Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Talk about insult to us all..... a veil of secrecy?

From The Herald

More than three-quarters of Beacon Hill lawmakers - including the House speaker and Senate president - threw up “a veil of secrecy” when pressed for the size and salaries of their taxpayer-paid staff, even as they are muscling through wallet-crippling tax hikes.

For nearly two months, some 155 of 200 House and Senate lawmakers have stonewalled a Herald request for a list of their staff and salaries - public information that should be readily available upon request.

“They have an obligation to the people who elected them to be forthright with their actions, how they’re spending money, and be accountable,” said Edwin Bender, executive director of the Montana-based National Institute for Money and State Politics. “If lawmakers are not willing to tell you something as simple as their employees and their salaries, what else are they hiding?”

While lawmakers last night inched closer to hiking the sales tax to 6.25 percent, records show the House is projected to shell out $31.3 million to 160 members and 561 staffers this year. In the Senate, $16.4 million will be paid to 40 members and 342 aides.

So.. we pay 47 million dollars for people who hide in plain sight. Only listen to those who donate to their campaigns, take advantage of what ever they can, when they want. Made dam sure we couldn't force this information out through public records laws.

A volunteer legislator is the only option left.


At May 20, 2009 at 11:56 AM , Blogger concerned voter said...

Won’t tell us who their staff is? Simple way to rectify that. Show up at their offices both locally and at the state house. Get the names of the staffers, and the publically ask those staffers to release their salary. But honestly, if a reporter called you up to ask you what you made to put it in the paper, would you want to do that? Would your company want you to do that? I am guessing the answer to both of those questions is no. So they are no different than the rest of us.

At May 20, 2009 at 12:05 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

True enough CV.. but they are paid with your tax dollars and every other exspense is made public.. including their base salary.

I'm not sure why they appose this... what possible fall out could there be?

At May 20, 2009 at 12:13 PM , Blogger Eric said...

How about starting out by publishing the names of those who would not release the information on staff and their salaries? Once that information is out there, then their constituents can push for more information. And if they are required to release that information, then just stop asking and file suit or whatever it is you have to do to get them to give you the information. The Herald gets a better story from it if they continue to refuse to release the information. Once they give them the information, it is a one day story and then gone. Don’t rely on them to get us this information. How do we go after it ourselves?

At May 20, 2009 at 1:17 PM , Blogger Edward said...

I agree with Jim. These Bozos are being paid with money coming out of my pocket and your pocket. Given the fact they keep raising our taxes, I say we see what the deal is. Why won’t the release the information unless there is something they want to hide. What about transparancy in our government, or does that not apply to MA state legislators?

At May 20, 2009 at 2:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am unemployed, and I am betting I could do the job of one of their staffers for a lot less than they are paying them. Why don’t they give these jobs to their constitutents who are probably more qualified and willing to work for a lot less money?

At May 20, 2009 at 2:24 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

I think the Herald will delve into this more. If we all write and ask our reps the names of the people working for them are.. maybe we could get more information on their salary. Jones from North Shore has a pretty big staff of 16 and he wasn't afraid to answer the questions, nor did any of the other Republicans.

It's just the secrecy involved that gets me, as Edward points out.

At May 20, 2009 at 2:27 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Now Annon's got an interesting point. There's probabley more experiance and savy with some of the unemployed than in the college kids who work for them.

At May 20, 2009 at 3:07 PM , Blogger Anderson said...

Just more of the same old stuff coming out of that place. They should condemn the entire state house and all those in it as a toxic waste dump. Really that is all it is. A place where liars spew more lies and thiefs steal money from our pockets under the guise of necessary taxes. That is nothing but bull, and everyone knows that.

At May 20, 2009 at 3:46 PM , Blogger Old soldier said...

So all the republicans released the information, but not so of the democrats. Interesting. The opposing party is quick to follow the policy set by the President of transparacy in all things in government, but those in his own party ignore him. Wonder what that says about the MA democrats. I can tell you what it says to me, but I am too polite to put that kind of language on a blog that may be read by ladies.

At May 20, 2009 at 5:26 PM , Blogger Fred J. said...

Don’t kid yourself, if they don’t want to release this information, they won’t. Nothing we can say or do that will get them to give it to us. But do we really even need to have the answer from them? The fact they won’t release the information to the Herald tells us what we need to know, that there is something going on in each of the offices of those who refused to supply the information that won’t pass the sniff test. My mother always said if you can’t print it in the daily paper, then you shouldn’t be doing it. Guess they did not listen to that kind of advice. Time to call them all to account for their actions. Problem is none of them will answer the call.


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