Your Secretary of Tax and Revenue, John Musgrave: "Gimme two scoops, please!"
Today the Daily Mail (and supposedly the Gazette too, but it wasn't online) exposed a problem that was basically mentioned 3 weeks ago. Remember where you heard it first, right here (if you haven't read that blog entry, I'd strongly suggest reading it now, to help you get up to speed). Papa Joe Manchin is paying his top "executives" monstrous salaries, for state workers, by leaving them in "acting" positions, in clear violation of state law.
The Daily Mail reported, just as a certain blogger did a couple weeks ago, that "acting" Tax Commissioner Virgil Helton was making more than the statutorily required salary, because he was "acting" Tax Commissioner, and he was able to keep the higher salary of the two positions (Tax Commissioner or Deputy Lottery Director of Finance, which has since been filled by a guy making $79,000 per year - so technically, Helton has no "old" job to go back to). However, Helton's boss, "acting" Secretary of Tax and Revenue, who prior to being acting Secretary, was the Lottery Director, was not just getting the "higher" of the two salaries, he's getting both salaries, for a grand total of a $150,000 per year (for the last 2+ years, he was appointed in October of 2003 by Wise).
Now, I'm sure Secretary Musgrave is a nice guy. Hell, he might even know a thing or two about running the Lottery. But, does anyone but me think it's pure ignorance, to be paying this guy for TWO supposedly 40 hour per week, full time positions in state government? If he's working 80 hours a week, pulling 16 hour shifts, 5 days a week, by all means, give him both salaries. But I'm willing to bet a week's pay that he's not spending 80 hours week at the Capitol and down at Lottery HQ. He supposedly would have been doing this for over two years, non-stop.
This brings up a couple of issues. First, if neither job is so essential, that they can be effectively done by some guy essentially working each job half of the time, then why are we paying them 75,000$ per year for each position, regardless of whether it's one guy, or two? If some guy can do both of these jobs adequately in one 4o hour week, there's no need for two FULL TIME positions for these jobs. Just make them one position, or do away with one position.
Secondly, if these jobs are so easy that one guy can handle both effectively at the same time, then they aren't that difficult to begin with, and as such, they wouldn't warrant even the exorbitant (as far as state employees go) salary of $75,000 each. They evidently aren't so difficult some guy can't handle them in 20 hours per week, each. Hell, pay some poor schmuck working for 30k an extra 15 or 20 grand and let them do it. Average Joe Schmoe State Worker making 30k per year would be ecstatic to get a 20 grand raise. Remember, the job isn't so tough you can't do it in 20 hours. Otherwise, Musgrave wouldn't be doing it in the first place. If he had to truly work 80 hours per week to keep on top of both jobs, he'd say "no thanks, I'll just stay Director of Lottery."
And let's just operate on the assumption he's NOT spending 80 hours a week working for us poor taxpayers (in my opinion, pretty fair assumption to make). If that's the case, then he's flat out stealing. He's essentially collecting a paycheck, for work that he isn't doing. He's being paid to be in two places at one time. That's physically impossible. He's taking money, state money, for work that he's not doing. And not only is Manchin not outraged, he's evidently, supportive of this, according to his mouthpiece, Lara Ramsburg. Doesn't anyone but me see something that's just flat out wrong, with giving state employees one paltry raise in 3 or 4 years, that barely covers their cost of increased insurance premiums, while this guy is essentially getting paid for an entire positions he's not even doing? This guy is stealing state money, for a job he's not doing, Manchin sees nothing wrong with it, and State Auditor Glen Gainer knowingly signs the checks for this clown every two weeks. In my opinion, they are both guilty of ripping off me and every other taxpayer in West Virginia.
However outrageous that is, what is potentially even MORE outrageous, is the ambivalent response of Senator Shirley Love (a guy who's previous claim to fame was he hosted a local tv "rasslin'" show on WOAY Oak Hill TV - and you wonder why this state is FUBAR) to this problem:
"It seems to have been a trend in the past. Other governors have done the same thing. I assume he's doing this because they're qualified, overqualified in some instances."
Love then goes on to defend Manchin's plan to pay his top suckasses more money:
"It would give the governor some flexibility in recruiting for those positions. Someone in private industry can make a lot more than in state government. But if you take someone who manages a major company in this country, it's no different than managing one of our departments."Are you kidding me? The old "well, in private industry......." argument? These people need freaking locked the hell up. That argument is so pathetic, it makes me want to puke every time I hear it. Aren't we always hearing that "well, we can't pay public employees what the private sector pays them." Then why the hell does that logic never apply to the top-level suckasses? And the very same legislators who adamantly oppose any state employee pay raises have no problem finding this kind of extra jack for suckasses like this Musgrave character or an assistant band director at WVU that needs a few extra hundred thousand dollars?
And Senator Love thinks we have to have these kickass, overqualified private sector success stories coming in and running these agencies? Well, I guess I shouldn't be too surprised from what comes out of a guy's mouth who announced "rasslin'" matches. Remember what I said above. One guy is effectively doing both jobs, in one 40-hour workweek. If these jobs need such specialized private sector hotshots doing them, don't you think they'd each be a little more time-intensive than something you could do in essentially half a workweek?
You want to get rid of the food tax? Demand Papa Joe Cheerleader and company start cutting some of this waste in state government that ends up in the hands of their suckass buddies.
I actually think I saw this Musgrave clown in Kanawha City the other day. I was at Baskin Robbins and the guy in front of me said "Gimme two scoops. I'm a double dipper."