In early April John Kasich sent his budget and staffing numbers to the Ohio House of Representatives. According to the document prepared by Kasich’s team, the Governor’s office currently has 67 people on staff, 37 being paid by the Governor’s office budget and 30 paid by agencies. And they plan to hire a maximum of 75 people and spend a total of $4,838,121 per year on staff salaries.
The document also compares Kasich’s staff count and salaries to the previous Governor. Kasich’s team claims their staff numbers and staff salary totals are lower than Strickland’s, who had 79 employees at a total cost of $5,009,431. We decided to check Kasich’s math.
Based on an analysis conducted by Plunderbund, the budget numbers Kasich released to the Ohio Legislature are strikingly different than the numbers we found. Not only are there many more state employees reporting to the Governor’s office than Kasich claimed, but the total spent on staff salaries FAR exceeds the numbers provided by Kasich and that of the previous Governor’s office.
Starting with a list of all Governor’s office email addresses provided to Plunderbund (which gave us 99 names), we removed 2 Troopers from the list and 7 other people who were not actively receiving a salary as of the last payroll. Our resulting list left us with 90 people – which is 11 people more than the maximum number of employees Governor Strickland had, 15 higher than Kasich’s total expected number and 23 people more than he claims to have working for him right now.
We then compared the staff list against the state salary database ended up with a total cost of $5,995,961 – which is nearly one million dollars more than Strickland spent on his staff salaries. The following chart shows the difference between Kasich’s claims and the actual counts/sums we derived from analyzing the data.
Our analysis shows that Kasich’s actual salary spending is $1,694,874 higher than he claims, and $986,530 more than Strickland. And almost all of these people – 50 in total – have been hidden at agencies to avoid having them show up on Kasich’s budget.
Here’s the breakdown of which agency is paying Kasich’s staff:
ODJFS seems to be burdened with an unusually large number (10) of Kasich staffers, many of whom seem to be working on the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Insurance comes in second with 8 Governor’s Office employees, including LG Mary Taylor. And the rest are spread out across OBM, Commerce, Development and DAS – with a few stashed at other agencies as well.
We are all used to Kasich and his team not telling the truth to the public, but they usually have some creative answer that lets them slither out from under their lies. This time it’s not going to be so easy.
Kasich says he only has 67 staffers but he actually has at least 90 state employees directly reporting to him. Kasich claims he’s saving the state $171K in salary costs when he’s actually spending nearly a million dollars more each year.
These aren’t just mistakes or misstatements made in a press conference. These are outright lies coming directly from the Governor’s office.
Kasich claims we all need to make sacrifices to help get the state out from under its budget deficit but he again shows that sacrifice – and the truth – only seem to apply to the rest of us.
Here are the documents mentioned above. Please contact me via email if you are interested in more detailed spreadsheets.
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