The AP’s Andrew Demillo joins The Great Pay Raise Debate of ’09 in this sharp analysis piece. Last week, lawmakers passed a 3.85 percent pay raise for state officials, which Gov. Mike Beebe duly signed into law before cleverly—and sanctimoniously—announcing that he would forego his raise. What a guy!
And hey, look at that, if you read down into Demillo’s piece a bit, you come across this:
And there’s little likelihood voters are going to grumble about Beebe’s action, said David Kinkade, who was communications director for Asa Hutchinson, Beebe’s Republican rival in the 2006 gubernatorial campaign. Kinkade said Beebe’s decision may have been a stunt and may have been empty, but it was still good politics.
“If you think about the way that people are going to process the information, what they’re going to see is a headline that the Legislature passed raises for state officers and the governor declined his,” Kinkade said. “That’s about as far as people are going to read.”
A headline that Kinkade wrote on his political blog, The Arkansas Project, sent a message that he said Republican legislators who backed the pay raises can take from the governor’s move: “Mike Beebe is One Million Times Smarter Than You.”
And that’s a bargain at any price.
A public official declining a pay raise is smart politics? Of course, that never would have occurred to anyone! Why, Kinkade, what a genius you are for explaining things that would be blindingly self-evident to an eight-year-old. You’ve done it yet again!
Anyway, that’s the best part of the article, naturally, but you should still read the whole thing.