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How much does your governor make?
May 16, 2007 7:43 AM   Subscribe

Stateline.org has posted the results of a 2007 survey on the salaries of state governors, complete with neato bar graph. The Governator's paycheck was recently voted up, making CA's the highest at $206,500, yet the Hollywood millionaire gives his back. The governor of Maine makes less than his assistant. Jon Corzine of NJ only makes $1 a year (and pays his own medical bills too). Is it heartening to see the relatively moderate salaries alongside the number of executives giving back or refusing increases? Or is it a testimony to the notion that only the wealthy can afford to serve? Or something else altogether?
posted by pineapple (24 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
From the last link, for those who hate to RTFA:
When [Arizona] Gov. Janet Napolitano holds a Cabinet meeting, she's the lowest-paid person in the room.

And she apparently wants to keep it that way, turning down a $65,000 pay raise last year in what could be one of the shrewdest political moves she ever made.

Political insiders say Napolitano's decision to reject the hefty salary increase already has had an impact on the 2006 political scene. Republicans are having trouble recruiting a gubernatorial candidate, and some say the salary and the lack of a governor's mansion are part of the problem.
posted by pineapple at 7:44 AM on May 16, 2007


I'm always pretty skeptical of the low salaries of civil servants. Doesn't that just motivate (or at least allow them to justify to themselves) taking bribes?
posted by DU at 8:04 AM on May 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


$1 a year? No wonder he can't afford seatbelts!
posted by smackwich at 8:06 AM on May 16, 2007


Here in Texas, our governor is a big advocate of "pay for performance" for public employees, especially school teachers. I wonder how that would work if applied to elected officials, too?
posted by Robert Angelo at 8:13 AM on May 16, 2007


I was struck by the relatively high salary of the Governor of my state, VT, considering the small population.

If you divide the governor's salary by the state's population, most states pay their governor 1-10¢ per person. VT pays over 23¢ per person, highest in the country.

CA (and TX) pay around 1/2¢ - sounds like a bargain.
posted by MtDewd at 8:20 AM on May 16, 2007


Eh, maybe they can afford to take no pay, since the bribery and payoff proceeds are so lucrative.
posted by Dave Faris at 8:27 AM on May 16, 2007


I wish we had more governors that took the salary because it was their job and they needed the money. Is rule by the rich the sign of a healthy democracy?
posted by rusty at 8:27 AM on May 16, 2007


Well, Rick Perry (TX) does need a sizeable amount for all that hair care.
posted by rolypolyman at 8:33 AM on May 16, 2007


I'm not sure if this has been mentioned on the blue before, but the prime minister of Singapore earns 5 times more than George Bush. Apparently the high pay attracts the best talent and curbs corruption. Not everybody is happy about that.
posted by destrius at 8:50 AM on May 16, 2007


The governor of Maine makes less than his assistant.

To be fair, Governor Baldacci is entitled to some percentage of the crops his vassals take from their serfs in Aroostook. Granted it's mostly potatoes, but it adds up.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:32 AM on May 16, 2007


Republicans are having trouble recruiting a gubernatorial candidate, and some say the salary and the lack of a governor's mansion are part of the problem.

We have the same issue with our local town mayor. It doesn't pay well enough to be a real full time job, so all the candidates end up being business owners (or local cranks). So bad that they just held a special mayoral election because the last mayor resigned because he found a better job.
posted by smackfu at 9:53 AM on May 16, 2007


A list of 2007 gubernatorial salaries compiled by the Council of State Governments shows the largest at $206,500 in California, though the governor doesn’t accept it, and the smallest at $70,000 in Maine, where the governor hasn’t gotten a raise in 20 years. At $179,000, New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) draws the largest salary among governors who actually accept one.

...

Head football coaches at NCAA Division 1A schools are paid about $900,000 annually, the largest salary among all state employees, according to an April study by the American Association of University Professors.


You guys got some strange sense of value down there.
posted by Jairus at 10:05 AM on May 16, 2007


You guys got some strange sense of value down there.

Today's [Canadian] MPs earn $147,700 a year...

The average NHL salary in 2005-06 is $1.46 million... The league minimum this season is $450,000; it was $185,000 in 2003-04.

posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:14 AM on May 16, 2007


I wasn't aware NHL players were government employees.
posted by Jairus at 10:29 AM on May 16, 2007


I wasn't aware NHL players were government employees.

Given their business practices, the NCAA is a quasi-commercial branch of professional sports at this point, so perhaps it's the fairest comparison to make.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:51 AM on May 16, 2007


Or, rather, it's not the fairest comparison to make.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:52 AM on May 16, 2007


I'm thrilled to hear that Ahhnold "gives back" his $206,500 salary. Now maybe he can "give back" the $146 million he just took out of Bay Area public transit in the latest version of the 2007-2008 state budget.
posted by blucevalo at 11:18 AM on May 16, 2007


I wasn't aware NHL players were government employees.

Your MPPs gave themselves a hefty raise this year. You almost certainly were not so fortunate.
posted by oaf at 11:31 AM on May 16, 2007


Yeah, that is all well and good, but how many of these people serving as governor have no other source of -substantial- income? Quite frankly, you don't usually get to that level of public office without significant personal financial means. In other words, what a governor (or congressperson for that matter) makes from holding office is almost irrelevant.
posted by limmer at 11:39 AM on May 16, 2007


Related post
posted by jaronson at 12:09 PM on May 16, 2007


Jairus writes "You guys got some strange sense of value down there."

A successful athletic program pays for itself.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:53 PM on May 16, 2007


A successful athletic program pays for itself.

So does a successful government.
posted by Jairus at 2:26 PM on May 16, 2007


So does a successful government.

And America has had a national debt for how long?
posted by jmd82 at 3:17 PM on May 16, 2007


Project Vote Smart.org is a good information source for political research. Gov. Jon Corzine didn't answer the 'NPAT' issue questionnaire.
posted by acro at 4:16 PM on May 16, 2007


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