Friday, April 21, 2006
Times Leader Questions Haggerty on Pay Raise
Haggerty Says His Position Has Not Changed
The Times Leader, well known for its own schizophrenia, is questioning Haggerty on the issue of legislative pay raises. It says Haggerty's position has changed, but deciphering subtleties has never been the forte of the Times Leader. Everything is black and white at 15 North Main Street. I guess it helps sell the papers.
Bigus used the phrase "namby-pamby" in his response to Haggerty's statements on the pay raise. I guess ten years as an elementary principal and you start to speak that way. Baker said she wants any compensation package to be "fiscally responsible." Now Russ, that's not only "namby pamby," but we don't have a clue what that means.
Anyway, here's the article:
The state Senate candidate says he’s OK with raises, but not when legislators do it themselves.
By RORY SWEENEY email@example.com
It might seem like splitting hairs, but Jim Haggerty, Kingston mayor and state Senate candidate, says there’s a difference between the apparent contradictions of his statements in the media and a campaign flier he’s been sending out.
“I didn’t support the concept that legislators’ salaries should never be raised,” he said of his comments in a recent Times Leader article, but added, “I don’t support the Legislature … deciding what their pay raise is.”
As for taking pay raises that are tied to inflation and decided by an independent commission, he said, “Would I think that would be unreasonable or try to fight that? No.”
Russ Bigus, principal of Regis Elementary School in Forty Fort who is running against Haggerty for the Republican nomination for retiring Sen. Charles Lemmond’s 20th District seat, said Haggerty’s quibbling is “a typical politician statement.”
“It’s a simple question, like anything else. Mayor Haggerty, do you support a pay increase for legislators, yes or no? And he gives this big, namby-pamby response.”
Haggerty countered by saying his experience shows he’s not a greedy politician. He said he’s been mayor since 1998 and, 'I haven’t sought a pay raise, haven’t asked for one and don’t want one.”
He’s called Bigus’ statement that he won’t take a pay raise, much less vote for one, “one of those sound-bite solutions.”
He said the best solution in Harrisburg is a committee of politically uninfluenced citizens who decide when to dole out more money to the legislators.
The other three candidates running for the Republican nomination are: Lisa Baker, a top aide for former Govs. Tom Ridge and Mark Schweiker and for Lemmond; David Madeira, a Dallas chiropractor; and Carl Sutton, a Dallas Township resident and psychotherapist for Northeast Counseling.
Sutton is fine with the current system, where legislators can approve raises for the next term, because voters can vote out legislators before they receive the increase. He said the bigger problem is perks legislators receive.
Madeira wouldn’t vote for a raise and said an independent salary board is the way to go, though he is more concerned with the legislative pension system.
Baker wants the entire compensation package evaluated to make sure it’s “fiscally responsible,” said Brian Grove, her campaign manager.
He said, “she wouldn’t support any future increases.”
So what did the Haggerty flyer say, exactly? Does anyone have a copy they can scan and email to Norton the Blogger?
why does this brian grove always have to answer for lisa? doesn't she have a mind of her own or does it come from taking orders for 20 years. I want someone who can think and answer for themeselvesPost a Comment