If you care about state government and you're not getting the free email, "The Daily Buzz," from Blue Tennessee, you're missing out. It's an excellent aggregation of political news from Nashville and around the state, and one that often links to our own Jackson Baker and other Flyer writers. Click the link and check it out.
Today's bulletin links to an overlooked bit of shenanigans by Governor Bill Haslam and Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey, both of whom managed to give their some on their staffs 15 to 35 percent pay-raises, despite the state-wide "freeze" on state employee salaries. In all, eighteen well-connected staffers received salary increases.
Ramsey's rationale is particularly nauseating:
" ... someone who Ramsey feels really deserved a raise last fiscal year is the Senate's chief clerk, who already made $147,000 a year and received a $6,000 raise. "Your clerk is at a six-figure salary. He got a $500 a month raise. Is that excessive in this economy?" asked Moses.
"No," said Ramsey. "It's not excessive at all." Ramsey said [the clerk] has made serious budget cuts by eliminating legislative staff and therefore saved the state money, making these increases okay.
In other words, it's business as usual for the power elites. They ignore the law when it's convenient to do so, with a "let 'em eat cake" attitude.
Also, don't ignore the Daily Buzz link to the piece about disgruntled gun activists. They are ticked at the GOP for "ignoring" their concerns.
The Dark Ages really have arrived with this bunch.
UPDATE: Received the following:
I saw your blog post about the WSMV story about pay raises for 18 legislative staffers. Your post is incorrect because at no point does the story mention Gov. Haslam. I would respectfully ask that you please delete your reference to the governor.
Gov. Bill Haslam's Office