November 29, 2006
C'mon, give us a break. If a legislator misses a hearing, are we to believe he/she is docked a day's pay? In a pig's eye. MJS reporters Stacy Forster and Pat Marley performed a service by investigating the misuse of sick leave by legislators and other elected officers. Turns out if a legislator or governor does not use sick leave, it accumulates and it can be converted to health insurance upon retirement or defeat. Nice deal. Jim Doyle's benefit is worth $169,000 and 22 legislators qualify for more than $50,000.
Want a hint on why this is a scam? (I'm not making this up.) "There is no mechanism in the Senate for claiming sick days." Why? Because a day off for a legislator has no financial consequence. If a Senator gets sick and is hospitalized, he gets paid so why would he claim sick leave?
Who would keep track when legislators set their own schedules? If an Assemblyman goes to France for an important conference and gets sick, is that time deducted from his pay check? Of course not. Judy Robson should urge her colleagues to get rid of this provision because no one will follow the rules because they don't have to.
Speaking of Judy Robson, she is off to a good start. Her appointments to Joint Finance--Hansen, Jauch, Miller, Taylor and Lehmann--are excellent.
Now, pass the Risser/Pocan Clean Elections bill, give us ethics reform, and then the people's agenda will move ahead of WMC's.
Iraq: The president appears like a depressed salesman. He says it is not a civil war we won't leave until we win while his National Security advisor writes that al-Maliki can't handle the job! So why will things get better? I turn to my military advisor, Calvin Trillin in this issue of The Nation:
On When We Can Leave Iraq
"Conditions on the ground, Bush says will show
when we can leave; they must be less adverse;
Which means we should have pulled out long ago,
Since these conditions go from bad to worse."
I'll take Trillin over Hadley any day.
post a letter about this blog »