Apparently, there is no end to the disgusting political rot that exists in this state. Here’s the latest bit of skullduggery, courtesy of our incumbent state lawmakers, as pointed out by Deborah Howlett of the Star Ledger.
These are some of the highlights. As they say, read it all for all the disgusting deets.
All Jersey’s lawmakers are given a budget of $110,000 for the purpose of hiring aides to perform various functions that come with holding public office. Some lawmakers use the budgeted funds to hire a few professionals, but others use some or all the funds to reward party hacks, and their family members, many of whom already hold a public office.
I know you’re thinking, Yo, Jimbo. Where’s the news there? All politicians reward their friends and loyal backers.
The kicker here is that the politicians hand out jobs with salaries just high enough to qualify the recipients for taxpayer-funded pensions and taxpayer funded benefits, which include medical, dental and prescription drug coverage.
Here are a couple of the more noteworthy gems cited by Ms. Howlett (paraphrased by Yours Truly):
One county administrator who earns $131,600 per year has a $4,000 gig (plus taxpayer-funded pension credits) as a part-time aid to a state senator. The purchasing director from the same county supplements his $104,880 county salary with a an additional $3,000 (plus taxpayer-funded pensions credits) to serve as an aide to the same state senator.
A Director of a County Improvement Authority (Whatever the hell that is) who earns $132,910 and who is also the chairperson of the County Democrat party socks away an additional $10,000 as an aide to a Democrat State Assemblyman. The $10K salary is high enough to qualify her for taxpayer-funded pension credits and taxpayer-funded medical and dental benefits.
The father of former governor Jim McGreevey has been an aide to a Democrat state senator since 1994 for $15,000 per year, entitling him to taxpayer-funded pension credits and taxpayer-funded medical and dental benefits. Who knew?
This one is downright comical. You might need to draw a diagram to follow the money: A county sheriff’s daughter served as an aide to a state assemblyman at the same time that the state assemblyman served as an “undersheriff” to her father, the county sheriff. This ended when the state assemblyman/“undersheriff” was arrested by federal agents this spring on corruption charges and resigned both offices.
You can’t make this shit up.
Here are the numbers, as reported by the Star Ledger:
Among the 705 people employed by the 120 members of the Senate and Assembly, more than a quarter are paid just enough to reach the threshold for pension credit or health benefits. Forty-four aides hold other government jobs, and 23 either hold elected or appointed office or are related to someone who does.
This crap crosses party lines, which is why the voters who returned all but one incumbent to the state legislature a few weeks ago deserve everything they get.
The problem is that the rest of us have to get it too.