Dale Volker – You Look Like A Million Bucks

23 Oct

There is no conceivable, rational, logical reason why this do-nothing demagogue needs a million-dollar payroll all for himself.

Welcome to the New York State Legislature, which spends more than $200 million a year and employs more than 3,500 to serve the wants and needs of 212 members of the Senate and Assembly.

Put another way, the Legislature employs as many people as the City of Buffalo and the Town of Amherst combined. Cops, firefighters, trash collectors — the whole works.

“It’s a platinum-coated Legislature,” said Blair Horner, legislative director of the New York Public Interest Research Group.

Legislators spend more than one-third of their budget to staff and operate their offices. Seniority

and party affiliation drive how much a legislator gets.

The longer you serve, the more you spend. And if your party is in the majority, you get more than those in the minority.

As a result, Volker, the Depew Republican who has served in the Senate for 32 years, operates the costliest office of the 19 legislators who represent Western New York.

His office — including his salary and those of his staff, rent and telephone, and bulk mail that sometimes serves political purposes — cost taxpayers $922,137 in the last budget year, according to state documents.

Don’t forget to check out Heaney’s “story behind the story“. Nice, huh?

5 Responses to “Dale Volker – You Look Like A Million Bucks”

  1. Russell October 24, 2008 at 8:58 am #

    212 Members divided by $200MM means an average of $943,396.23 per Member. The story could have just as easily pointed out how Volker’s staff is below the budgetted average, even though he’s one of the most senior members in Albany.

    To be clear, I do not mean to defend Volker and his bloated staff. I’m just pointing out that most members in Albany could have been listed in this article highlighting how close to $1MM their staff is. I’m sure there are plenty of offices that exceed $1MM and judging by the politics of Albany, I have a hunch that there would be at least as many Dems on that list as Reps, but probably more.

    I think it’d be interesting to see a full list of Members and the budget they spend on staff.

  2. Marshawn October 24, 2008 at 9:33 am #

    Russell,

    This is a copy from the buffalo news article yesterday 10/23, showing how much the other senators and assemblymen spend. So shutup and stop whining, you know Volker spends more than anyone!

    Office spending by local state legislators
    The 19 Senate and Assembly members representing
    Western New York in the State Legislature tallied
    $8 million in direct spending in the last budget year.
    Primary costs were the salaries of legislators and their
    staffs, office expenses such as rent and phones,
    and mass mail sent to voters.
    SENATE expenses per voter Earnings

    (Separated by Total Spending, Cost per voter, & Income for Senator)
    Dale Volker, R-Depew $992,137 $5.54 $104,500
    George Maziarz, R-Newfane $770,152 $4.44 $92,000
    Catharine Young, R-Olean $670,967 $4.12 $92,000
    Mary Lou Rath, R-Williamsville $662,029 $3.53 $92,000
    William Stachowski, D-Lake View $506,155 $2.90 $100,000
    Antoine Thompson, D-Buffalo $475,555 $3.17 $88,875
    ASSEMBLY
    Robin Schimminger, D-Kenmore $622,512 $8.06 $97,500
    Sam Hoyt, D-Buffalo $413,882 $6.14 $94,492
    William Parment, D-Jamestown $321,888 $4.52 $101,500
    Crystal Peoples, D-Buffalo $289,247 $4.60 $79,500
    Francine DelMonte, D-Lewiston $287,150 $3.93 $90,621
    Daniel Burling, R-Warsaw $270,198 $3.98 $90,501
    James Hayes, R-Amherst $261,790 $3.30 $100,000
    Stephen Hawley, R-Batavia $258,687 $3.62 $88,987
    Jack Quinn III, R-Hamburg $252,613 $3.14 $90,501
    Mark Schroeder, D-Buffalo $247,777 $3.04 $79,500
    Michael Cole, R-Alden $240,727 $2.92 $80,115
    Dennis Gabryszak, D-Cheektowaga $226,323 $2.77 $79,500
    Joseph Giglio, R-Gowanda $212,254 $3.02 $88,500
    Source: Senate and Assembly expenditure reports for April 1, 2007,
    to March 31, 2008, and New York State Board of Elections.

  3. Russell October 24, 2008 at 9:51 am #

    Thanks, I didn’t see that. It is better to have a fuller context. Now I do know Volker spends more than the rest of the local delegation, but if the local delegation only averages $421,052.63, there must be some offices that are ridiculously bloated, even compared to Volker. I wonder what the downstate average is. And where does Volker rank among all the members?

    Notice, also, Volker’s per voter average is not the highest. Schimminger and Hoyt have him beat there. I’m sure if you did this by constituent in the district, or taxpayer in the district, Volker’s per cap average would be even lower. Put in this context, though, it appears Schimminger’s staff is the most bloated of the local delegation. A State Senator covering a large district both with more people and a larger geographic spread would need more staff. I think the per cap average is a much indication of bloat. Volker’s is still bad by that measure, but not the worst.

  4. Marshawn October 24, 2008 at 10:30 am #

    Yes, I agree that Schiminger is bloated, but look at those Volker numbers, and that is as of April 2007, covering the 2006 election year. Imagine what it is now! Especially now that he is facing a more difficult challenger and many more mailings. He still spent over $200,000 more than anyone else, his staff is one of the highest at 12 members, some state senators have started only having 3 staffers. Right now Kathy Konst only has one in her legislative office. I fully believe that she will have 3 at the most. This is a great way to cut spending. You do not need 3,500 staffers to serve 212 legislators, we need to cut the budget in NY, the deficit is going to catch up to us somehow. It’s unfair to ask everyone else to make cuts in the services and programs that they need without first asking the legislators themselves to make cuts that effect them.

  5. Russell October 24, 2008 at 10:51 am #

    I agree with that wholeheartedly. It’s probably the easiest place to begin with cuts, from a citizen/taxpayer perspective. It would certainly cause the least pain.

    I’m not so sure Konst would be able to get by with only 3 staffers for that size (geographically) a district, but I doubt a dozen are necessary.

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