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Monday, December 17, 2007

The best campaign workers tax payers can buy?

This story reports on a scandal in Pennsylvania involving Democrats and adjusting tax-payer financed year-end bonuses for their staff depending on how much time they put into the Democrat campaigns. I wonder why this hasn't made its way to Texas or North Carolina (the last two states in which I have lived):

The system that produced the pay bonus scandal now roiling the state Capitol took shape at least three years ago when a cadre of top House aides began tracking campaign hours put in by Democratic caucus employees and then tied them to taxpayer-funded salary bonuses.

The records obtained by the Post-Gazette show that in 2004 managers working inside the Democratic caucus based year-end payroll bonuses on time spent working political campaigns. A year later, the same group employed a spreadsheet that logged political work performed by the employees and used that data in deciding pay bonus amounts.

A trio of spreadsheets attached to an Aug. 31, 2005 e-mail by Mr. Webb, who kept track of volunteer hours, ranked caucus employees as "rock stars," "good," and "OK" and assigned bonuses according to the rankings. In another e-mail, dated Nov. 22, 2004, a House aide advised Mr. Veon that a list of year-end bonuses was based on "performance during session" and "Outside activities" which included election work that encompassed, "specials, general, Nader effort."

The "Nader effort" is an apparent reference to a Democratic project to challenge the ballot petitions of the independent presidential candidate, who they feared would peel away votes from Democratic nominee Sen. John F. Kerry. Mr. Nader's ballots were later thrown out as a result of the petition challenge and the state Supreme Court later ordered Mr. Nader to pay the Democratic party's legal costs.

The e-mail messages also show apparent widespread use of the Democratic caucus employees, offices and computer systems for political work.

Oh, if this had been Republicans working in a border-line red state, would we hear no end to it? Nevertheless, isn't this why both parties have such low opinion ratings?

I wonder if the original spreadsheets are floating around somewhere - I'll give it a go through Google.

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