Monday, May 11, 2009

Kansas Republicans are giant hypocrites? I'm SHOCKED!

Via Kansas Jackass and the LJWorld comes this fascinating story about large bonuses the (mostly Republican) state legislatures pay their staff. This story broke after the Republicans floated a plan to cut state worker salaries by 5%. The plan was eventually defeated.

You can argue the merits of such bonuses but what I found so amazing about this whole thing was that the current president for a group called Americans for Prosperity, Derrick Sontag, and his wife, Sherriene Jones-Sontag, collected nearly $18,000 in these bonuses on their way out the door. Sherriene got her $10k bonus after her boss get kicked to the curb as majority leader last December when the magnitude of the budget issues facing the state were well-known. Meanwhile Derrick is sending out press releases complaining that more money wasn't cut from public education noting that spending had increased 53% since 2003 in that area.

Hmm, that's odd. That coincides with the exact same time that Kansas school districts were forced to sue their own state government to provide them adequate funding (a case they actually won). So, the lesson here is "screw you kids but I'm gettin' mine", huh?

Then there's the case of the new Republican majority leader who decided to give his chief of staff a $20,000 bonus as soon as he got the job. Of course, that's pretty much par for the course for a guy who is facing nepotism complaints for hooking his wife up with a fat paying job. Gotta love how eager these guys are to root out government waste. Well, as long as you're a Kansas student or a state employee (that isn't in their office, of course).

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