Scholarship on executive politics provides conflicting views about whether staffing administrative agencies through politicized or (politically) autonomous means is the best method for maximizing bureaucratic competence. We offer a theoretical account which maintains that obtaining a proper balance between both types of personnel systems across the supervisory and subordinate levels of an organization will best foster bureaucratic competence. We evaluate our organizational balancing thesis using data on executive branch general revenue fund forecasts in the American states from 1987 to 2002. States with a combination of politically appointed agency executives and merit-selected subordinates generally provide more accurate revenue forecasts than states that possess uniformly politicized personnel selection systems. Conversely, states with a combination of department head–appointed executives and subordinates chosen from an at-will system (i.e., nonmerit) produce more accurate forecasts than states with uniformly autonomous personnel selection systems. Our statistical findings underscore the positive consequences associated with balancing politicized and autonomous means of selecting personnel within hierarchies of political organizations.