So, apparently, the Cleveland Plain Dealer has a running feature in its business section in which they review the latest SEC filings of major corporations and report on changes of major local corporate leaders pay.

Yesterday, the Plain Dealer did one on American Greetings’s shareholder proxy statement filing with the SEC and found this out about its CEO’s pay.

Chief Executive Officer Zev Weiss $3,881,709.00

Change from previous year: +18.7

Zev Weiss, 44, received a 2.5 percent increase in his base salary to $944,495; stock awards of $368,769; option awards of $630,278; non-equity incentive plan compensation of $1,716,715; change in pension value and nonqualified deferred compensation earnings of $125,212; and $96,240 in other compensation.

This last category includes: $7,833 in tax reimbursements for company-paid life insurance; $14,458 in 401(k) matching and profit-sharing contributions; $42,118 in company-paid benefits to an executive deferred compensation plan; $10,706 in universal life insurance premiums; and $21,126 for a company car, free greeting cards and company other products, and accidental death and dismembership insurance worth $275,000.

ThanksAmericanGreetings This is a company that got potentially $93.5 million over 15 years in State taxpayer assistance to “stay in Ohio” when it had pretty much already committed to do so before Kasich took office.  A company that Governor Kasich says a City of Brooklyn .5% payroll tax increase (a tax that is passed on to its employees) was going to force the company to move to Illinois to stay competitive despite its $883 million in profits last year.

Seriously, I’m all for corporations making profits and rewarding risk takers, but with $93.5 million in State taxpayer assistance, isn’t American Greetings taking less risk than a company that can’t rely on a State subsidy for the status quo?

I just left a message with American Greetings’ Media Relations Office asking them what their non-executive employees, on average, should expect to see as a raise as a result.  I’ll update this post if (and when) we get a statement from them.

But the point remains, it’s hard not to see that not only are Ohio taxpayers subsidizing a corporation that is incredibly profitable on it own, but now taxpayers are subsidizing the raises being given to its top executives.

In his desperation to avoid the ghost of NCR early in his Administration, John Kasich rushed to write a nearly $100 million check to a business that really didn’t need the money because it was doing just fine on its own without government intervention.  Is it a wise use of limited State resources, at a time in which the State is slashing BILLIONS in public education funding, to make a nearly $100 million commitment to a private company who then turns around and gives its top executive a nearly 20% raise?

Seriously, doesn’t a 19% raise seem just a tad excessive to give while the company is receiving millions in tax incentives?

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  • leeseh

    This is so disgusting!  And then they talk about how “greedy” state employees are!  Rewards for leading and risk taking are one thing, but this is obscene! 

  • Anonymous

    Don’t even give me that crap about “rewarding risk taking.”  If your business can’t stay in business without a gubmint handout, then get the hell out of business and make room for people who can count. kthxbuh-bye

  • He need to send Johnny Wall Street a “Thank You” card.  This is ridiculous..

    Think Progress has a good article on how much he is paying the Casino people. Linked to through my blog. Click on my name to go there.

  • vel

    He’d better save some of that for a rainy day, because if he thinks I’m gonna support him and his potentially lazy fellow employees if they go out of business, well he has another thing coming , mister!!  If they go under and start living the good life on the back of the Ohio taxpayer, as so many do, it could cost this state thousands of dollars per employee.  Just thinking about the cushy lives that the unemployed lead makes me mad.     

  • vel

     Doesn’t Zev know that the real path to riches in the state workforce?.  Look at the way teachers live, with their gated communities and pricey imported cars! 

  • Pavelkaj

    We’re enduring nightmare after nightmare, and this jerkweed has been in office for 4 and a half months!!!  We can’t let this SOB win, but the quid-pro-quo has gotten so obvious, he must feel he’s either covered with Teflon or just doesn’t give a damn.  Only Seitz and Grendell have enough backbone to stand up to the King, and you all see what happened/is happening to them.

  • Anonymous

     the sad thing is most kasich supporters will see absolutely nothing wrong in this. They beleieve all unethical acts by business are okay as long as it’s bringing in/keeping jobs. It doesn’t even matter if that part is true, as long as some conservative talk show host tells them it is, they will think it.

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  • Beca117

    Gated community????  I wish…..Your name needs to change to Clueless.

  • alittlewizer

     We pay more in taxes to big corporations than we do for Police, firefighters and teachers. Where is this so called “trickle” down. (I forgot its to the Illegals for the landscapers , poolboys and housekeepers…Sorry Aronald S.) lol

  • Anon

     Evil corporate welfare queen and extortionist American Greetings just screwed Brooklyn Ohio and is moving to Westlake since they agreed to be screwed even more. This looks like the way rotten sports teams do business….threaten to move as a way to get a payoff. 

    Corporations don’t create jobs (except to buy radical R’s); they create trouble. Welcome to the evil We the corporations nee people, corporate states of America. 

    Money way before people = new motto of the “Untied States”.

  • This makes me sick! Kasich is for his corporate buddies, not the people struggling to live, eat and work in Ohio. And then he has the nerve to say unions are the problem in Ohio. The only problem Kasich has with unions is that they support Democrats. That is why he wants to get rid of them. When will the people of Ohio wake up?? And why hasn’t The Dispatch ran this story??

  • Drinking the Kasich kool aid I see!

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