John Kasich released a new version of his staff budget tonight and when I say “new version” I mean “new” compared to the old version that Plunderbund posted last week. The Kasich team would like you to believe this is the first version of the budget and that they released it because they are greatly concerned about openness and transparency.

The fact is: they were forced to release this document in response to our post last week.

The big story of today is not that Kasich is keeping his staff salary and the staff count under that of Strickland’s. The big story of today is that three days after taking office John Kasich is already going on the defensive against Plunderbund.

You’re welcome.

The second biggest story of today, then, has to be how he managed to keep his budget in check.

As we reported earlier in the week, Kasich had already added a new position (Cabinet Secretary) to his staff since we published the first list. And we guessed that the position would be paid for by cutting other salaries – which turns out to be exactly what happened. He also eliminated a position.

The position he eliminated was a project manager in his Faith Based office. This takes the total number of positions in the office of faith based initiatives down to four. Strickland had six by the way.

Not surprisingly, the people who had their salaries cut to help pay for the new Cabinet Secretary were not Jai Chabria or Beth Hansen or any of Kasich’s pals. They were the people at the bottom of the pay scale.

So while Jai Chabria continues to make $145K for a made up position of Special Assistant, Cassandra Cartier, an administrative assistant, had her salary cut from $35K to $30K a year. Ann Brubaker, the receptionist, had her salary cut from $33K to $32K per year.

And Maggie Toal, an administrative assistant whose name showed up on our original list making $35K/year has had her salary cut down to $23K! That’s a THIRTY-FIVE PERCENT PAY CUT in one week. Jai would never have noticed the missing $12K but this woman just lost over a third of her already meager salary.

During the campaign John Kasich wouldn’t shut up about his blue collar roots. But now that he’s in office he’s ditched that fa├žade and decided to let the world see the heartless elitist we always knew he was.

I’ve published the original and new budgets side by said, along with the salary changes below.

Old vs New Staff Budget