chapter  2
Elements of a Perfect Storm
Pages 11

Governors are the most important of all state officeholders. In more cases than not, they enjoy veto power over legislative decisions, mold the courts by their nominations of judges, and possess superior access to information through management of the bureaucracy. Simply put, governors are at the apex of state power because of the clout associated with their offices-an endowment matched nowhere in American politics other than the U.S. presidency. No wonder that in 2002 alone Frank Murkowski left the U.S. Senate to become Alaska’s governor, while Rod Blagojevich and Robert Ehrlich, Jr., gave up seats in the U.S. House of Representatives to become governors of Illinois and Maryland, respectively.