Part of our Best of PoliticsNC 2013, this piece was originally posted on August 15, 2013 after we learned that unqualified campaign hacks were being paid more than $85,000 at the Department of Health and Human Services. If you enjoy this or other posts, please consider a donation to help keep us afloat.
You know you are a Republican when your entry level job salary puts you in the top 10%–even if you’re a state employee. That’s what happened to two political hacks and recent college graduates in the McCrory administration. According to Sarah Ovaska at N. C. Policy Watch, Ricky Diaz and Matthew McKillip, both 24 and both two years out of college, are making $85,000 and $87,500, respectively. Just to put that into a little perspective, that’s almost twice the median household income in North Carolina.
So what do these wunderkinds do? Well, they both are top members of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos’ staff. Diaz is her Communications Director and McKillip is–get this–her chief policy advisor. I kid you not. A 24 year-old political hack is the chief policy advisor for the Department of Health and Human Services.
I wonder which one told her to say that Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin was responsible turning down the Medicaid expansion? Regardless, somebody’s making the big bucks for that type of advice. Both started in January. Both saw their salaries increase by more than $20,000 in April. Must be nice to be appreciated. I’m sure teachers would feel the same.
Republicans might not like government but they sure seem to enjoy the perks. Cabinet secretaries got fat raises before they even started work. Hell, Kieran Shanahan thought it was a part-time gig. Now, kids can move straight from the campaign trail to high-powered, high-paying gigs in the administration. Next, we’ll hear that the summer intern at the Department of Public Safety is taking a leave from his senior year to become Secretary.
These guys just can’t seem to get the optics. They cut off jobless benefits to 70,000 North Carolinians, many with families, who can’t find work after the recession but give big pay raises to highly paid cabinet secretaries. They can’t afford to give raises to teachers and public employees, many of whom have been on the job for years, but they can give $20,000 pay bumps to kids who’ve been on the job for three months.
But, hey, that’s running government like a big business–a Wall Street business. Overpay your executives, under pay your workers and screw the shareholders. The Republican Way.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >