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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Your tax dollars at work: Lt. Gov. office

Posted By on Wed, May 21, 2014 at 10:42 AM

click to enlarge LIGHT DUTY: Who "works" here? Good question.
  • LIGHT DUTY: Who "works" here? Good question.

Master politician Tim Griffin got so much air time for winning a Republican primary race for lieutenant governor last night you'd think he'd won the right to oppose Democrat John Burkhalter for an office that really meant something.

This also reminded me I'd sent FOI requests earlier in the day to Bruce Campbell, the chief of staff in an office that has no officeholder, and to Amber Pool, communications director for an office without anyone to communicate for, about the current staffing, activity and related matters.

Still today, no response. I did learn that two people are at work today in a call answered by another staffer, but Campbell hasn't wandered in yet (he's been doing heavy Republican politicking) and Pool, who left early yesterday, isn't to be in today.

What do they do? If I had time, I'd plunk down in a chair for a day with a good book and take a note should anything happen in that beehive of activity. I'd particularly like to ask Campbell if it's true, as rumored, that he's using his ample free time to do oppo research on Democrats, hoping to find another Mark Darr.

Remember Mark Darr?

Mark Darr resigned as lieutenant governor amid an expense account spending scandal Feb. 1. The state has been well-served by his absence. Sen. Michael Lamoureux, self-declared ruler of the office as Senate president pro tem, first declared that Darr's staff should be able to continue to be employed by taxpayers in service to his royal court. Later, he declared they'd at least be allowed to stay through June 30 to tie up loose ends and have some breathing room to find other jobs. So far, after 3.5 months, the taxpayer teat has proved the best option.

The four employees — Bruce Campbell ($75,132); Amber Pool ($57,564); Josh Curtis ($51,564), and Raeanne Gardner ($33,660) — are still "employed," to use the term loosely. But too busy to respond to lawful FOI requests.

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