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“You’re paying folks too much”

Wednesday, Jul 19, 2017

* New Rauner staff salaries

Kristina Rasmussen — Chief of Staff — $170,000

Diana Rickert - Deputy Chief of Staff of Communications - $165,000

Laurel Patrick - Communications Director - $120,000

Michael Lucci -Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy - $140,000

Brittany Carl – Communications Specialist - $45,000

Meghan Keenan – Communications Specialist - $45,000

Meghan Keenan was a Communications Analyst for the Illinois Policy Institute.

* Some context

Rasmussen signed on for an annual salary of $170,000. Tax filings from the nonprofit Illinois Policy Institute show Rasmussen’s salary was less than $160,000 in 2014. In the same year, she collected over $30,000 in “other compensation” from the Policy Institute and related organizations.

According to a former Rauner staffer, Diana Rickert, another IPI recruit, will earn $15,000 more than her predecessors. State records show former Communications Director Brad Hahn and former Deputy Chief of Staff Lance Trover each earned an annual salary of $150,000.

In a 2016 op-ed for the Chicago Tribune, Rickert wrote, “When public-sector unions demand excessive salaries and benefits, politicians just say yes and pass on the bill to taxpayers.”

A press release from the Illinois Policy Institute published in the same month complained that “at $67,836, Illinois lawmakers have the highest base salary in the Midwest and the fifth-highest base salary for legislators in the nation.”

* And Rasmussen not long ago advocated for the elimination of the Dunn Fellowship program with this interesting logic

Still, fans of the program say it is worth it because you’re getting about $80,000 of work out of a $30,000 worker. But Rasmussen says even that doesn’t add up.

“If you’ve got someone making $80,000 and you’ve got an equally talented person who’s willing to take that job for $30,000 it means that you’re paying folks too much,” she said.

* Related…

* Illinois Policy Institute: Illinois State Workers Highest Paid In Nation

- Posted by Rich Miller        

129 Comments
  1. - Joe Bidenopolous - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    Someone needs to ask if they’re in the pension system.


  2. - OkComputer - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    Let me be the first to say - get some Dunn Fellows in there instead. The quality of work will go up dramatically.


  3. - Old and In the Way - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:21 am:

    More of the same as far as governors staff pay. Why does this surprise anyone after almost three years of this administration? Of course the gov gets $1 a year…….but then he doesn’t govern. It would be nice if he and this highly paid staff actually earned these obscene salaries. Get ready for at least another 18 months of crisis and campaigning………


  4. - Linus - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:22 am:

    IPI = IPocrisy Inc


  5. - DuPage Saint - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:25 am:

    These people are superstars and deserved to be paid even more than the superstars they replaced.


  6. - Morty - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:25 am:

    Under/over on a half-baked scheme to fire state workers and rehire them at lower salary and benefits


  7. - Obamas Puppy - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:27 am:

    Oh yes they are in the pension system, there is no opt out for Guv staff.


  8. - Cool hand Luke - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:28 am:

    -Joe-

    Maybe you aren’t aware of this but the pension system is manafatory, myself and many others would opt out entirely if we were given the choice. The more you know!


  9. - Phil King - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:28 am:

    Paying executive policy making staff or legal staff good salaries is necessary to attract good talent.

    Overpaying clerks and truck drivers and janitors is not.


  10. - 100 miles west - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:28 am:

    I hope they rejected that generous state-funded health insurance, that is for takers, not makers.


  11. - G'Kar - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:30 am:

    “They make too much money . I’m underpaid.”


  12. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:32 am:

    ===Overpaying clerks and truck drivers and janitors is not.===

    “Overpaying clerks”… Until the proper work that all the superstars needs to get done doesn’t get done…

    “and truck drivers”… Until good don’t show up safely or on time, or don’t show up at all…

    ” and janitors”… Until sanitary places to work or conduct business reflects on an overall attitude that cleanliness is overrated…

    Some are more equal than others… until the “unwashed” mess up the things most people may notice?


  13. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:32 am:

    They aren’t hypocrites, they are paid deceivers.

    I want them paid more.
    I want them to wallow in the filthy lucre they piously denounced. I want them to eat every tax dollar they sanctimoniously positioned as sacred offerings.

    Rub their faces in it.
    They are what they foolishly decried.


  14. - Jaded - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:33 am:

    Wanting to get rid of the Dunn fellows would indicate how little she truly knew about the governor’s office. I’d be willing to bet her tune has changed since taking the chief of staff job.


  15. - STILL WATERS - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:33 am:

    These new hires should opt out of life and medical insurance (it is too rich for their blood), refuse the earning of benefit time, put in writing they will never file a work comp claim and not enjoy any of the state holidays. They should also donate one third of their salary to charity. Then we might believe the adage “put one’s money where your mouth is”.


  16. - Jocko - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:34 am:

    It’s understandable…given their extensive public sector experience. /s


  17. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:36 am:

    ==Paying executive policy making staff or legal staff good salaries is necessary to attract good talent.==

    Seems in this case they’re paying more for inferior talent.


  18. - OurMagician - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:36 am:

    Do as I say, not as I do.


  19. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:36 am:

    By Rasmussen’s logic, if her boss is making a buck a year, she should probably max out at seventy-five cents.

    Who didn’t see this hilarity coming? In a clash of principles vs. principal, grifters gonna grift.


  20. - anon2 - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:37 am:

    “State workers are overpaid, until we are state workers.”


  21. - Phil King - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:37 am:

    ==Some are more equal than others==

    No. I’m not denigrating these people at all. They do important work.

    But salaries should be set by supply and demand. You can recruit a clerk for $40k. We know because that’s what they do in the private sector.

    Clerks are no less important in law firms or corporations, but they’re paid less. Because they can recruit people with those skills to do that work at that salary.

    You could not recruit a Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy at $40k who would do what you needed them to do.

    It’s not a moral question, it’s an economic one.


  22. - From the 'Dale to HP - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:38 am:

    I don’t know, if they were really true believers they wouldn’t be working in the public sector at all. #sellouts


  23. - Ducky LaMoore - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:38 am:

    ===“When public-sector unions demand excessive salaries and benefits, politicians just say yes and pass on the bill to taxpayers.”===

    When people from organizations that have less credibility than the John Birch Society demand excessive salaries and benefits, bad governors say yes and pass on the bill to taxpayers.


  24. - Amalia - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:38 am:

    this will be weaponized.


  25. - From the 'Dale to HP - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:39 am:

    Phil, are there unicorns in this world you live in?


  26. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:39 am:

    But, Madigan.


  27. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:41 am:

    I don’t know folks. What is the going rate for Super Duper Stars? If you replace Super Stars, you must be Super Duper. I hope we get some bang for our bucks.


  28. - JoeMaddon - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:42 am:

    **Oh yes they are in the pension system, there is no opt out for Guv staff.**

    I mean, to be fair, I a) WANT them to be paying into the pension system, and b) think that the likelihood of them vesting is somewhere between 0 and .01%.


  29. - New Slang - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:43 am:

    Phil, winter is coming…


  30. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:43 am:

    ===But salaries should be set by supply and demand. You can recruit a clerk for $40k. We know because that’s what they do in the private sector.===

    Public and Private sector employment is not the same. What you may call a “clerk” could also require certification from the Department of Health, or credentials from the Department of Energy, for example, but… “They’re clerks”… Yeah, ok, you go with that.

    Example?

    ===Clerks are no less important in law firms or corporations, but they’re paid less. Because they can recruit people with those skills to do that work at that salary.===

    If you don’t know the difference between a clerk or a paralegal or a secretary, just stop.

    ===You could not recruit a Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy at $40k who would do what you needed them to do.===

    Really? Show me that DCOS…

    Show me that work history, institutional knowledge, legislative or communication acumen and the relationships necessar my to governing…

    … at $40,000.00

    ===It’s not a moral question, it’s an economic one.===

    You don’t value skill, you value what you THINK is the value.

    I’ll wait to see this DCOS for $40,000.00 and that resume too.


  31. - Phenomynous - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:43 am:

    I will rubber-stamp the “Completed Staff Work” for minimum wage.


  32. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:45 am:

    Like I said the other day, maybe Rauner got tired of having to pay these people through funding his think tank now that his taxes are going up, and as part of his anger he wants to stick it to the taxpayers and make all of us foot the bill for spreading his ideology by making these people state workers. Similarly, maybe he stops funding stuff like IOP and Dan Proft’s outside groups to keep their efforts more closely within his campaign.

    This could be a sign that Rauner thinks he’s gonna lose re-election anyway so he wants to stop throwing good money after bad.


  33. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:46 am:

    Now we can see what a load the IPI and Bruce are peddling. These IPI execs are making more in government than they did in their hallowed anti-government organization.

    That’s the thing–hypocrisy–the hypocrisy of Bruce and the IPI telling people state workers make too much money, and their benefits are too lavish, when IPI leaders make more money off of the taxpayers, and Bruce rakes it in from public employee pensions.

    Why won’t those who criticize state employees for their compensation and pensions ever criticize Bruce for all those years of profiting from public employee pensions? We never see this criticism. From these people, it’s always, “attack the middle class.”


  34. - Robert the 1st - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:46 am:

    Sorry. Phil is right. Show me a janitor making making even $40k in the private sector. I can show you dozens making over $70k working for the state. That’s not even considering pensions/benefits. He’s not the one living with the unicorns.


  35. - @MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:48 am:

    Paying executive policy making staff or legal staff good salaries is necessary to attract good talent.

    Overpaying clerks and truck drivers and janitors is not.

    I’m old enough to remember when their contempt for people who work with their hands was kept hidden.

    – MrJM


  36. - Triple fat - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:48 am:

    Hey Phil-
    You may be interested to know that the Great. State of Illlinois recruits Clerks by offering a starting pay of $31,632. With this Governor they will be frozen at that pay for the duration of Rauner’s term.


  37. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:49 am:

    - Robert the 1st -

    If you’d like to take a $30K pay cut, I’ll take it.

    If you think that $70K for a janitor you should apply to be a janitor.

    No one is stopping you.


  38. - From the 'Dale to HP - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:50 am:

    Prove it Robert the 1st. You said you could. So do it.


  39. - JPC - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:50 am:

    It’s an investment to train, recruit, and keep reliable and competent workers. This means that paying truck drivers a reasonable wage is an economic decision.


  40. - Montrose - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:53 am:

    *Paying executive policy making staff or legal staff good salaries is necessary to attract good talent.

    Overpaying clerks and truck drivers and janitors is not.*

    When I am on the highway surrounded by trucks, I want truck drivers to be talented. When I need files to be handled properly and information to be accessible and organized, I want clerks to be talents. When I want bathrooms properly cleaned and trash properly disposed of, I want janitors to be talented.

    Your devaluing of this work and the need to pay a decent wage to these folks says volumes about your world view.


  41. - Robert the 1st - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:53 am:

    We’re talking about public dollars and the best way to spend them. No need to get emotional/personal, makes for poor discussion/debate.


  42. - kitty - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:54 am:

    The IPI article fails to mention that average IL state employee salaries are high due to outsourcing of service functions which traditionally have low compensation. This is one reason why IL has the fewest number of State employees per capita. IL currently ranks 37th of 50 states in terms of state government spending per capita.


  43. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:55 am:

    ===We’re talking about public dollars and the best way to spend them. No need to get emotional/personal, makes for poor discussion/debate===

    No one is doing that.

    Now you’re a victim of what you want as “emotional” yet you can’t make a rational response?

    That’s fun.


  44. - Robert the 1st - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:55 am:

    From the ‘Dale to HP- sure thing.

    http://accountability.illinois.gov/Employees/Position/Employees.aspx?Year=2014&Title=21951&Agency=416


  45. - New Slang - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:55 am:

    Yes Robert, please show us your cards.


  46. - Robert the 1st - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:56 am:

    You responded to my point by telling me to take a pay cut? How’s that not personal?


  47. - Triple fat - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:56 am:

    The salary range for Janitor’s is $33,348 to $69,060. Back when I worked in HR new hires were offered 5% more than they were currently making. If unemployed they were offered the minimum amount.


  48. - GOP Extremist - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:56 am:

    I hope this doesn’t cause a significant brain drain on the “think tank”.


  49. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:57 am:

    - Robert the 1st -

    What is the years of service?

    Are you arguing these are starting salaries?


  50. - Phil King - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:57 am:

    ==Your devaluing of this work and the need to pay a decent wage to these folks says volumes about your world view. ==

    Again, I’m not devaluing the work.

    It should not be up to me or you to decide what these jobs get paid. Monopoly price setting power is bad whether you set it to high or too low. Salaries should be set by the market.

    The private sector wages for janitors and truck drivers tell you exactly what the value of the work is. That’s what the state should pay, the minimum necessary to recruit people who can perform the job well. That aint $70k.


  51. - Fool On The Hill - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:57 am:

    The contempt for those working hard for their living is upseting. It is this same ugly attitude that keeps the minimum wage too low to live on.


  52. - Robert the 1st - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:58 am:

    I don’t know. And no I’m not. You think private companies anywhere pay this?


  53. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:58 am:

    ===You responded to my point by telling me to take a pay cut? How’s that not personal?===

    You say they don’t earn their money.

    Very well, I know you as well as you know them.

    So, I think you deserve a $30K pay cut, under your parameters of judgment, not emotion.


  54. - Blue Bayou - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:59 am:

    Robert makes an entirely ideological point, then, when asked to show his work, decries such tactics.

    It’s easy to mouth platitudes, but hard to give reasons for them.


  55. - Morty - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 10:59 am:

    We’re talking about people, with lives and families and responsibilities. It doesn’t get more personal than that.


  56. - Rogue Roni - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:00 am:

    And eyeing another mans wages isn’t personal Robert? Isn’t there one of those commandment things about that sort of thing?


  57. - Robert the 1st - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:00 am:

    I did show my work, see link above Blue.


  58. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:01 am:

    “I can show you dozens making over $70k working for the state.”

    Probably after many years of working. No one starts out making that kind of money. Bruce hates seniority and wants to eliminate layoff protections. That’s the thanks workers would get under his contract–a kick to the curb.

    At least they’re most likely not hypocrites like Bruce and his supporters who attack public employees but never, ever say anything about Bruce profitin’ from collectivism.

    The IPI execs Bruce hired are anti-government and have zero government experience that warrants their pay. Rickert is openly part of “let the state burn.” I saw this on “Chicago Tonight,” a few months ago, when she was the only one on the three-person panel, with Mr. Msall and Mr. Martire, who said she hoped a budget wouldn’t be passed.

    These people are being paid lavishly for destruction. At least state workers build up the government and serve their functions.

    Are there bad state employees? Of course. But Bruce didn’t propose shortening the disciplinary process and making it easier to fire bad employees in the new contract. That’s a big deal and says a lot. He is just trying to tear down the union. He’s apparently not interested in better state employees, just younger ones who will make a lot less.


  59. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:01 am:

    ===I did show my work, see link above Blue.===

    Are those starting salaries? What are the years of service?


  60. - Robert the 1st - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:02 am:

    I never said they don’t earn their money. I simply was pointing out it’s above market rates. Moving the goal posts. First I was lying about state wages. Now I’m attacking working people. You guys are unbelievable.


  61. - Das Opinionator - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:02 am:

    ==You could not recruit a Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy at $40k who would do what you needed them to do.==

    At $40K per year, I would expect press releases to come out before the events they announce.


  62. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:02 am:

    ===That’s what the state should pay, the minimum necessary to recruit people who can perform the job well. That aint $70k.===

    So a starting janitor makes $70K?

    Really? That’s what you’re saying?


  63. - Robert the 1st - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:02 am:

    Already answered you on that OW.


  64. - Free Set of Steak Knives - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:03 am:

    I believe Allison Karns is Director of Public Policy for the Indiana Governor.

    And I believe Allison Karns makes $105K.

    Perhaps @AbsoluteCandorIL can tell us how often Michael Lucci pointed to Indiana as a way things ought to be done?

    But you cant really make a “supply and demand” argument about a position that no one else had an opportunity to apply for. These folks were handpicked.


  65. - New Slang - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:03 am:

    Starting salary is $52k for a Janitor. It’s a dirty job and laborious. I would like see an IPI flunkie cleaning up after folks.

    Fair wage for fair, honest work.


  66. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:03 am:

    ===Paying executive policy making staff or legal staff good salaries is necessary to attract good talent===

    You must’ve missed the quote: “You’re paying folks too much.” That quote was in the specific context of executive salaries in the governor’s office. I mean, it was even in the headline. Actually it was the entire headline.


  67. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:03 am:

    @Phil King- you miss one fact- these “executive policy” people are apparently a dime a dozen. In fact, the governor views/treats them as disposable. So the “talent” should be cheap. I mean what real impact have they had? Illinois government is still functioning poorly even with all of these new superstars.


  68. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:04 am:

    ===Already answered you on that…===

    Really? Where?


  69. - Henry Francis - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:04 am:

    Phil and any others: how can you explain away that these people got raises by coming over to the state? Us taxpayers are paying them more than IPI thought they were worth?

    Are these folks only motivated by money? The fact that they now sit in positions of authority to actually make/shape policy (instead of just pontificating about it) does not provide any additional consideration to these folks coming over to the taxpayer payroll?

    These folks are being paid more than the Guv’s original superstars. And those superstars were paid much more than the folks they replaced under previous administrations (sometimes 140% of their predecessor).


  70. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:05 am:

    Also, I’m not sure how we started talking about janitors because I’ve been busy elsewhere, but get back on the topic, please. This is about executive pay. Enough with the red herrings.

    My own opinion, by the way, is that these salaries are not particularly excessive. It’s the context that matters, however.


  71. - Robert the 1st - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:06 am:

    No, I’ve never said that was the starting wage, I never implied it either. No, I don’t know their years of service nor ever pretended to.


  72. - Name Withheld - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:06 am:

    Didn’t see Ben Tracey on that list. I guess you only get on it if you last longer than 24 hours.


  73. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:07 am:

    ===And yet they don’t seem to care about the working people who fund these inflated salaries.===

    1) How are they inflated?

    2) Everyone is a taxpayer.

    ===A coal worker in Southern Illinois is taking home a smaller portion of his paycheck, making it harder for him to put food on his table, so that janitor can make $70k.===

    In a free market society, anyone can apply for entry level ha it or spots, even Southern Illinois coal miners.

    You don’t believe in the free market of employment now?

    We are all stuck where we are?

    Hmm…


  74. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:09 am:

    ===No, I’ve never said that was the starting wage, I never implied it either. No, I don’t know their years of service nor ever pretended to.===

    Then your $70K red herring us just that. Know of what your facts are before thinking you know what the numbers mean.

    - Colby jack -, I’m not in state government or earn monies off state government. Just get better arguments.


  75. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:11 am:

    @Phil and @Robt- is it your contention that in the private sector experience is. It a factor in compensation for nearly every position? That the “market” sets all pay at the minimal level? If so you don’t know much about the “private” sector and your time in one of these think tanks or foundations has sheltered you from reality.


  76. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:12 am:

    The point here is that Rauner has made a big hooey over what is paid to public servants. Servants being his operative word. Happy to serve.

    His point being that with those precious tax dollars, we have to be skimpy with the servants, conserving wherever we can to get the most, paying the least.

    He, being the ultimate hypocrite, believes that his servants only deserve to be treated differently, because, well, they serve him.

    Shamelessly putting in the faces of the citizens, some of whom are now struggling in their lives because of his prudence with money serving their needs.

    Wow.


  77. - DougChicago - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:14 am:

    Like a pig to truffles the anti-government types always seem to find government-related money.

    If that horrifies you don’t think at all about how much former staffer to disgraced Gov George Ryan, failed gubernatorial candidate, former communications czar to the Mayor of Cicero, radio gasbag, mastermind of the McCann defeat (oops got carried away), and generally self-righteous poseur Dan Proft will cart away from all of this.


  78. - Fixer - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:17 am:

    Robert the 1St, let’s look at a little more recently than 2014, shall we?

    2017

    http://accountability.illinois.gov/Employees/Position/Employees.aspx?Year=2017&Agency=416&Title=21951


  79. - EVanstonian - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:18 am:

    Labor markets are notoriously inefficient. Take your “it’s simple supply and demand” argument elsewhere.

    Those IPI folks would take the job to influence the direction of the state if the salary was $20k, and if they wouldn’t, others of their mindset would.

    Goodness knows, as a CapFax commenter (which by reading the IPI website makes me an insider, gotta tell my mom she’ll be so proud) I would take a job in even THIS Governor’s office for $20k if it meant I could affect real change and try to move Illinois in a direction that I thought was best.

    Sorry Robert, Phil, et al, you guys are not talking from specific situations but are arguing bad Mankiw-esque Econ 110 baloney.

    Best of luck.


  80. - Fixer - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:19 am:

    Sorry Rich, missed your comment about back on topic.

    To the post: this is hypocrisy at its finest. Would expect nothing less from those fine folks associated with IPI.


  81. - Stuff Happens - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:20 am:

    From the article: “ILLINOIS STATE WORKERS ARE THE HIGHEST-PAID STATE WORKERS IN THE COUNTRY”

    Whether or not it’s true, they say it like it’s a bad thing. Yay, let’s race to the bottom.


  82. - Robert the 1st - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:21 am:

    Fixer, you do realize that’s YTD 2017 right? LOL.


  83. - New Slang - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:26 am:

    Robert, you do realize you’re missing the entire point of this post, which is hypocrisy, eh?


  84. - Robert the 1st - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:28 am:

    I was supporting Phil who’s original post was very-much on topic. I won’t post on this again. Didn’t mean to derail the convo.


  85. - Green Street - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:31 am:

    Robert made his point, and then under attack, he backed it up. That’s how it works here. I don’t know why some are still thrashing about.


  86. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:34 am:

    ==No need to get emotional/personal, makes for poor discussion/debate.==

    When you tell people they aren’t “worth” their salary, it’s pretty hard to claim the discussion isn’t personal.


  87. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:34 am:

    ===Robert made his point…===

    Noted…

    ===No, I’ve never said that was the starting wage, I never implied it either. No, I don’t know their years of service nor ever pretended to.===

    So, back to the Post,

    Rauner says often that these Superstars are taking… “Huge Pay Cuts”…

    So maybe these new IPI hires aren’t at all Superstars?

    Then… then it makes sense.


  88. - From the 'Dale to HP - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:34 am:

    Robert 1st, while I apprechiate you showing your work, we’re still only talking about 19 employees who are (according to you) “over paid”.

    The flip side of this is all the state employees (like lawyers, analysts, psychologists, etc) who are under paid compared to the private sector.

    In the end, the state saves millions on employment costs because they’re paying, for example, lawyers, millions less in salary that those lawyers “should” be making if the state paid them what they’d earn in the private sector.

    If you’re going to advocate for “private sector pay for all state employees”, well you better find a revenue source (income taxes maybe?) that will make up for the difference once we give all the lawyers, analysts, and managers a fairly large pay increase.


  89. - WhoKnew - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:36 am:

    Couple of thoughts about the IPI article:
    What percentage of State worker are Tier 2? As they are the ones who are taking the brunt of these Salary freezes.
    What is the average salary of Tier 2 employees? What is the average salary of Tier 1 employees?
    How many of the 17 contracts that have been implemented had both a significant jump in Insurance premiums and a wage freeze?


  90. - @MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:36 am:

    “I can show you dozens making over $70k working for the state.”

    1) doz·en /dəzən/ noun. a group or set of twelve. plural ‘dozens’.

    2) 12 (dozen) X 2 (plural minimum) = 24

    3) Here is the link to the most recent full calendar year (which would accord with your use of the present tense): http://accountability.illinois.gov/Employees/Position/Employees.aspx?Year=2017&Agency=416&Title=21951

    4) 7


  91. - @MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:40 am:

    But as Rich has so kindly reiterated, the point is that the very people who squawked about folks getting paid too much are now the folks getting paid that much.

    Were they wrong then? Or are they wrong now?

    Gotta be at least one of the two.

    – MrJM


  92. - Winnin' - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:53 am:

    Superstars, Part Deux.
    When the shoe is on the other foot and they’re wearing two right shoes.


  93. - Name/Nickname/Anon - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:54 am:

    ==“If you’ve got someone making $80,000 and you’ve got an equally talented person who’s willing to take that job for $30,000 it means that you’re paying folks too much,” she said.==

    This fails to take into account the economic value of being a Dunn Fellow when you apply to the next position. There is only so long you can pay someone in “future opportunity.” After a certain point you need to pay them the $80K they are worth. If you don’t, they go to the private sector and you’re stuck with subpar workers that provide bad service. Then again, maybe that’s what the Super Duper Stars are trying to do.


  94. - Come on Man! - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:55 am:

    First, he hired two women, had he paid them the same or less the ad writes itself and our side loves us some identity politics.

    Second, Any democrat who complains about this needs to stop. We want to make sure that we reward people for working in government. These salaries will attract people to the profession who actually want to do good even if they come via the libertarians.


  95. - The Way I See It - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 11:57 am:

    A lot of money being paid to people who were hired with the express purpose of getting mothing done, except perhaps provoke a crisis leading to junk status.

    Can we change the state motto - Now with better Superstars!!!


  96. - George - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 12:00 pm:

    The salaries are fine, it’s the people who are getting them that’s the problem.


  97. - Way South of I-80 - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 12:00 pm:

    Hopefully they enjoy those nice salaries now because I am sure they will be short term folks too.


  98. - Ghost - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 12:04 pm:

    High salaries, far higher the prior govenors…. and how many minorities are included in these high paying exec jobs?


  99. - Joe - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 12:20 pm:

    meh


  100. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 12:24 pm:

    OW — here’s a fun fact. I took a $21k paycut to go work for the State. Because I believe in public service. (Yeah, I’m that kind of nerd.) And as to those “state holidays”, I think you mean “days you work from home — unless something big happens and you have to run in for a meeting”


  101. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 12:30 pm:

    - Soccermom -

    I’m sorry. You made too much. I know.

    You worked extra hours, you did the work you love, you had purpose, and you saw the good you did.

    But… you made too much.

    Crazy, I know, but… public service should be public servitude(?)

    I thank you, as always, to bringing it back.

    I woulda said, “knowing” you (lol) that you were underpaid and fought for you. But, I understand value.

    Hope you’re well. OW


  102. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 12:43 pm:

    Is there any part of the state workforce Rasmussen supports? I haven’t seen any evidence so far. I find it ironic that someone who has an absolute disdain for state workers would take a state government job and become one of those state workers herself.


  103. - Intrigued - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 12:44 pm:

    There is no mention of the salary for the “special assistant” that Rasmussen brought with her from IPI. What is she making now?


  104. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 12:47 pm:

    I love it when someone says someone else makes too much money. I always wonder what it is these people make and whether they think they are overpaid based on what hey do. I highly doubt it.

    Personally the salaries seem reasonable to me. But, in context they are “outrageous” given that the Governor has consistently railed that state employees are paid too much money.


  105. - AnonymousOne - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 12:50 pm:

    Wouldn’t it be great if everyone’s total benefit package value was publicly posted? Not just public employees? Then we all could be outraged by some of those non private incomes and debate the value and worth of those people getting them?

    It’s not exactly like their money is gotten from a printing press in the back room. Last I checked, public paycheck money ends up in their pockets from public workers.

    We all pay each others’ incomes.


  106. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 12:58 pm:

    OW — let me be clear. I took that pay cut voluntarily, because I knew that the State of Illinois was in a huge fiscal crisis, and I didn’t want to make it worse. And I’m not saying that everybody should enter into “public servitude” (nice phrase, by the way.) I was still making a decent salary, even with the cut.

    I’m just saying that, when people have a strong ideological framework, they should be willing to put their salary levels where their mouths are.

    And on that whole “Illinois state workers make more” thing — you realize that we’ve had multiple rounds of layoffs and hiring freezes. That means that people with less seniority have lost their jobs, and we haven’t been able to hire new people in entry level positions.

    That makes the average wage go up. (#mathishard)

    But we also have fewer state employees per capita than any other state.


  107. - walker - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 1:01 pm:

    Trying to judge these positions and their salaries versus private industry is difficult. These are not actually “policy” or “management” positions. They are, in Rauner’s world, primarily campaign communications positions, quite rightly filled by those with ideological political communications experience. Not sure there’s a private industry analogue.

    Comparing them to previous Rauner internal campaign staff, is fair, and pointing out that they themselves said their own predecessors were overpaid, is fair


  108. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 1:05 pm:

    - Soccermom -

    I hope it would go without stating again, to you, the respect I have.

    ===I took that pay cut voluntarily, because I knew that the State of Illinois was in a huge fiscal crisis, and I didn’t want to make it worse===

    I hear ya. It also speaks to your own character and that “public servitude” (thanks, btw) isn’t a bad or good thing, it’s just “a” thing.

    ===saying that, when people have a strong ideological framework, they should be willing to put their salary levels where their mouths are.===

    That’s why your ideal and my ideal of public service is different than those fixated on “they make too much” when seeing just raw numbers.

    Understood… on the rest of your points.

    My take is to the devaluing of people and the divide of “Taxpayers” and “State Workers” and this premise that by sheer employment location that the worker should be automatically devalued as a member of the workforce.

    That won’t fly with me.

    Thanks for your clarity, as always


  109. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 1:25 pm:

    OW — Let me stress, that whole “public employees make too much” thing is nonsense.

    I don’t think you should have to take a vow of poverty to work for the people — and I would add that it’s a bad thing when only privileged people (the kind who can take a pay cut or work for below-market wages) are making policy for the entire state.


  110. - Phil King - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 2:02 pm:

    There is absolutely zero inconsistency in holding the following two beliefs simultaneously:

    1) High level policy making staff should be well compensated to attract talent
    2) State workers, mostly union employees, are overpaid relative to the private sector

    There is also nothing about that which denigrates, disrespects, or devalues state workers.

    If you can hire and retain someone to do a job at $40k annually and you instead pay someone $70k annually, you are wasting $30,000 of tax payer money. If you make the practice of overpaying widespread across the government, as Illinois has, then you need to have higher tax burdens than you otherwise would have.

    That restricts the growth of private sector businesses and drives people out of the state.

    You can cast doubt on the laws of supply and demand all you want, but that just makes you wrong.


  111. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 2:11 pm:

    And the next person who doesn’t seem to understand that public employees are also taxpayers is going to get a punch in the nose. Grrr.


  112. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 2:11 pm:

    ===1) High level policy making staff should be well compensated to attract talent

    2) State workers, mostly union employees, are overpaid relative to the private sector===

    Some are more equal than others.

    Whatever you think 5%, 10%… whatever you think state workers are overplayed, you send me your 5%, 10%…

    Someone gets their hands dirty or are part of a union they “make too much” for “taxpayers”?

    LOL

    At least mask your distain for your fellow taxpayers, and state workers, even Union state workers are taxpayers.


  113. - Phil King - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 2:21 pm:

    No one has ever said public employees don’t pay taxes. That’s a red herring.

    But public salaries are 100% funded by PRIVATE SECTOR taxes, including the part that public employees pay in taxes. Without a public sector to fund the government, their salary would be $0.

    Try responding to the actual points being made.

    ==Some are more equal than others.==

    No…please explain what part of this you don’t get.

    Say you owned a law firm. Say the median wage for paralegals was $45,000 and $140,000 for associate attorneys. What do you think would happen to your law firm if you instead paid paralegals $80,000 and associate attorneys only $100,000?


  114. - Phil King - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 2:21 pm:

    *should say “without a private sector to fund the Government”


  115. - walker - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 2:24 pm:

    Phil: One problem: these are not “high level policy making staff.” They are an entirely different animal, which exists only in the political/campaign world.


  116. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 2:28 pm:

    PK, in the interests of radical candor, perhaps you could enlighten as to what in Rasumssen’s work history even qualifies her to be chief of staff to the Illinois chief executive, much less someone who had to be lured with $170K?

    Running herd on dorm-room deep-thinkers ain’t in the ballpark for the gig.


  117. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 2:30 pm:

    ===But public salaries are 100% funded by PRIVATE SECTOR taxes===

    Then those state employees better sue the state to figure out where their taxes are going, lol

    ===Without a public sector to fund the government, their salary would be $0.===

    Your dorm room, unrealistic way of explaing you despise state workers, union state workers, who are overpaid, but you can’t explain why, is noted.

    ===…Say the median wage… was…===

    So, when you say $70K for a job, and you don’t factor in years of service or other experience, you’re admitting yiur own utter ignorance? Got it. Thanks.


  118. - Free Set of Steak Knives - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 3:00 pm:

    Fixed it for ya:

    But Private Sector salaries are 100% made possible by the public sector, which makes the very infrastructure you rely upon possible. Without a public sector to maintain the infrastructure of everything from the hospital you were born in and the schools that educate you, to our highways and information grid, your salary would be $0.


  119. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 3:59 pm:

    Phil:

    How about you cut your salary since you seem to be saying that other people make too much money. Put up or shut up.


  120. - Phil King - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 4:03 pm:

    ==How about you cut your salary since you seem to be saying that other people make too much money. ==

    And I’m basing that opinion of an objective standard: market rates.

    Again, there’s absolutely nothing about what I’m saying that’s attacking these people or the importance of their work. Stop being emotional about it.


  121. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 4:07 pm:

    Perhaps if you weren’t advocating paying people less people would be less emotional about it. If someone is being paid those rates then those are the market rates for the public sector. You’re trying to tie the public sector to the private sector.


  122. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 4:11 pm:

    If we’re going to keep this to the subject at hand, which is the pay for these individuals, I personally have no problem with the salaries. But, again, the issue is paying people these salaries when these same people and their boss have derided public employees as being overpaid.


  123. - HangingOn - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 4:11 pm:

    ==100% funded by PRIVATE SECTOR taxes==

    And the guy who checked me out at Walmart is paid by both private and public sector money. Since I pay part of his salary, doesn’t that mean I should get a say in how much he makes or what his benefits are? Or maybe you should since you’re so focused on the fact you pay part of my salary.
    Does it stop with me or with the people I help pay? Where do you work, Phil? Wondering if I’m paying any of your salary as well. It’s all the big beautiful Circle of Life.

    And now I have that song stuck in my head.


  124. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 4:17 pm:

    I think the upper management-level salaries are a bit high - I checked out salaries in the White House, and they top out at $179,700 (there aren’t alot at that level - Bannon, Priebus, Spicer, Conway, and some I don’t recognize). There’s a pretty big leap from the statehouse to the White House — probably more than $9,700 worth.

    And we need to keep in mind COL in DC, which is about twice that of Illinois (certainly of downstate).

    Re: Indiana (Director of Public Policy $105,000), we might keep in mind that Indiana is #39 in per capita income, while Illinois is #16 - salaries and wages are lower than in Illinois, so this salary is consistent with Indiana’s lower incomes. And the COL is lower - Indiana is the 9th-cheapest state to live in, Illinois is the 25th.

    I also find the low-end salaries rather low. But that reflects the general trend in such organizations as they originate from - stated above in a comparison as the “market’s” decision (supply/demand) to pay paralegals $45,000 and associates $140,000 and perfectly reflected in this pay scale (the White House shows the same thing).

    I won’t comment on the new appointees’ previous employment experience and years of public service, since as others have already noted, the point wasn’t to hire the most experienced and knowledgeable staff.

    Basically the pay scales reflect IPI’s own ideology: austerity for thee, but not for me.


  125. - Illinois O'Malley - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 4:30 pm:

    @Phil, using your logic Rauner should have published the minimum qualifications to be CoS. Then his office should of hired the cheapest minimum qualified person that applied. So you agree he failed to follow the market based solution, right?


  126. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 4:31 pm:

    Phil and his ilk also get away with bromides like “paid too much” without ever tossing out a meaningful public/private sector comparison, regardless of the position title or job duties.

    There are State workers being paid 3x Kristina’s salary. Are they overpaid, Phil? Hard to tell, isn’t it, until you know what they do for that salary.


  127. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 6:16 pm:

    Not sure when/how everyone got so hostile toward paying public employees– I suppose with more access to information (internet).

    THe problem is, there are more than plenty of underpaid and overpaid individuals in all sectors of work.

    Unfortunately, private benefit packages aren’t made available for everyone to see, dissect, analyze and bloviate about. Wish they were. Would surely clarify lots of misinformation.

    In any case, we are all paying each others’ incomes. Public employees pay for goods and services in the private sector, lining their pockets. It’s pretty small minded to believe that private employees are paying for it all and begs for some education about how the world works.

    BUt the hostility level? Unprecedented.


  128. - Pelonski - Wednesday, Jul 19, 17 @ 7:35 pm:

    In my view, those salaries are a bargain. Given the uncertainty of the positions, I wouldn’t take a job for less than $1 million, and even then, I would have to think about it. A job with Rauner could be a resume cancer.


  129. - Buzz Fugazi - Thursday, Jul 20, 17 @ 12:24 pm:

    I am willing to bet that Gov. Rauner’s deferred salary is chump change compared to the outlay he’d be facing with a progressive income tax. In other words, he is volunteering to work tirelessly to avoid having to pay a single dime more of his money. Also, what’s the tax payer cost of his endless Road Rauner expedition? Is he commuting 10 hrs a day to do so many staged State of Illinois media events where the votes are, or is he, maybe, not spending so many nights in Springfield?


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