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Big Raises For SC Senate Staffers

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A week after we learned income levels for South Carolinians had declined by 10.9 percent over the last dozen years, staffers in the S.C. General Assembly took home big fat raises from their “Republican” bosses.

According to a local political blog, nearly three dozen Senate staffers making more than $50,000 annually have received raises ranging from 8.17 to 67 percent since March 2012. This follows a similar pattern of pay raises for top staffers in the S.C. House of Representatives – as well as big raises awarded by S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley to her staff in 2011.

Gotta love these “fiscal conservatives” taking care of their own while the rest of us suffer …

In the Senate, clerk Jeffery Gossett got a $12,463 annual bump in salary. Meanwhile the top attorney for the legislature’s judicial merit selection committee received a 45 percent bump –  even though she only works four days a week.

Also getting in on the action? The sister-in-law of Senate President John Courson – who was appointed to her relative’s committee via one of the most shameful displays of nepotism we’ve ever seen in South Carolina.

Courson’s sister-in-law now makes $73,534 annually, not counting benefits.

That’s nice work … if you can get it. Most of us can’t (see here and here).

Sadly, nobody is calling out the “Republican” leaders of the Senate (Courson, finance chairman Hugh Leatherman or “majority” leader Harvey Peeler) for these bonuses.

In fact the mainstream media isn’t even reporting them …

There is a tendency in this state (and we’ve fallen victim to it from time to time ourselves) to exclusively blame politicians for the litany of things that are wrong with the ass-backward banana republic that is South Carolina. But John Courson giving his sister-in-law a cushy government job – and now awarding her an eight percent raise on top of it – isn’t the real problem.

The real problem is literally no one in this state’s political or media establishment with the balls to call him out for it … 

Until there is, we shouldn’t be surprised to see politicians continuing to get away with as much as they can.

Pic: Travis Bell Photography