Raise this!

Don’t you just love waking up in the morning, feeling pretty good about yourself, and then opening the paper and realizing suddenly, without any warning whatsoever, that you got into the wrong line of work? Well, that’s what happened to me after reading this Sacramento Bee piece on how Assembly Speaker John A. Perez just handed out $132,000 in raises to his staff (keep in mind that this is separate from the 10 percent raises doled out by outgoing Speaker Karen Bass on her last day, as detailed in this Bee story).

Anyway, with the new raise, Sara I. Ramirez — Perez’s chief of staff — now makes $190,008 a year. That is, by my math, $80,424 MORE than Perez (her boss) makes a year.

“Though unpopular, pay raises for leg staff are justifed. Tough jobs, hellish hours,” Democratic political consultant Steven Maviglio Tweeted just after the story broke last night.

Maviglio is undoubtedly correct about a job like chief of staff to the Assembly Speaker being extremely difficult and time-consuming, but let’s think about this a moment. Perez is the Speaker of the California Assembly. He’s one of the most powerful individuals in the state — fourth in line behind the Governor, actually. And yet his chief of staff (his principal assistant, if you will) makes substantially more money than he does. The implication that Ramirez has more a more difficult — and important — job than Perez is unmistakeable.

-Anthony Pignataro


-Anthony Pignataro

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