AZ legislature: It’s not a “part time” job

Realities need to be addressed

It’s time to have a frank discussion regarding Arizona’s legislative salaries. There is a major brouhaha over the issue of raising the daily expense pay or per diem of state legislators. Currently, Arizona’s lawmakers are making the princely sum of $24,000 a year.

In addition they receive $35 per day for the first 120 days of regular session, and $10 each day thereafter. Legislators residing outside Maricopa County receive an extra $25 per day for the first 120 days of the regular session, and $10 a day thereafter. The rate received by the non-Maricopa lawmakers is intended to cover living expenses.

Due in large part to the relentless negative publicity hurled at Arizona’s Republican majority legislature by the liberal daily newspaper, voters have repeatedly rejected pay increases when they appeared on the ballot. The last raise was approved 15 years ago — in 1998 — when their annual salary was $15,000. In the intervening years, several ballot proposals to boost the annual salary to $30,000 have been nixed.

Although the job is referred to as part time, constituents rightly expect to have access to their state senators and representatives throughout the year. Numerous issues arise requiring legislators’ attention.  Also, governors can, and do, call special sessions after the regular session has concluded.

Because the pay is so low, the legislature has become a haven for retirees, various “consultants,” housewives, and a plethora of school board members and others connected to the education establishment, who do not have to rely on the low salary to support a family.

Requirements of the job, coupled with the low pay restricts the average Arizonan from participating in what was designed to be a citizen legislature.

Union teachers claim their average salary of more than $50,000 plus benefits is too low for a job with four months off every year. How do we justify such a low pay scale for those entrusted with lawmaking for the state?

This chart shows legislative salaries by state. The highest salaried states include additional per diem allowances, in recognition of basic living costs. Even the non-too-fancy Travellodge comes in around $50 per night excluding the aggregated “privilege” tax imposed by the state, city and county. As an example, in 2010 Scottsdale had a 14.920% hotel and motel “bed tax.

Article 5, Section 12 of the Arizona Constitution refers to the five-member Commission on Salaries for Elective State Officers, which makes salary recommendations for a wide range of officials. The per diem raise would bypass this group and the ballot.

It’s time to acknowledge the real world facts. Our legislators deserve a break.

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62 Responses to AZ legislature: It’s not a “part time” job

  1. Army Of One says:

    So glad to see you take this position. Our state legislators ARE underpaid. Few working people have gone for 15 years without a pay raise.

    On the other extreme is the City of Phoenix where millions are handed out in “retention pay” and bonuses to rank and file employees and the City Manager got a $78,000 raise!! But dimocrat Mayor Greg Stanton can‘t commit to withdrawing the tax on our food due to “dire“ circumstances. What a phony!

    • Louise Ann says:

      Did you see Texas. The simple conclusion is that if they ‘don’t work’ they cannot pass more economic regulation and job killing chaos. We should pay them to eliminate laws and streamline the government. Texas does not convene very ofter, and they do better. Besides, this is intended to be government “service”. If their time to work was limited (they would earn more per day) they would be more efficient and stop the nonsense.

  2. LD 23 PC says:

    It’s beyond bizarre to so unconscionably underpay our lawmakers. In our household, we’ve always voted for the pay increases, that have never been excessive. You’re right in saying the Republic stirs the pot of antagonism. The average voter has no idea what their legislators do. The few who still read the newspaper believe the trash. They ought to visit the state Capitol and meet with their legislators. I’m a precinct committeeman, so I know mine, but most people don’t.

  3. Orion says:

    Good comparison to teachers! My sister and her husband both teach…and constantly complain. They spent last summer touring Europe and have a lovely second home (There’s no way to call it a “cabin”) in Munds Park. My wife and I are both college grads, working and not lavish spenders. (My car is 9 years old.) Believe me, there is no way we can keep up with sis and her hubby.

  4. BPaluch777@aol.com says:

    I’d bet a dollar to a donut that if the legislature was controlled by the dums, the Repugnant would be approving of raises! Bernie

  5. eubykdisop says:

    NO! Cry me a river!

    First of all, why don’t you tell us what the net worth is of each state legislator. Here is the page where the required financial disclosures are posted. Have a look and tell me what the net worth is of each of these people… if you can!

    “2013 Financial Disclosure Statements Public Access”

    http://www.azsos.gov/election/financial_disclosure/disclosures_list_2013.htm

    Here are some examples of net worth from 2010, two years ago:

    “President Pro Tempore Barbara Leff, R-Paradise Valley; Assets with a minimum value ranging from $3,394,000 to $11,725,000, with no estimate of a maximum possible because six assets are valued at more than $100,000.”

    “Minority Leader Jorge Luis Garcia, D-Tucson, minimum assets between $401,000 and $725,000, with no estimate of a maximum possible because three assets are valued at more than $100,000.”

    “President Robert “Bob” Burns, R-Peoria: Assets with a minimum value ranging from $603,000 to $675,000, with no estimate of a maximum possible because an investment account and equity in five properties are valued at more than $100,000.”

    “Minority Whip Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix: Assets with a minimum value ranging from $103,000 to $175,000, with no estimate of a maximum possible because one asset is valued at more than $100,000.”

    Notice how many say “with no estimate of a maximum possible”?

    Leff termed out but with a MINIMUM value of up to $11,725,000 and NO estimate of a maximum possible, I don’t think that she suffered because of a low legislative salary!

    Sorry, I’m not sympathetic!

    If people really want to serve, they’ll find a way to do it and maybe even have to work some extra to make ends meet… like many Arizona residents do!

    SRAZ wrote: “Because the pay is so low, the legislature has become a haven for retirees, various “consultants,” housewives…”
    How terrible! “Retirees”, “constultants”, “HOUSEWIVES”! Why, those people aren’t real Americans and Arizona residents, are they? They’re certainly not fit to legislate. We need some slick professional politicians to do that. Right? WRONG!

    • Sally Forth says:

      All irrelevant. Barbara Leff is married to a medical doctor/surgeon. We have had other doctors and doctor’s wives serve in the legislature. They are rarely on the lower end of the socio-economic totem pole. Bob Burns owns an investment company. There are a number of business owners. We have a man in the state legislature who actually won the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstake a number of years ago. Another owned numerous McDonald’s franchises. But for all of those lucrative examples, there are others who struggle. At least one has had his home foreclosed. Others have had their own financial difficulties, lost their businesses and/or jobs. Some have costly, and debilitating family health issues. They are there because they feel they have something to contribute to keeping our representative republic strong.

      I’d be curious to know how you think one works a full time job, while serving as a state legislator? Meetings and sessions are held at odd hours.

      I can’t speak for Seeing Red AZ, but I think I have an inkling of what they were saying in writing:
      “Because the pay is so low, the legislature has become a haven for retirees, various “consultants,” housewives…”

      It’s not because they aren’t fit to serve. It’s because they are not representative of the taxpaying guy or gal with three kids, trying to make it in this tough economy, without a pension or spouse to support them. It makes sense to me. Are you sure you’re not simply looking for something to make you angry?
      I usually agree with you. Not this time. Channel your energy at the Democrats, euby.

      • eubykdisop says:

        All irrelevant.

        If Barbara Leff or anyone else in the legislature is married to someone else who is earning money than all the more reason for not needing to increase salaries.

        Sally Forth wrote: “But for all of those lucrative examples, there are others who struggle.” So legislators should not “struggle” like many of their constituents do?

        Sally Forth wrote: “Some have costly, and debilitating family health issues.” So legislators shouldn’t have to worry about costly and debilitating health issues like many tax paying constituents do?

        Sally Forth wrote: “They are there because they feel they have something to contribute to keeping our representative republic strong.” Really? And you know this how? Does that include Tobin? And taxpayers who pay their salaries don’t contribute to keeping our representative republic strong? Housewives don’t?

        Sally Forth wrote: “I’d be curious to know how you think one works a full time job, while serving as a state legislator? Meetings and sessions are held at odd hours.” Not the taxpayers problem! If they want to be a legislator then they need to work that out. You want legislator welfare?

        Sally Forth wrote: “It’s because they are not representative of the taxpaying guy or gal with three kids, trying to make it in this tough economy, without a pension or spouse to support them.” Oh, you mean like Barbara Leff? So all Arizona taxpayers have three kids with no pension or spouse? How representative are they of Asians, Hispanics, Blacks… were does that idea stop?

        Sally Forth wrote: “Are you sure you’re not simply looking for something to make you angry?” Gee, I don’t know. Why don’t you tell me, doctor.

        Sally Forth wrote: “I usually agree with you. Not this time. Channel your energy at the Democrats, euby.” I usually agree with you, Sally. Not this time. Channel your energy into independent thinking instead of following a path someone else has laid out for you, Sally.

    • Dennis O'Brien says:

      Euby today you disappoint.
      You use Chad Campbell as an example of wealth? It would not be unreasonable to imagine his home alone is valued between $103,000 to $175,000. In today’s world that’s not a mansion.

      What caused this ‘wealth is evil’ burr in your saddle? Most of our legislators are not wealthy. It’s costly to maintain two residences for the majority who live outside of Maricopa County. Gas is higher priced than ever. Even food is taxed by the Denocrats who run Phoenix. Not having a raise in 15 years is simply wrong. You know it and so do I.

      • eubykdisop says:

        Dennis today you disappoint.

        You don’t read too good, Dennis, do you. Let’s try this again, shall we:

        “Minority Whip Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix: Assets with a minimum value ranging from $103,000 to $175,000, with no estimate of a maximum possible because one asset is valued at more than $100,000.”

        NOW do you see that part which reads “with no estimate of a maximum”? Do you have that now?

        Dennis wrote: “It’s costly to maintain two residences for the majority who live outside of Maricopa County. Gas is higher priced than ever. Even food is taxed by the Denocrats who run Phoenix.” Oh, my bleeding heart!

        Now tell us, Dennis, who is it who FORCING them, against their will, to be a legislator? They need to make an assessment of whether they can do it or not. They’re grown. If they can’t do it, don’t come to taxpayers looking for a subsidy. Just don’t do it!

        Dennis wrote: “Not having a raise in 15 years is simply wrong. You know it and so do I.” No, Dennis, I do NOT know that! But I’m sure that Randy Parraz, who worked for the AFL-CIO union, would agree with you wholeheartedly. Maybe you should see about organizing a union for state legislators so that they could bargain for periodic salary increases.

  6. Jack daniels says:

    I have a idea…let give this country back to the Indians..and American can kick back and drink fire water all day..and illegal can have L.A California back
    and American can have Free food stamps…free assittance.. free health insurance..and stay in bed all
    nite and made babies..and give the rest of the U.S.A to the Pollack..so it will take 11 million to screw in a light bud in..

  7. Hunter says:

    The reason to have salaries for elected officials is so that people who have to work for a living have the ability to participate in running the government. No salaries or low salaries limit participation to members of households who do not have to work full time or on a set schedule. That generally means retirees, consultants, business owners, independently wealthy, and house wives (and house husbands).

    If someone thinks they can raise a family well on $24,000 per year without getting government assistance or extensive charity, please let us know.

    The problem we have now is that we have $24,000 per year legislators. Some would be worth $100,000 per year, but many are getting paid what they are worth. If a pay raise were to go into effect for legislators getting elected 2 years after the pay raise is passed, then we could get better qualified legislators without having to pay the less qualified legislators more than they deserve for 2 years. On those terms, raising the pay to $50,000 per year would be a good deal, in my opinion. We would attract more capable people and could make government more efficient and better run to thoughtfully promote freedom. In fact, it would easily be worth $100,000 per year to get really good people. That would still be less than $10 million per year for all of the legislators which is almost nothing compared to what poorly made decisions can cost tax payers.

    • eubykdisop says:

      I don’t agree, Hunter. Here’s why.

      You, along with some of the previous posters, are making a case about who can and who cannot be a legislator based upon the salary. You argue that low salaries rule some people out and see that as a bad thing which needs to be eliminated. But that is the case with many stiuations in a capitalist country.

      For example, how many people can afford the best legal representation? Because many can’t, should we then set a cap on the cost of legal representation OR should we subsidize everyone who can’t afford the best?

      How many people can afford a Rolls Royce? Because many can’t should we then cap the price of a Rolls Royce OR subsidize everyone who can’t afford one?

      Our Constitution does NOT guarantee income or salary equality. It only guarantees equality of opportunity. So if someone really wants to be a legislator, and the job doesn’t pay sufficiently for them, then it is up to THEM to find a way to do it.

      Hunter wrote: “If someone thinks they can raise a family well on $24,000 per year without getting government assistance or extensive charity, please let us know.” I don’t think you realize it, Hunter, but that is what is called a “loaded question”. First, it assumes that all legislators will raise families. Secondly, it assumes that no one would be willing to either give up or delay having a family in order to be a legislator. It’s a question of what are the person’s priorites and how badly do they want to be a legislator.

      Hunter wrote: “That generally means retirees, consultants, business owners, independently wealthy, and house wives (and house husbands).” Yes, Hunter, that has been mentioned and I don’t see a problem with that. Do we have some fixed idea of who should be in the legislature? Do we feel we need to take “affirmative action” to bring that about? That’s Liberal thinking!

      What I am seeing here is a lot of folks who are usually Conservative suddenly dtiching Conservative principles. Conservatives don’t believe in “affirmative action”. They don’t believe that there is a guarantee of income equality. They don’t believe that everyone should be financially enabled to do anything they desire to do. They don’t believe that everyone should be helped to avoid the struggles and difficulties which are inherent in life.

      Liberals are always trying to make all things possible for all people at the expense of taxpayers. That sort of artificial “equality” is Socialism. Conservatives believe that people should attain according to their efforts and ingenuity. Conservatives believe that our country provides enormous opportunity primarily through the absence of artifical barriers and obstructions which exist in many other countries.

      If someone REALLY wants to be a legislator, they will find a way to do it!

      • Hunter says:

        I don’t want affirmative action, and what I wrote does not constitute affirmative action. It is trying to change the culture of the legislature by using compensation policy as a tool.

        You want the legislature to consist of the best people we can get at $24,000 per year.

        I want the legislature to consist of the best people we can get at $50,000 or $100,000 per year.

        Which group is likelier to be more capable? Which group is likelier to be able to more efficiently manage a multi-billion dollar annual state budget?

        While there is no guarantee that better pay will get better people, it definitely improves the likelihood. Private businesses decide what type of employer they want to be by setting their compensation targets based on industry averages. Employers that want to establish high efficacy work forces with a focus on quality use the 75th or higher percentile of industry pay as their average. That is, they pay above average compensation to get above average workers. Over time, you end up getting what you pay for. If your business does not need really capable people to be successful (at least in certain parts of its work force), then they can be paid below average compensation because their lack of quality won’t diminish the final product.

        If you think the quality of legislators does not affect their final products, then we certainly don’t need to pay them much, if anything. If you think that the budget, bills passed (and rejected), and confirmation of appointments will be affected by the quality of the legislators, then it could be worth paying them more.

        We don’t necessarily just want someone who desperately wants to be a legislator and has no easy access to a substantially better paying job. It might be nice to have a successful middle class person privately employed who can take a leave of absence from his/her job because the salary for being a legislator is comparable to his/her private sector compensation.

      • eubykdisop says:

        Hunter wrote: “I don’t want affirmative action, and what I wrote does not constitute affirmative action.” Hell you don’t, LOL!

        Hunter wrote: “It is trying to change the culture of the legislature by using compensation policy as a tool.” What do you think that “affirmative action” is, my dear Hunter?

        The mix of those getting construction contracts doesn’t include enough minority owned companies SO we will change that “culture” by using compensation policy as a tool by MANDATING that a certain percentage of firms getting construction contracts are minority owned! Liberal affirmative action!

        Hunter wrote: “You want the legislature to consist of the best people we can get at $24,000 per year. I want the legislature to consist of the best people we can get at $50,000 or $100,000 per year.” ROFL! Garbage in, garbage out! False argument based upon a false premise, Hunter!

        The false premise is that we will get better legislators if we pay them more money. Now, let’s see. How much more do Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer make than do Arizona State legislators?

        Hunter wrote: “While there is no guarantee that better pay will get better people, it definitely improves the likelihood.” You wouldn’t happen to have any factual evidence to back up that claim, would you? I didn’t think so, LOL!

        Hunter wrote: “Private businesses decide what type of employer they want to be by setting their compensation targets based on industry averages.” Thank you for clarifying that, Hunter, because we don’t want public service to become a business!

        Hunter wrote: “Over time, you end up getting what you pay for.” Really, Hunter? So B. Hussein Obama is much better than any Arizona legislator because he is paid so much more. I see!

        Hunter wrote: “We don’t necessarily just want someone who desperately wants to be a legislator and has no easy access to a substantially better paying job.” Really, Hunter? Then I suggest that you get busy writing that into the Arizona State Constitution because no such principle is articulated there now!

        Hunter wrote: “It might be nice to have a successful middle class person privately employed who can take a leave of absence from his/her job because the salary for being a legislator is comparable to his/her private sector compensation.” Oh, so this is a “class” issue. You have something against the wealthy serving as state legislators? How about someone below the poverty level serving as a state legislator? So you are one of those “class warfare” people! I see!

    • Night Owl says:

      Well stated, Hunter. You made excellent points. Our legislators are obviously not down on Washington Street to get rich. However they need a living wage. If all we elect are those who can “afford” to be there, we end up with elites running the legislative process.

      • eubykdisop says:

        You have that backward, Nigth Owl. You end up with “elites” running the legislative process if the concepts put forth by Hunter and other similar minded posters are implemented. How so? Well, look at their argument as articulated in the article and repeated in comments!

        “Because the pay is so low, the legislature has become a haven for retirees, various “consultants,” housewives…” So retirees, consultants and housewives have been deemed to be unacceptable groups to comprise the legislature! Where, under the State Constitution, does it state that retirees, consultants and housewives shall not constitute the Arizona State Legislature? If those persons should not constitute the legislature, then who should? Which groups of “elites” should constitute the legislature INSTEAD OF retirees, consultants and housewives?

        The entire concept put forth is nothing but an attempt to establish “elites” to run the legislature.

  8. Westnash says:

    Do not increase their salaries and be very careful on any per diem increases. They “just want to serve”, remember? Their sessions should be made more productive and days spent in sessions less.

    The cost of State Govt. should be cut by 10% across the board as a start.

  9. who cares ? says:

    So, I assume you want these folks to sell their assets to support themselves while they serve in the legislature?

    Can you say “Cash flow”?

    How about we consider paying them for the work they do; not how well-married or how frugal they have been in their lives……

    Do you actually KNOW what they do; how much time they spend? Go spend 24 hours straight with them….you MIGHT re-think your position.

    Ask yourself this: Would you do what they do for 2 grand a month? If the answer is yes, no raise; if not, give ‘em one!

    • Westnash says:

      They knew the salary before they ran….it is 24,000 for 3-4 months work……More like $4-$6K grand a month.

      • Seen It All says:

        You obviously love to spew even when you don’t know the facts or even care to learn them. Have you ever met your state reps? Make an appointment, take time to visit in their tiny offices, ask a few questions. Then watch them in session and attend some committee hearings. They’re all open to the public. While you’re hanging around, make sure to talk to their administrative assistants to find out what issues they deal with. Your conversation will undoubtedly be interrupted by the phones ringing off the hook. By the way, that doesn’t stop when they are supposedly out of session. Their constituents, like you, have no concept of what a legislator’s job entails. You’ve always got a lot to say. Base it on facts not fancy.

        Funny, on this issue you and your antagonist eubie sound equally uninformed.

      • eubykdisop says:

        OH! MY BLEEDING HEART!

        Let me ask you a question, Seen It All. Have you ever worked for a living? Have you ever even been around people who work for a living?

        Tiny offices? Oh my goodness, how VERY terrible!

        Phone ringing off the hook? What an AWFUL burden! They could get rough hands from picking up those phones all the time!

        Yeah, I know what a legislators job entails! They are out in the hot Arizona sun all Summer, stooped over, harvesting crops.

        They have to go out in those fishing boats in all kinds of weather risking being washed overboard!

        When people call 911 they have to go out and face off with armed bad guys.

        Why the number of on the job injuries from “paper cuts” among state legislators is staggering!

        Get real!

    • eubykdisop says:

      How about it’s THEIR problem!

  10. CD9 says:

    We need citizen Legislators, this is not the place for them to get wealthy. But I do not expect them not to have jobs or businesses of their own. Raise their per diem while they are in session, what they recieve now will not pay for gas.

    Their Salary is more than $2 grand a month. The Legislature is in session for 90 days right? I get returned emails from the Legislature “they are not in session”, in other words don’t bother us now.

    • Hunter says:

      We don’t really want the legislature to stay in session for too long. That will cause them to look for more problems to “fix” on our behalf. I would rather have them paid more to be in session less time and not give them incentives to prolong their sessions.

      On the other hand, if we can actually return the job of a legislator to be truly part time, the salary does not have to go up drastically. Perhaps the legislature should meet just once every two years and set a 2 year budget instead of meeting every year? Special sessions can always be called if needed. Reducing the number of bills that can be run by legislators to 3 or 4 per legislator would also limit the work for all legislators (and limit the damage they can do).

      Perhaps we could routinely schedule most of the legislative activity for weekends so that people with full time jobs would have an easier time serving as a legislator?

      If we expect legislators to be full time, they have to be paid accordingly. Otherwise, we have to remember that we will generally get what we pay for.

      • Doc says:

        STRONG WORDS HUNTER! Another benefit of weekend sessions would be that we constituents COULD see our legislators if we needed to…

      • eubykdisop says:

        Now you’re thinking, Hunter! Make the job fit the pay AND reduce the opportunity for mischief!

  11. eubykdisop says:

    ROFL! Oh, I just love it when people go on a quest for the “Magic Bullet”! Guess what, Folks, it doesn’t exist, LOL!

    Now here’s something for you fans of throwing more money at the state legislature. The per diem for New York State legislators is more than five times that of Arizona State legislators. Look what that has done for New York State! They legislated homosexual “marriage” and gun control! Maybe if there’s enough profit in being a state legislator we can attract some experienced state legislators from New York State to come here to sunny Arizona!

    It’s just fascinating that throwing more money at schools has never helped things but throwing more money at the state legislators is going to make everything beautiful, LOL!

    • Doc says:

      Well on your point, euby-& I haven’t made my mind up yet, but…

      …can we afford it? My paycheck is $32.00 LIGHTER per pay period than this same time 2 months ago…

      • Doc says:

        …meanwhile WE’RE payin these clowns @ ASU Hundreds-0-thousands-0-dollars…uuummm…for what?

      • eubykdisop says:

        We need to remember, Doc, which political party is the “tax and spend” party and which is not… or at least is not supposed to be!

    • Fought For My Country says:

      Apples and oranges, euby. New York is an entirerly different demographic. The state legislature is overwhelmingly Democrat. Ours is not.

      And in addition to their per diem, New York legislators get paid nearly $80,000 a year.

      Why can’t you get the concept that our legislators are not all independently wealthy and should be paid a lving wage? By the way, they are term limited. Does your job toss you out the door after a specified number of years? Have you gone without a raise in 15 years? Even if you’re retired, which I suspect, you get COLAs from the “government,” which is actually me and other hard working taxpayers trying to get by and supporting our families on less and giving you more.

      • eubykdisop says:

        Apples and apples, Fought For My Country! Why? Because the arguments being raised have nothing to do with geography OR political party.

        Why can’t you get the concept that it is irrelevant whether all of our legislators are wealthy or not? What is is that you are having trouble grasping about that?

        Fought For My Country wrote: “By the way, they are term limited. Does your job toss you out the door after a specified number of years?” What does that have to do with what they get paid? Again, no one is forcing them to become state legislators. If those are the terms under which they accepted the job, they have to live with it! By the way, most people working in the private sector are under “at will” employment which means that they can be terminated at any time without cause. Ever hear of a RIF?

        ROFL! Hey, sonny boy, it’s people like me who kept this country and this economy going so that you could be born into it. I’ll give up Social Security if you give me back everything I put into this country when you were just a twinkle in your father’s eye! I’ll come out WAY ahead on that one, LOL!

      • eubykdisop says:

        By the way, Fought For My Country, if you stop looking at and whining about what other people are getting and concentrate instead on making your own fortune, like we did, maybe you’ll have a pot to piss in when you get to be our age. If not, you’ll end up simply being an old, impoverished whiner instead of a young impoverished whiner!

    • Fought For My Country says:

      You call me a whiner? I was severely injured saving your freedoms and your ass. But I was lucky. Some of my best buddies didn’t make it home. Don’t you dare call me sonny boy, you old fool. I had you pegged and you resent that. You should be ashamed, but I suspect you don’t have the brains to be. After I returned, I had a lengthy rehab, a couple of new limbs, got married, went to ASU and started a productive career and family. I’ve been covering you from Vietnam til today with the deductions taken from my check to keep you going. I’d tell you to go to hell, but I’ve been there, so I won’t.

      • Mohave Mike says:

        Fought For My Country,

        My sincere thanks to you for all you have contributed to our nation, our freedoms and our society. The fact that you didn’t rate an apology from one who referred to you as a whiner speaks volumes.
        Please accept mine, offered on his behalf.

      • eubykdisop says:

        “Fought For My Country”:

        The Vietnam War ended on April 30, 1975. The last ten Marines were evacuated from Saigon at 8:35 AM on that day. The youngest you could have been to serve, with permission from your parents, would have been 17 years of age. If you were 17 years old on the last possible day of Vietnam combat YOU would be 55 years old today. That is the absolute youngest you could possibly be IF your story were true.That means you are either at or near Social Security age yourself!

        Your story doesn’t add up. You’re full of crap, SONNY BOY!

    • Fought For My Country says:

      For what it’s worth, I was born in 1949 and wounded in 1968. I still work a full time job and pay the taxes that support you. I owe you no explanations. You hide behind your anonymity to hurl insults, calling me a whiner and sonny boy. Call me and every other American who fought and served what you will. I’m more of a man than you will ever be. You’re a pathetic sicko.

      • eubykdisop says:

        Hey listen, FFMC, you haven’t paid one single cent to support me. I’ve always paid my own freight. You, a man? No, FFMC, real mean don’t whine.

        And if you were born in ’49, you’re at Social Security age yourself. You going to turn it down or haven’t you worked enough to qualify for any?

    • Attila The Hunny says:

      If I am so inclined, can address the comments between J.Altman and me. I do not need an interpreter. Certainly not one who insults our nation’s brave service personnel who have seen action. You owe him and all of the rest of us an apology.

      • eubykdisop says:

        Hey, Hunny, this is a public blog. Make comments, get comments. You want a private conversation, send an email.

        I don’t insult our nation’s brave service personnel. I’ve been supportive of our men and women in uniform many times in this blog. You’re just trying to fabricate something because you don’t like people disagreeing with you.

        I don’t owe you OR him squat! Having served, and we don’t know what his service record may be, if any, doesn’t give him license to say or do anything he wants for the rest of his life!

        No one has paid my way. I have worked hard all of my life, starting when I was a kid, to get what I now have. No one is going to imply that they paid my way and get away with it!

  12. Tim says:

    The supply of potential legislators is already large at the current market price, so why would one want to artificially increase the price? The non-financial immediate benefits plus long-term financial benefits already attract plenty of capable people.

    I should pay my interns more, but because so many smart and enthusiastic kids are already willing to do the job without direct payment, why would I?

    • Night Owl says:

      I assume your underpaid interns are not adults with mortgages and families to support. Or are you only into exploitation as long as you think you can get away with it? You sound like a great guy to work for, Tim..

      • eubykdisop says:

        You’re working off an outdated paradigm, Night Owl. When we were kids, the norm was that the father worked to provide income and the mother stayed home to take care of the kids. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2011, both parents worked in 58.5% of married-couple families. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the per capita income for Arizona was $25,784 per year for 2011. Since being a legislator is “public service”, why should state legislators be compensated at well above the rate of per capita income for the state?

  13. Hagar says:

    You’re wrong on this one SRA. Did you add in all the free meals the lobbyists provide on the capitol mall almost every day?. They are lined up to have the opportunity. Why would that be? Some state legislatures only meet every other year and one is unicameral format. They seem to do OK.

  14. Jon C. Altmann says:

    You get the government you pay for. We ask a lot of state legislators. We could probably attract an even better experience group if the compensation were more modern. We are paying $24K a year for public policy professionals and about a third of them have college degrees. They are dealing with complex and intellectual subjects needing broad based experience or education. People who have these skills generally have either a business or a responsible job with some demands. You cannot expect them to (or their employers) to front the bill for their time away from making money (for themselves or their employers). You should compensate them adequately. City council members in many Arizona citizens get paid more. It would be more honest to pay them a fair wage than have the per diem adjustment go on.

    • Jon C. Altmann says:

      Let me footnote, I also think that they should not get a pension – which has the highest benefit in the state, even beyond what cops & firefighters get.

      • Attila The Hunny says:

        You are absolutely wrong on this and spreading false information. State legislators are not unionized. Firefighters, police — and teachers are members of strong unions which ensure hefty benefits. Legislators have to serve more than a single term to be vested. That was why former legislator Doug Quelland, removed from office for violating public-financing and campaign-disclosure laws, refused to resign.

      • Jon C. Altmann says:

        The nasty comments from the faceless writers continues. Attilla – learn to read – I said the PENSION that legislators get is begtting than the cops and firefighters – I did not say anything about unions. The teachers do not have as good as a pension deal as public safety employees. Look at the plans, they are online, you will find that elected officials vest after only five years. FFs and cops and corrections officers have to go 20 years. Same with teachers.

        I am ok with public employees getting a fair retirement. If you will also look their health coverage comes out of their retirement checks and can be as much as $800 per month, depending on where they live – or a bit less than a $10,000 reduction each year.

        Legislators have a larger esclator in their pension. Why? at least reduce it to no more than public employees.

        You all don’t see the point. But, this is Seeing Red, not Seeing Sensible.

      • eubykdisop says:

        Atilla, he didn’t say that legislators were unionized. Secondly, there’s this from the Wall Street Journal:

        “Steven Malanga: State Politicians and the Public Pension Cookie Jar”

        “June 8, 2012″

        “Elected officials in dozens of states enjoy similarly generous deals. In Arizona, Florida and Kentucky, for instance, the pensions of legislators are calculated with a more generous “multiplier” than those of regular employees. (The “multiplier” is used in the equation that translates a worker’s years of service into the percentage of his final salary that he will receive as retirement pay—the longer one works, the larger the percentage.)”

        “In Arizona, the multiplier for all current legislators is four, or nearly twice that of ordinary government workers.”

        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304707604577421901195142304.html

    • eubykdisop says:

      Jon wrote: “You get the government you pay for.” Really? Is that a fact? We’re paying members of the U. S. Congress a lot more than Arizona state legislators and their current approval rating is 14%. Kind of blows your theory, doesn’t it!

      Jon wrote: “We ask a lot of state legislators.” Do we? Do we really? What do we ask of them that is so much? Do we ask them to put themselves at risk? Do we ask them to work outdoors in the Summer heat? Do we ask them to carry drywall? Do we ask them to do brain surgery?

      Jon wrote: “We are paying $24K a year for public policy professionals and about a third of them have college degrees.” How very Democrat Liberal of you! You want to create a set of elites to legislate. What happened to a citizen government? So a retired plumber who has lived in and worked in and paid taxes in Arizona his entire life shouldn’t be a state legislator if he only has a high school diploma? B. Hussein Obama has multiple degrees, including a law degree. In four years, why don’t you recruit him to be an Arizona state legislator?

  15. Marianne says:

    Seeing Red:
    I saw eubykdisop’s disgusting second comment to Fought For My Country. Thanks you for removing it. I found his capitalized screaming slurs horrifying. My Dad was injured in Vietnam and also lost friends he served with. He returned home to hippy’s and other liberals yelling insults and spitting on the vets. This guy must have been one of them.

    • eubykdisop says:

      Hey, Marianne, take a long walk off a short pier. What proof do you have that what he claims is even actually true? I could claim the same thing. Besides, you don’t know what I have sacrifced for my country.

      Now go back and join your hippy, Jane Fonda-loving friends!

      • Hunter says:

        Euby, it appears that one thing you sacrificed is politeness – whether for the country or not is impossible to say.

        Making personal attacks and spewing gratuitous pugnaciousness reduces rather than enhances the credibility of posters on Seeing Red Arizona.

        Of course, it is probably different on other blogs. If so, please try to remember which blog you are posting to before hitting the “post” button.

      • eubykdisop says:

        Hunter, it appears that one thing you sacrificed is objectivity – whether for the country or not is impossible to say.

        Gee, Hunter, let’s see if I can find some posts in this thread that I can follow as an example of how to be polite and not make personal attacks. Oh, here are a few!

        “Fought For My Country says:
        February 8, 2013 at 12:59 pm”

        “Even if you’re retired, which I suspect, you get COLAs from the “government,” which is actually me and other hard working taxpayers trying to get by and supporting our families on less and giving you more.”

        “Fought For My Country says:
        February 8, 2013 at 5:08 pm”

        “I’ve been covering you from Vietnam til today with the deductions taken from my check to keep you going.”

        “Marianne says:
        February 9, 2013 at 1:23 pm”

        “My Dad was injured in Vietnam and also lost friends he served with. He returned home to hippy’s and other liberals yelling insults and spitting on the vets. This guy must have been one of them.”

        Oh, I get it now, Hunter! It’s okay to say, falsely, that you’ve been subsidizing someone who has worked hard and paid their way for their entire life. That isn’t an “attack” or “impolite”, is it, Hunter.

        It’s fine to say that I’m a hippy Liberal who spit on vets returning from Vietnam. That’s not an “attack” or “impolite”, is it, Hunter.

        Of course, it is probably different on other blogs. Those things might actually be considered “attacks” and being “impolite”. Here at SRAZ, however, Hunter thinks those things are just fine to post. So the next time you go to hit the “post” button for a critique of “attacks” and “impoliteness”, agglutinate your fecal matter first, Hunter!

      • Hunter says:

        Euby, thank you for reinforcing my point.

        By the way, most people on Social Security and Medicare are being subsidized by people younger than them. Unfortunately, that’s the way those entitlement programs work since they were sold as “insurance” even though they were implemented as Ponzi schemes. It may feel like your money, but, at least for most people, the benefits exceed the contributions. That’s not the fault of individuals in those programs unless they are the people who voted for politicians who supported those programs and currently vote against politicians who want to reform them. That’s why the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds will go broke without substantial changes even if the national debt problem is fixed.

        Another thing to keep in mind is that some people don’t collect Social Security until turning 70, and most of those people are still working and paying Social Security taxes until then and sometimes even after.

  16. eubykdisop says:

    Hunter, thank YOU very much for reinforcing MY point!

    I said that you sacrificed objectivity and even after I pointed out, in detail, with verbatim quotes, how I was attacked and posters were impolite to me, you choose to completely ignore that, LOL!

    The other fact is that, not that it’s really any of your business, I’ve been receiving Social Security benefits for only a year. So how could “Fought For My Country” have been supporting me?

    Furthermore, “Fought For My Country” never answered whether or not HE was going to take HIS Social Security benefit.

    And since you missed how I was attacked and people were impolite to me, I’ll share that with you again! Maybe you’ll be able to see it this time!

    “Fought For My Country says:
    February 8, 2013 at 12:59 pm”

    “Even if you’re retired, which I suspect, you get COLAs from the “government,” which is actually me and other hard working taxpayers trying to get by and supporting our families on less and giving you more.”

    “Fought For My Country says:
    February 8, 2013 at 5:08 pm”

    “I’ve been covering you from Vietnam til today with the deductions taken from my check to keep you going.”

    “Marianne says:
    February 9, 2013 at 1:23 pm”

    “My Dad was injured in Vietnam and also lost friends he served with. He returned home to hippy’s and other liberals yelling insults and spitting on the vets. This guy must have been one of them.”

  17. eubykdisop says:

    Oh yeah, Hunter, and just so readers will know what you are and where you are coming from, they can read your comments on this SRAZ article where you argued in support of the idea that employers should be able to force their employees to be injected with flu vaccine and those who refuse should be fired.

    “Get it! Forced medical treatment or a pink-slip”

    “TriHealth, a full-service medical care provider, takes its slogan “Discover the power of unity” to the extreme. As one of Cincinnati, Ohio’s largest employers, it has forcibly imposed “unity” at the unemployment office by firing at least 150 employees the day before Thanksgiving — for failing to get what turned out to be an employment-conditional flu shot.”

    “TriHealth offered all of its 10,800 employees free flu shots, giving them a month in which to comply. Those who chose to abstain from receiving the vaccine by the Nov. 16 deadline were terminated Wednesday, according to a company spokesperson.”

    “Employees who were fired can appeal to be reinstated only after receiving the mandated inoculation.”

    “The last we heard this was still a free society where people are able to make personal health care decisions, since ObamaCare has not yet kicked in. The fact remains that many have become ill after receiving the vaccine, which contains high levels of a toxic combination of aluminum and mercury. Read other reasons for resisting this forced intrusion here.”

    http://seeingredaz.wordpress.com/2012/11/25/get-it-forced-medical-treatment-or-a-pink-slip/#comments

    • Hunter says:

      Euby, by now, I think everyone knows what you are and where you are coming from. You have made that very clear in your posts and in the way you interact with others on the Seeing Red AZ blog.

      Oh yeah, Euby! Oh please!!!

  18. eubykdisop says:

    Well, that’s good, Hunter. I hope that people know who I am and where I’m coming from because I’m proud of it.

    SRAZ readers can visit the article linked below and view your comments supporting the forced injection, by corporate employers, of their employees with flu vaccine which is NOT mandated as necessary for the protection of public health by the Centers for Disease Control, by legislation or by any government body. But you argue that corporate employers have a “right” to force medicate their employees, with those who refuse to be injected being terminated.

    “Get it! Forced medical treatment or a pink-slip”

    http://seeingredaz.wordpress.com/2012/11/25/get-it-forced-medical-treatment-or-a-pink-slip/#comments

    Come on, Hunter, bring it on, LOL! You have never had “the right stuff” and you don’t have it now!

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