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CA: Governor's aides got big bonuses for political work
LA Times ^ | 1/20/07 | Peter Nicholas

Posted on 01/20/2007 9:40:41 AM PST by NormsRevenge

SACRAMENTO — Four senior aides to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger were paid nearly a quarter-million dollars in bonuses for political work they performed during the governor's race — money that came from insurers, oil companies, real estate developers and other private interests that contributed to the governor's campaign.

Chief of staff Susan Kennedy received a $100,000 bonus as a reward for the time she devoted to Schwarzenegger's reelection bid, the governor's office said Friday. With that bonus, Kennedy has collected $323,500 in campaign and taxpayer money in her year as Schwarzenegger's top aide.

Schwarzenegger paid his communications director, Adam Mendelsohn, a bonus of $75,000 for his work on the campaign — on top of his taxpayer-financed salary of $123,000. Separately, Mendelsohn earned $13,000 last year in campaign salary, bringing his total pay to $211,000.

Daniel Zingale, chief of staff to first lady Maria Shriver, received a $25,000 campaign bonus, supplementing his state salary of $123,000. And Clay Russell, the governor's personal assistant, was rewarded with a $48,000 bonus. That sum, coupled with a separate $20,000 campaign salary Russell received, boosted his compensation by 80%.

... In each case, the aides who got bonuses are those who spend the most time with the governor and first lady, or are personal favorites.

Kennedy and Mendelsohn are two of a small number of aides welcome to see the governor without an appointment. Russell is constantly at Schwarzenegger's side. Zingale is gaining influence, having recently been named a special advisor to the governor in addition to his role as Shriver's confidant.

Julie Soderlund, a spokeswoman for Schwarzenegger, said that all four deserved the money, having put in considerable campaign work on their own time. Now that the campaign is over, no Schwarzenegger aide will be paid anything beyond a straight government salary, Soderlund said.

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Politics/Elections; US: California
KEYWORDS: aides; bonuses; california; politicalwork; schwarzenegger; susankennedy
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I wonder how much time they spent here?
1 posted on 01/20/2007 9:40:42 AM PST by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

Schwarzenegger's practice of boosting the salaries of his most valued aides appears to be rare. A survey of the 10 largest states after California showed that nine don't allow it.


2 posted on 01/20/2007 9:42:10 AM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...... California 2007,, Where's a script re-write guy when ya need 'em?)
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To: NormsRevenge
Schwarzenegger's practice of boosting the salaries of his most valued aides appears to be rare.

I trust this is state money and is part of the Governors plan to balance the budget.

3 posted on 01/20/2007 9:45:05 AM PST by EGPWS
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To: EGPWS

(The) money .. came from insurers, oil companies, real estate developers and other private interests that contributed to the governor's campaign.

--

slush money


4 posted on 01/20/2007 9:49:39 AM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...... California 2007,, Where's a script re-write guy when ya need 'em?)
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To: NormsRevenge
Schwarzenegger's practice of boosting the salaries of his most valued aides appears to be rare.

(The) money .. came from insurers, oil companies, real estate developers and other private interests that contributed to the governor's campaign.

So the special interest groups are paying the increases in their salaries.

Something appears to be, in the least, unethical with the Governors office.

5 posted on 01/20/2007 9:56:06 AM PST by EGPWS
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To: EGPWS

now, now, at least he and the donors aren't burdening the state treasury by doing this, is he?

Besides, they did all this work off the official clock too, so it's all above board, right? ;-)


6 posted on 01/20/2007 10:07:06 AM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...... California 2007,, Where's a script re-write guy when ya need 'em?)
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To: NormsRevenge

Corruption, corruption, corruption.

What is the breaking point for the citizen's of California? Are we there yet?


7 posted on 01/20/2007 10:08:18 AM PST by hedgetrimmer (I'm a millionaire thanks to the WTO and "free trade" system--Hu Jintao top 10 worst dictators)
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To: NormsRevenge
Kennedy has collected $323,500 in campaign and taxpayer money in her year as Schwarzenegger's top aide.
Schwarzenegger paid his communications director, Adam Mendelsohn, a bonus of $75,000 for his work on the campaign — on top of his taxpayer-financed salary of $123,000.

This article is nothing more then an ANTI-ARNOLD hit piece from that leftist rag, the Times.

All of the Governor's staff are paid by the state, this was true under Dems and under Republicans. I do not recall seeing any such slams against loser's like Gray Davis and I am sure he did the same thing.

8 posted on 01/20/2007 10:15:52 AM PST by Michael.SF. (It's time our lawmakers paid more attention to their responsibilities, and less to their privileges.)
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To: Michael.SF.

You may well be right.

Regardless, an aggressive Progressive socialist agenda is being advanced at a rapid rate and a few are doing quite well in helping to make it happen.

I'm almost jealous, almost. How about you? ;-)


9 posted on 01/20/2007 10:19:38 AM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...... California 2007,, Where's a script re-write guy when ya need 'em?)
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To: Michael.SF.
This article is nothing more then an ANTI-ARNOLD hit piece from that leftist rag, the Times.

So government corruption is ok, if its our guy?
10 posted on 01/20/2007 10:35:27 AM PST by hedgetrimmer (I'm a millionaire thanks to the WTO and "free trade" system--Hu Jintao top 10 worst dictators)
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To: NormsRevenge
now, now, at least he and the donors aren't burdening the state treasury by doing this, is he?

I don't know, how is the California state budget doing these day's?

11 posted on 01/20/2007 10:39:19 AM PST by EGPWS
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To: hedgetrimmer
So government corruption is ok, if its our guy?

Let's take a closer look at what we have learned from this article:

1) The Governor of the State has a staff whose salaries are paid by the state.
2) Some members of the Governor's Staff also worked on the Governor's campaign.
3) Those members of his staff, that worked on his campaign, received additional compensation for that work.
4) The funds used for that additional compensation came from the Governor's campaign funds.
5) Some campaign donations were made to the Governor by big businesses.

Now, where is the corruption that you speak of?

12 posted on 01/20/2007 10:43:56 AM PST by Michael.SF. (It's time our lawmakers paid more attention to their responsibilities, and less to their privileges.)
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To: EGPWS

13 posted on 01/20/2007 10:47:51 AM PST by Michael.SF. (It's time our lawmakers paid more attention to their responsibilities, and less to their privileges.)
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To: Michael.SF.
I do not recall seeing any such slams against loser's like Gray Davis and I am sure he did the same thing.

What is ol' Gray up to these day's?

14 posted on 01/20/2007 10:49:22 AM PST by EGPWS
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To: EGPWS
What is ol' Gray up to these day's?

Busy becoming a part of the history books.

15 posted on 01/20/2007 10:51:43 AM PST by Michael.SF. (It's time our lawmakers paid more attention to their responsibilities, and less to their privileges.)
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To: NormsRevenge

The corruption knows no end.


16 posted on 01/20/2007 10:51:45 AM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: EGPWS

It's no big deal. Arnie just wanted to make sure they could afford to purchase an entry-level home at California prices. ;-) Gotta make about $300 grand for that...


17 posted on 01/20/2007 10:54:02 AM PST by RockinRight (To compare Congress to drunken sailors is an insult to drunken sailors. - Ronald W. Reagan)
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To: Michael.SF.
Busy becoming a part of the history books.

And the band plays on....

18 posted on 01/20/2007 10:54:20 AM PST by EGPWS
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To: RockinRight
It's no big deal. Arnie just wanted to make sure they could afford to purchase an entry-level home at California prices. ;-) Gotta make about $300 grand for that...

Arnold: toss money around in a critical deficit and that's good.

Dubya: toss money around and turn the Clinton WOT into our favor and that's bad.

Go figure.

19 posted on 01/20/2007 10:58:52 AM PST by EGPWS
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To: EGPWS

It was just a joke.


20 posted on 01/20/2007 10:59:34 AM PST by RockinRight (To compare Congress to drunken sailors is an insult to drunken sailors. - Ronald W. Reagan)
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To: Michael.SF.
whose salaries are paid by the state. 2) Some members of the Governor's Staff also worked on the Governor's campaign
21 posted on 01/20/2007 11:03:59 AM PST by hedgetrimmer (I'm a millionaire thanks to the WTO and "free trade" system--Hu Jintao top 10 worst dictators)
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To: hedgetrimmer
Based on the information contained here, that does not define corruption. If they were in fact working on the gov's campaign and doing so on 'company' time, then you would be right. But the article does not say that, does it? If they had been doing so, the article would say it, on that I have no doubt.
22 posted on 01/20/2007 11:08:51 AM PST by Michael.SF. (It's time our lawmakers paid more attention to their responsibilities, and less to their privileges.)
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To: Michael.SF.

I guess it all depends on what the definition of "Corruption" IS.

I suspect some GOP donors on the list are happy with this and some may not be which seems to raise a question of why some benefit and others likely may not. OH well, that's politics these days.

One man's gored ox is roasting over another's BBQ pit.

Let's eat. There's plenty in the public feeding trough.


23 posted on 01/20/2007 11:17:48 AM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...... California 2007,, Where's a script re-write guy when ya need 'em?)
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To: hedgetrimmer

we're about to leave the state!!! We've lived here for over 65 years,and the state is just getting more and more corrupt. the question is, where do you go anymore that ISN'T corrupt!!


24 posted on 01/20/2007 11:21:35 AM PST by pollywog (Joshua 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid,)
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To: NormsRevenge
The thing that bothers me in the article is that the 'corruption' is implied. Many here are assuming that this was a corrupt deal, but in reality it was all probably legal. A staff member takes a 30 day leave of absence and works on his campaign and is paid for it.

If these people really did double dip, the Times would not keep it quiet.

25 posted on 01/20/2007 11:25:18 AM PST by Michael.SF. (It's time our lawmakers paid more attention to their responsibilities, and less to their privileges.)
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To: Michael.SF.
Based on the information contained here, that does not define corruption

It describes Tammany Hall to a 'T'. Businesses giving gifts to state workers, in return the workers support the "Boss" and the politicians and bureaucrats that he supports and controls. Nope not a HINT of corruption! /sarc

This corrupt administration depends on acceptance of patronage and anti-constitutional rule. It is attempting to control voting through a redistricting measure that further removes the citizen from the political process.

Yes, this governors administration DEFINES corruption, from this to 'smart growth' to 'goods movement corridors' and his constitution-quashing "California Performance Review".
26 posted on 01/20/2007 11:34:05 AM PST by hedgetrimmer (I'm a millionaire thanks to the WTO and "free trade" system--Hu Jintao top 10 worst dictators)
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To: pollywog

Poor California. All that will be left soon, are the illegal immigrant gangs.Its a good thing we have Bank of America and Wells Fargo to give them loans to buy homes to prop up the housing market. General Vallejo MUST be turning over in his grave.


27 posted on 01/20/2007 11:36:32 AM PST by hedgetrimmer (I'm a millionaire thanks to the WTO and "free trade" system--Hu Jintao top 10 worst dictators)
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To: Michael.SF.
Many here are assuming that this was a corrupt deal

Only those who believe in constitutional government, I guess.
28 posted on 01/20/2007 11:37:30 AM PST by hedgetrimmer (I'm a millionaire thanks to the WTO and "free trade" system--Hu Jintao top 10 worst dictators)
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To: Michael.SF.

pa·tron·age -- the distribution of jobs and favors on a political basis, as to those who have supported one's party or political campaign.


29 posted on 01/20/2007 11:43:40 AM PST by hedgetrimmer (I'm a millionaire thanks to the WTO and "free trade" system--Hu Jintao top 10 worst dictators)
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To: Michael.SF.

No mention of any leaves of absence being taken in the article that I can see..

In a sense, it's the old 'appearance of impropriety' issue, something that has long since been kicked to the curb in today's version of politics.

I guess to some folks who were GOP donors, they may not mind that their donations were co-mingled and used to pay democrat staff members, while others may not relish that thought of actually compensating folks that are committed to work against their interests.

--

The last couple paragraphs also may be of note.

"No matter how they are paid, each of the governor's aides can be trusted to act in the public interest", said Soderlund, the governor's spokeswoman.

"Ultimately, each of these individuals is working for the governor's vision and on behalf of the governor," she said.


30 posted on 01/20/2007 12:19:54 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...... California 2007,, Where's a script re-write guy when ya need 'em?)
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To: NormsRevenge; Michael.SF.

People wonder why it appears as if they no longer have a voice in government, this is why.

Government bureaucrats are ostensibly there to do the people's business. But now, they are getting paid by corporate interests. When a citizen goes to these people, and his interests conflict with the business interests,whose interests do you think will win out? The citizen or the business with deep pockets with a track record of 'donating' to the bureacracy? How does this kind of behavior protect our rights as citizens and preserve our republic? How can this NOT be seen as corruption and harmful to the people of the state of California?


31 posted on 01/20/2007 1:03:47 PM PST by hedgetrimmer (I'm a millionaire thanks to the WTO and "free trade" system--Hu Jintao top 10 worst dictators)
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To: hedgetrimmer

Government bureaucrats are ostensibly there to do the people's business. But now, they are getting paid by corporate interests. When a citizen goes to these people, and his interests conflict with the business interests,whose interests do you think will win out? The citizen or the business with deep pockets with a track record of 'donating' to the bureacracy?

--

sounds like a Third Way thing, government and major corporate interests take control of pretty much everything, working "hand in hand" for the common good..

It takes slick folks ( and ruthless ones) to sell things like that.. or folks with high Q factors, aka folks like clinton and cronies and schwarzenkenndys.. Progressives tho they try to portray themselves as centrists and populists. The truth is they are social democrats, or more plainly, socialists .. period.


32 posted on 01/20/2007 1:10:33 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...... California 2007,, Where's a script re-write guy when ya need 'em?)
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To: hedgetrimmer

The article makes no mention of all that you have assumed to be at play here.


33 posted on 01/20/2007 1:12:58 PM PST by Michael.SF. (It's time our lawmakers paid more attention to their responsibilities, and less to their privileges.)
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To: hedgetrimmer

The 'patronage' you talk about in post 29 refers to jobs of power or authority. This article is about the Governor's staff. Huge difference between the two.


34 posted on 01/20/2007 2:00:59 PM PST by Michael.SF. (It's time our lawmakers paid more attention to their responsibilities, and less to their privileges.)
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To: Michael.SF.
It says right here! Four senior aides to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger were paid nearly a quarter-million dollars in bonuses for political work they performed during the governor's race — money that came from insurers, oil companies, real estate developers and other private interests that contributed to the governor's campaign.

Tammany Hall. Or did you forget your US history? Corporations paying bureaucrats to do political work. The more I think about it, the more criminal this appears. By rights, the citizens should indict and prosecute these people.
35 posted on 01/20/2007 2:01:08 PM PST by hedgetrimmer (I'm a millionaire thanks to the WTO and "free trade" system--Hu Jintao top 10 worst dictators)
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To: Michael.SF.
Corporations are paying people who are closest to the governor. This is bribery.

Bribery is offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions as an official or other person in discharge of a public or legal duty.
36 posted on 01/20/2007 2:08:20 PM PST by hedgetrimmer (I'm a millionaire thanks to the WTO and "free trade" system--Hu Jintao top 10 worst dictators)
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To: Michael.SF.

Its disingenuous to imply the governors staff has no power or authority.


37 posted on 01/20/2007 2:09:26 PM PST by hedgetrimmer (I'm a millionaire thanks to the WTO and "free trade" system--Hu Jintao top 10 worst dictators)
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To: hedgetrimmer
Tammany Hall. Or did you forget your US history?

No, but apparently you did.

Tammany Hall was a method set up by a small group of wealthy and powerful men who supplied money to a select few and set them up in positions of real power (Police Captains and Chiefs, Judges, Directors of the Water Commission, Harbor Commission, and other select offices and positions of trust, people who had decision making roles and power over key aspects of government operation.

Its disingenuous to imply the governors staff has no power or authority.

No it is not. It is realistic. They have no authority or power to make decisions, cast votes, sign or veto legislation, which is what "Power or Authority" means.

money that came from ... the governor's campaign.

I believe the article is purposefully written to imply impropriety, thus it inserts some of the many contributors to the campaign. Some have fallen for this manipulative trick, yourself included. Cutting out the inflammatory rhetoric, the bottom line is campaign funds were used and that my friend is legal.

In all seriousness, if the Times thought this was illegal, it would have been far harder on him and more direct in stating such. Unless you have an answer to that observation, your position is w/o merit.

38 posted on 01/20/2007 5:32:38 PM PST by Michael.SF. (It's time our lawmakers paid more attention to their responsibilities, and less to their privileges.)
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To: NormsRevenge
And Clay Russell, the governor's personal assistant, was rewarded with a $48,000 bonus. That sum, coupled with a separate $20,000 campaign salary Russell received, boosted his compensation by 80%.

Wow... personal chefs do pretty well working on the taxpayer dime.

39 posted on 01/20/2007 6:09:34 PM PST by calcowgirl ("Liberalism is just Communism sold by the drink." P. J. O'Rourke)
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To: Michael.SF.
A one hundred thousand dollar 'bonus' is a BRIBE. There is a distinct conflict of interest between California citizens and a government bureaucrat who takes CAMPAIGN DONATIONS! How is a constitutional republic preserved when its officials are so corrupt?

And yes, there is quite the correlation to Tammany Hall here. A group of wealthy and powerful men set ONE OF THEIR OWN up in a position of real power, that is the Governor himself. And the Governor acts with KING-like authority over Californians. We are in real trouble with this governor, because he cares NOTHING for preserving individual rights or the freedom of Californians.
40 posted on 01/20/2007 6:10:27 PM PST by hedgetrimmer (I'm a millionaire thanks to the WTO and "free trade" system--Hu Jintao top 10 worst dictators)
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To: Michael.SF.
No it is not. It is realistic. They have no authority or power to make decisions, cast votes, sign or veto legislation, which is what "Power or Authority" means.

Under your definition, anyone in the Executive branch, except for the Governor, has no "Power or Authority."

That's just ridiculous.

41 posted on 01/20/2007 6:17:00 PM PST by calcowgirl ("Liberalism is just Communism sold by the drink." P. J. O'Rourke)
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To: calcowgirl
That's just ridiculous.

You have to read it in the context of this thread. I earlier stated that members of the Governor's staff have no "power or authority", which is a true statment. They do have influence, they do have limited control over some aspects of a legislative agenda, but they are not the type of people that a corrupt "Tammany Hall" woould be paying money directly to.

D

42 posted on 01/20/2007 6:30:03 PM PST by Michael.SF. (It's time our lawmakers paid more attention to their responsibilities, and less to their privileges.)
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To: Michael.SF.

I think you are being very naive.


43 posted on 01/20/2007 7:07:07 PM PST by calcowgirl ("Liberalism is just Communism sold by the drink." P. J. O'Rourke)
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To: Michael.SF.; calcowgirl
Already, her $131,000 taxpayer-funded state salary as chief of staff has been bolstered by at least $25,000 for political consulting to the Schwarzenegger campaign, state financial records show

Here is a person who gets a bonus of $100,000 from the Schwarzenegger Campaign fund, dontated by some corporation that effectively doubled her salary. I wonder what other campaign workers made? What about the poor saps who volunteer their time to re-election campaigns? Oh, they don't need to be paid off, but a close staff memember to the governor does?
44 posted on 01/20/2007 8:54:10 PM PST by hedgetrimmer (I'm a millionaire thanks to the WTO and "free trade" system--Hu Jintao top 10 worst dictators)
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To: hedgetrimmer

It all stinks.


45 posted on 01/20/2007 9:02:08 PM PST by calcowgirl ("Liberalism is just Communism sold by the drink." P. J. O'Rourke)
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To: calcowgirl
As part of Susan Kennedy's hiring package, she got a lot more than you might think.... Kennedy's hiring was the culmination of a five-hour meeting, sources said, at which Kennedy demanded--and got--sole authority over hiring and firing the executive staff.

Now why would he give her that authority? Who else is paying her 'bonuses' so that her $131K salary is tripled? Any ideas?
46 posted on 01/20/2007 9:15:58 PM PST by hedgetrimmer (I'm a millionaire thanks to the WTO and "free trade" system--Hu Jintao top 10 worst dictators)
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To: hedgetrimmer; NormsRevenge
Who else is paying her 'bonuses' so that her $131K salary is tripled? Any ideas?

Darius Anderson? The CCPOA?

See also:

CA: Show Me The Money (Susan Kennedy wanted $250K a year at new job)
La Weekly - NewsWestNotes ^ | 2/17/06 | Bill Bradley
Posted on 02/17/2006 7:06:00 AM PST by NormsRevenge

47 posted on 01/20/2007 9:29:44 PM PST by calcowgirl ("Liberalism is just Communism sold by the drink." P. J. O'Rourke)
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To: calcowgirl
And I notice you and HT are throwing accusations around w/o the facts to back them up.

If the LA times had the goods on this they would say so.

Neither you or HT have ever answered me on that one.

There is nothing in this article except accusations and implied 'corruption'.

Sorry, I need some evidence not wild speculation.

48 posted on 01/20/2007 11:33:27 PM PST by Michael.SF. (It's time our lawmakers paid more attention to their responsibilities, and less to their privileges.)
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To: Michael.SF.; hedgetrimmer
And I notice you and HT are throwing accusations around w/o the facts to back them up.

I accused no one of anything! Please reread my posts.

If the LA times had the goods on this they would say so. Neither you or HT have ever answered me on that one.

I am of the school that believes so-called "public servants" should avoid even an appearance of conflict-of-interest. They have failed miserably in these funding schemes. I repeat: I think you are being very naive.

49 posted on 01/20/2007 11:42:10 PM PST by calcowgirl ("Liberalism is just Communism sold by the drink." P. J. O'Rourke)
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To: NormsRevenge

It's her way.

"The governor paid Susan Kennedy $25,000 while she was still a member of the Public Utilities Commission considering the SBC-AT&T merger and shortly after AT&T donated $25,000 to the governor's campaign account, report Dan Morain and Robert Salladay in the Times."

http://www.capitolbasement.com/archives/02-03-06/


50 posted on 01/21/2007 7:26:54 AM PST by Mojave
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