Bonus Time for AZ Congressional Staffers

Well, as always it’s party time for Congress, and the party never stops.

PHOENIX — While dealing with the “greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression”, seven Arizona congressional representatives handed out around $300,000 in staff bonuses in late 2008.

  • Former Republican Rep. Rick Renzi, who had already been indicted on fraud charges and was serving the final days of his term, was the most generous, splitting $136,000 among 12 staff members.
  • Among House members still in office, Rep. Raúl Grijalva, a Democrat, was tops, distributing $52,000 to 16 employees.
  • Republican Jeff Flake, who gave $36,000 to 13 employees
  • Democrat Harry Mitchell gave $38,000 to 10 employees.
  • Republican Rep. Trent Franks gave $22,000 to nine employees.
  • Republican John Shadegg gave $24,000 to nine employees.
  • Democrat Ed Pastor gave $13,500 to nine employees.
  • Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick took office in 2009, replacing Renzi. An e-mailed statement from chief of staff Michael Frias said Kirkpatrick likely would award bonuses for 2009, though a final decision hadn’t been made as of November.

But it’s not just about the bonuses. It’s about the overall staff sizes of those who “represent” us. Here’s the current breakdown for the AZ Representatives through 9/30/09.

D1 – Ann Kirkpatrick (D) $469,372
D2 – Trent Franks ® $727,127
D3 – John Shadegg ® $790,536
D4 – Ed Pastor (D) $607,993
D5 – Harry Mitchell (D) $654,128
D6 – Jeff Flake ® $728,819
D7 – Raul Grijalva (D) $808,687
D8 – Gabrielle Giffords (D) $761,579

Source: http://www.legistorm.com/browse_by_representative/index.html

That adds up to $5.5 million ANNUALLY.  Don’t know about you, but whenever I call my congressman’s office to get an answer regarding legislation, I can NEVER get a atrraight answer.  Just the usual ‘I can pass your message along to the congressman”.   That’s a lot of money for staffers who do nothing but act as answering machines and email spammers. So the next time your congressman tells you he’s down with the struggle of the American people or he feels the pain and challenges of “folks at the grass-roots” level, remember they are still doling out tax-dollar bonus money for their “peeps”. Nice work if you can get.