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Not such a 'new' Republican after all (Like GWB!?)

by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / June 29, 2004 10:25 PM PDT
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(NT) (NT) Same ol' thing! *sigh*
by Dan McC / June 29, 2004 11:59 PM PDT
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More 'Much ado about nothing'
by Evie / June 30, 2004 12:06 AM PDT
Schwarzenegger's office noted that he is requesting the same funding, $6.1 million, in the coming fiscal year that the governor's office had this year.

The author seems to have no problem using numbers when discussing salaries, but seems to have come down with a case of the fuzzies when stating that "Schwarzenegger has slightly fewer employees than Gov. Gray Davis "

If the budget for his office is remaining steady, then somewhere along the line his staff is doing a more efficient job. In the end the bottom line is a wash, so there is no beef here.

Evie Happy
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Re: More 'Much ado about nothing'
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / June 30, 2004 12:08 AM PDT

Hi, Evie.

If there's a budget crisis, you try to CUT spending in the office, not spread the same amount over fewer but better-paid people at the same time lots of other state employees are taking 100% pay cuts (i.e., are being laid off).

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Perhaps, Dave...
by J. Vega / June 30, 2004 12:15 AM PDT

Dave, perhaps he might conduct a "ghost" hunt. Remember when Clinton cut back on White House staff, and it seemed to be still as crowded?

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Re: More 'Much ado about nothing'
by Evie / June 30, 2004 12:16 AM PDT
If there's a budget crisis, you try to CUT spending in the office,

I'll remember this the next time you wail about your budget being only increased by a few percent. You have expressed time and time again how freezing spending is a defacto cut and how such would decimate any of your pet government agencies. Arnold is holding the line on spending in his office. That is the bottom line, he has NOT increased his budget. One thing to consider is that with fewer employees, the taxpayer isn't paying or on the hook for as many benefits and pensions.

Evie Happy
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Are you sure about this Dave?
by Edward ODaniel / June 30, 2004 2:06 AM PDT

After all you are the man who VERY RECENTLY has equated a 2% cut to REALLT being an 8% cut. That same logic (and "inflation allowance" or whatever you call it) would make the 6.1 million funding request (the same as last year's 6.1 million) a 6% funding cut.

Try to show some consistency please.

Can you regale us with stories of how you turned down your last raise and chastized the Institution because others there were getting 100% pay cuts (laid off)? It would be interresting to hear.

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Actually Ed ...
by Evie / June 30, 2004 2:09 AM PDT

... it wasn't even a 2% cut. It was "only" a 2% increase vs. whatever the expected amount was. But you are right, the "effective" amount Dave claimed changed with each post as Konkelomics was used in the analysis.

Evie Happy

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Re: More 'Much ado about nothing'
by Dan McC / June 30, 2004 12:12 AM PDT
According to the payroll records, the average annual salary for employees in the governor's office has risen 22 percent since Sept. 30, just a week before the recall. It rose from $48,861 in September to $59,585 as of May 28, seven months after Schwarzenegger was sworn in.

Schwarzenegger also has 14 employees on the official governor's payroll making $100,000 or more a year, up from eight on Davis' staff as of Sept. 30.

Schwarzenegger's office noted that he is requesting the same funding, $6.1 million, in the coming fiscal year that the governor's office had this year. (In addition to salaries, that budget covers equipment, benefits, travel and other costs.)

But the AP obtained payroll documents for both governors' staffs that show spending on employee salaries is far higher than the official budgets indicate because dozens of employees are paid from the budgets of other state departments.


Dan
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So??????
by Evie / June 30, 2004 12:18 AM PDT

Bottom line Dan is that he has held total spending by his office steady. Maybe Republican staffers are just more productive and worthy of higher compensation.

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So....
by Josh K / June 30, 2004 12:48 AM PDT
In reply to: So??????

...he held spending steady when he had an opportunity to CUT spending.

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That wasn't the gripe ...
by Evie / June 30, 2004 1:02 AM PDT
In reply to: So....

... the gripe was over an increase in salaries, when the whole truth made the charge irrelavent at best. At least he held spending steady, something not even considered "on the table" for most Democrat vote-buying social programs.

Deal with it.

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Re: That wasn't the gripe ...
by Josh K / June 30, 2004 1:42 AM PDT

Actually the whole truth revealed that he had an opportunity to cut the budget as he'd promised to do, but instead chose to use the funds to fatten the wallets of some of his highest-paid staff.

Schwarzenegger also has 14 employees on the official governor's payroll making $100,000 or more a year, up from eight on Davis' staff as of Sept. 30.

Isn't that taxpayer money he's using? I thought you guys were all about cutting spending and returning that money to the People?

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Re: That wasn't the gripe ...
by Evie / June 30, 2004 2:00 AM PDT

He has fewer employees doing the same work. Yep, he could have cut his budget, but remember, freezing a budget that is due to increase is a cut in the Democrat playbook. Unless of course a few talented employees get compensated for their worth.

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Re: So....
by Dan McC / June 30, 2004 1:13 AM PDT
In reply to: So....

Josh, he cut the wasteful audit staff and distributed the booty to the plumb positions. That's one way he could have done it, anyway.

Dan

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It's the shell game...
by Dick White / June 30, 2004 1:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: So....

The key to figuring it out is in the sentence "because dozens of employees are paid from the budgets of other state departments." He keeps the Governor's Office budget nominally the same because he mooches his expanding payroll off of other budgets. Oldest trick in the books...

dw

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So ...
by Evie / June 30, 2004 2:11 AM PDT
In reply to: It's the shell game...

... then when the actual figures come back to show that Arnold is paying these more than Davis or that he has actually played the shell game, I'll be the first to jump on board to criticize. Right now, the facts as we have them don't support this partisan BS.

Evie Happy

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ummm...
by Dick White / June 30, 2004 2:33 AM PDT
In reply to: So ...

isn't that what the article said in the last two paragraphs? AP got the payroll records and found the shell game and that total payroll was higher (not simply that he paid a few of his inner circle more than his predecessor).

dw

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No it isn't ****...
by Edward ODaniel / June 30, 2004 2:43 AM PDT
In reply to: ummm...

it was just written to APPEAR to state that.

"But the AP obtained payroll documents for both governors' staffs that show spending on employee salaries is far higher than the official budgets indicate because dozens of employees are paid from the budgets of other state departments."

Nothing was mentioned about any shifting of personnel, just that under BOTH Governors their OFFICIAL BUDGETS do not include those "on loan".

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It was made to appear as such...
by Edward ODaniel / June 30, 2004 2:38 AM PDT
In reply to: It's the shell game...

but do note that the full statement was:

But the AP obtained payroll documents for both governors' staffs that show spending on employee salaries is far higher than the official budgets indicate because dozens of employees are paid from the budgets of other state departments.

which makes this a wash. He may not have shifted a single employee OR he may have shifted some of those making 100,000 or more from where they were being paid to his own budget for where they were working.

The author of this piece STUDIOUSLY AVOIDS identifying EXACTLY how many are on present staff and how many were on previous staff AND if AP obtained the documents indicated they should also have figures showing how many on both staffs are getting paid from other budgets rather than just making a wild unsupported claim.

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Re: It was made to appear as such...
by Dick White / June 30, 2004 3:32 AM PDT

Ed, I'm not disagreeing with you. That's why I ended my post with "oldest trick in the book." Here in Washingonton, I personally bailed out two Presidents of the same "problem" - one of each flavor. One truly cut back his own office but nobody believed it and his political staff couldn't explain it in clear cold analytic facts. The other pushed the envelope and an audit brought the facts to light, so we had to devise new internal controls and inter-agency reimbursement mechanisms. What is unclear and possibly unsettling is the average salary change. Newspaper reporters are notorious for their inability to do math or statistics (or if they do the arithmetic properly, they misrepresent the meaning or use the wrong statistic, but I digress...), so we really don't know the underpinnings of the before and after figures. But my sense of the article is that the AP went hunting through the state payroll for each of those weeks, found all the "Governor's Aides" where ever they had been parked, and averaged their annual pay (probably using that week's pay times 52?). And then there is Gov. S's own foregone pay. On a positive spin, that's one of the ways he kept a constant budget in a time of rising costs - he took some personal sacrifice. On a negative spin, he surely didn't need the extra income, so he just padded the pockets of some cronies. Either way, this is life in the public fishbowl, and as LBJ put it, "if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." But then, when you stand back and look at it with some perspective, if this is the worst they can stick on the guy, he's probably a good Governor.

dw

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'has risen 22 percent since Sept. 30, just a week before
by Edward ODaniel / June 30, 2004 2:28 AM PDT

the recall'

Can you tell us (since the author of the piece didn't see fit to do so) HOW MUCH of that 22% happened before Arnold took over?

How much was longevity raises or the result of contracts?

How much was the result of personnel coming off probationary status and getting full status pay?

Can you tell us how much of the 22% increase of the "average annual salary" was due to eliminating unnecessary low paid support staff positions that others on staff could handle? (Try 4 staff positions with 2 gophers getting 15,000 each per annum, one secretary getting 20,000 per annum, and her boss getting 40,000 per annum--total would be 90,000 for an annual salary average of $22,500. Eliminate one gopher and the total becomes 75,000 for an annual average of $25,000 or an increase of $2500 or 11.11% although total spent on salaries is $15,000 less.)

That last paragraph really appears damaging unless you read it and note that it pertains to BOTH GOVERNORS--then it only makes the "story" less interesting and far less important because those employees salaries can't be reflected in the Governor's staff salaries. A non-story.



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