Hypocrisy, Ably Demonstrated

In my last post about Franklin County Clerk of Courts Maryellen O’Shaughnessy, the Democrats’ candidate for Ohio Secretary of State, I touched briefly on an important question: What kind of raises were low-level Clerk’s office staffers receiving while O’Shaughnessy was cranking her Chief Deputy’s salary up to $105,000? You may want to get caught up if you’re going to be voting in Ohio this November.

I mentioned how strange it was for a candidate endorsed by boatloads of unions to devote such a huge portion of her salary budget to a single administrator. “Strange” was, of course, sarcasm: it’s not uncommon for Democrats to talk in heated tones about the avarice of private employers and the wonder of workers’ unions while ignoring their own low-level employees. Think of the hypocrisy you get when a socially conservative Republican is caught in an affair, except with taxpayers as the saps getting screwed.

O’Shaughnessy’s campaign site lists sixty-nine endorsements as of earlier this evening (PDF screen cap; Excel spreadsheet). Thirty-five of those endorsements are from union groups. Of the 50% of O’Shaughnessy’s endorsements not from union groups, one is from the far-left Secretary of State Project, a PAC that hearts ACORN and Secretary of State Brunner and hates anything in the same neighborhood as responsible voter identification. Keep the union endorsements in mind while we take another look at salary data from the Franklin County Auditor (2007-2010 spreadsheet; March – June 2010 spreadsheet).

Clerk of Courts staff compensation, March 26, 2008 to March 17, 2009:

Title Average Hourly Rate,
03-26-2008
Average Hourly Rate,
03-17-2009
Percent
Change
Customer Service Clerk 1;
19 full-time staff
$14.13 $14.49 2.54%
Data Entry Clerk 1;
30 full-time staff
$12.55 $12.85 2.39%
Records Management Clerk 1;
18 full-time staff in ’08, 20 in ’09
$12.00 $12.33 2.75%
Chief Deputy $40.74 $42.17 3.51%

Clerk of Courts staff compensation, March 17, 2009 to March 16, 2010:

Title Average Hourly Rate,
03-17-2009
Average Hourly Rate,
03-16-2010
Percent
Change
Customer Service Clerk 1;
19 full-time staff
$14.49 $14.32 -1.17%
Data Entry Clerk 1;
30 full-time staff in ’09, 28 in ’10
$12.85 $13.17 2.49%
Records Management Clerk 1;
20 full-time staff in ’09, 21 in ’10
$12.33 $12.35 0.16%
Chief Deputy $42.17 * $45.87 8.77%

* Update, 07/21/10: Mary Austin-Palmer was hired 04/20/09 at $40.87 an hour, which means her first raise was $5 / hour, or 12.2%

March 17, 2009 to March 16, 2010, the first 1-year period when O’Shaughnessy was Clerk from beginning to end, was marked by a smaller increase in the average salaries of low-level employees and a sharp increase in the Chief Deputy’s salary. This doesn’t even account for the enormous additional 10.9% raise Chief Deputy Mary Austin-Palmer received at some point between 03/16/2010 and 06/09/2010, or the $140,000 in new Admin positions created since O’Shaughnessy took office.

The Franklin County Clerk of Courts , one of the largest County government offices, is not currently unionized. Based on a simple search (view Excel source) at the Ohio Secretary of State’s website, “O’Shaughnessy for Ohio” has received more than $87,000 from various arms of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and their parent, the AFL-CIO, since January 1. Why such generosity from the unions to a candidate who, in her capacity as a public official, follows plainly inequitable compensation practices? Refer to the first sentence of this paragraph.

Politicians like Maryellen O’Shaughnessy are deeply concerned about the working class when the working class is represented by a union with a deep campaign fund. It’s a great racket, when you think about it: unions indoctrinate the uninformed among their members in the importance of voting Democrat, while steering members’ dues to Democrats who make it easier for unions to slip their feet in more doors. Democrats get to pose as heroes of the little guy, happily running hand-in-hand with unions as budgets tumble over a cliff… and private investors get the blame when everything hits the ground.

Unions – especially public unions – add an extra layer of bureaucracy that hampers productive activity, while siphoning their constituents of dues that mostly benefit union bosses and politicians. Maryellen O’Shaughnessy’s union associations and flagrant disinterest in the workers they claim to represent are two additional reasons to oppose any attempt she makes to move up Ohio’s political ladder.

[Update: Increased precision of percent changes so they’re all as accurate as the Chief Deputy figures; tweaked clunky phrasing of the opening sentence after the tables-o-numbers.]

4 thoughts on “Hypocrisy, Ably Demonstrated

  1. Having spent time working for this County I cannot but agree with your comments about the current Clerk, but keep in mind the past history of that office with other clerks who kept the money from the little guys and while spending major amounts of money on IT Projects that never materialized, we are talking millions of dollars spent on dead end projects. In addition, other Clerk's from the same office and same party thrown in jail for stealing right under the little people noses and got caught on camera and spent 5 years in jail. There have been some real class acts in this office from the Democrats so O'Shaughnessey is just the latest in a long line of Clerk's in FC that have stuck it to the little guys while taken it for themselves.

  2. Ronda – good point. I wasn't in town for the administration preceding O'Grady, but the Case Management System project was going on when I started in '07. My understanding of that multi-million dollar debacle is that the Clerk and Chief Deputy failed to get all the necessary judges and Court administrators on board.

    Somehow blowing all that money didn't keep O'Grady (who I personally like) from being elected Commissioner, and didn't keep Migliore from a better paying position at Job & Family Services. Those are big reasons for my minor obsession with the topic of O'Shaughnessy's awful management!

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