that there is an Idaho House Appropriations Committee where lots of financial work is done. Ron Crane was never on it. No doubt he must have learned something in all those committees, but apparently not enough to avoid losing money.
It is important to note that this is not an isolated incident. Reading the above articles will show Ron Crane’s past misdeeds as well such as using state money to get limousines for himself in New York. Similar to the kinds of antics that got former Boise Mayor Brent Coles pushed out of his job.
While it might be tempting to blame crony-ism in the Idaho State Government for this unqualified man being the Idaho State Treasurer, facts intervene. Ron Crane wasn’t appointed to his current job by the governor or his friends in the legislature but by you, the voter. Crane won his job unchallenged in the last election, and by almost a 2 to 1 vote the election before that. Ron Crane announced he is going to run again this fall for a fourth term. Is he really the best Idaho has to offer?