Michael Horne
Plenty of Horne

Site Reveals D.C. Staffer Salaries

By - Sep 19th, 2006 12:00 pm

The United States Congress lacks an Office of Pork, but it does employ various individuals in other staff positions, such as the Attending Physician to the House of Representatives; a whole unit called “Senate Hair Care,” (staff of 9) and even the Office of the Deputy President Pro Tempore and the Office of the Senate President Pro Tempore Emeritus. All of these include many paid positions, and we can thank a new website called LegiStorm for making available, for the first time, the salaries received by the many aides in Congress, including those who work for Wisconsin’s two senators and seven representatives. Some of the aides make darn close to their bosses. (Senators and Congressmen are paid $162,100 per year.) Herb Kohl’s State Director, Joanne [Mrs. Nicholas] Anton, pulled in $60,499.24 – not a bad salary, especially when you consider it was just for the six months ending March 31, 2006. On an annualized basis, Anton raked in $120,999.88, and that’s not counting what she might have made on top of that bussing tables at La Perla.

Over in the office of Sen. Russ Feingold, Mary Irvine, his Chief of Staff, made a whopping $142,736 on an annualized basis, while his Policy Director, Sumner Slichter, made do with $127,444.38.

Over on the South wing of the Capitol, Gwen Moore paid Winfield Boerckel $123,288.96 to manage her office, while F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. paid Thomas Schiebel $155,348 to run his place.

Rep. Mark Green seems positively penurious compared to this crew. The best-paid staffer in his tightwad office is Chief of Staff Chris Tuttle who must content himself with a mere $96,800.04 of the taxpayers’ money each annum.

Of course these are necessary positions needed to fulfill the awesome responsibilities of those we elect to serve our interest in The Nation’s Capital.

Who would have ever imagined that they would breed yet another bureaucracy (or two) of their own?

Thus, all of the standing committees of the House and Senate have paid staffers, which you might expect. But wait, there’s more!

For example, the Senate Hair Care Office, where Chief Barber Mario Dangelo makes $67,326.42 trimming the locks of senators along with his staff of eight or so. Poor Juan Alfredo Salguero, the senate’s Shoe Shine Attendant must content himself with $34,290.36 keeping the senators’ shoes shiny. (This guy probably does get tipped, you’d hope.)

The House has a Chaplain, and Dan P. Coughlin separates $163,700 from the state on an annual basis. Not to be outdone, Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black makes $141,648, which is less, but Black also gets a Chief of Staff in the form of Alan Nicholas Keiran, who makes $97,610, for God’s sake!

There are Cloakroom Personnel, Chief Deputy Democratic and Republican Party Whips and even the Office of the John Heinz Fellowship Program, where Barbara Woodale, Fellow, makes $58,174.80, which is hardly worth getting out of bed for in an expensive town like Washington. Maybe she saves on rent by crashing with some “fellow.”

Although many Washington jobs are poorly paid, and belong to freshly-minted college grads, age is no barrier for a Congressional sinecure. Take Robert V. Remini, for example. I particularly enjoyed his volumes on Andrew Jackson, written from the perspective of a near-contemporary, but the University of Illinois at Chicago academic, born in 1921, receives $109,646,40 as the Historian of the House of Representatives, a position to which he was appointed by Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-Illinois.) Add that to his Social Security, and that’s a nice little pay packet for an 85-year old.

Of course, what use is a historian without a Deputy Historian, and Fred Beuttler serves in that role, earning $108,612, just a few dollars shy of his boss.

Who among us would complain that the Senate President Pro Tempore, the third in line to the presidency, would have a special staff to serve at his behest? But did you know there is also a Senate President Pro Tempore Emeritus – an office created for the late Strom Thurmond and now held by Sen. Robert Byrd. The press secretary for that office is Thomas Edward Gavin, and he is paid $141,991.30 for his duties, which must be extensive, what with keeping the old guy awake, stroke-free, continent and such.

It is likely that among all of these vital positions in our seat of government, there must be a few that are mere sinecures – jobs with no duties. Let’s ask Cecelia Boyer. She received $101,699.88 as the “Director of Correspondence” in the Capitol Office of the Vice President. That Dick Cheney must sure receive a lot of fan mail.

This article was originally published by Milwaukee World.

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