Entries in Pay (4)


Dick Armey Defends His $8 Million Deal to Leave FreedomWorks

Amy Sussman/Getty Images The New Yorker(WASHINGTON) -- Former House majority leader Dick Armey says he took an $8 million consulting deal in return for leaving the conservative organization FreedomWorks because the group was "dishonest" and because he "couldn't leave with empty pockets."

The arrangement, he says, will allow him to "never have to work again forever."

In an interview with ABC News, Armey spoke frankly and at length about his dispute with FreedomWorks, his eyebrow raising consulting contract, and the strategy of the Republican Party.

Armey, 72, was a leader in the 1994 Republican takeover of the House and became House majority leader. He retired from Congress in 2002 and had become a leader of the Tea Party movement in recent years.

The Washington Post this week detailed what it called a coup Armey tried to pull off at FreedomWorks in September with the help of gun carrying aide after his relationship with FreedomWorks' president, Matt Kibbe, became hostile.

While Armey disputes the description of using an armed aide to conduct a coup, he admits that he agreed to leave FreedomWorks as part of a deal with Richard Stephenson, president of the for-profit Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

Under the terms of the deal, Armey will receive $400,000 a year until he is 92 – a total of $8 million – to be a consultant for Stephenson.

"I can talk about economics because I am an economist," Armey said. "I can talk about what's going on on the Hill, in politics, who's a winner, who's a loser, things of that nature."

Stephenson stepped in, Armey says, because he "was concerned I was going to resign (from FreedomWorks) and sue them before the (presidential) election. He didn't want an uproar. We all understood if I take any action that made it at all public it would be a press nightmare and we didn't want that before the election…”

"So Dick was saying, 'You know, Armey, my family and I have heard your story, about how you can't afford to retire and we want to help with your retirement,'" Armey said.

The former leader of the House Republicans said it was a deal he just couldn't refuse.

"I can't stay here (FreedomWorks), I can't work with people like this, and I can't afford to leave with empty pockets," Armey said.

He said his choice was to put in "10 years of hard labor" to win control of FreedomWorks when Stephenson said to him, "'Instead of hard labor, how about you never have to work again forever?' How many people are going to have trouble of making that choice at the age of 72?"

Armey said his fight with Kibbe was prompted by "pretty underhanded stuff," essentially a battle over royalties being paid to Kibbe instead of FreedomWorks for Kibbe's book Hostile Takeover. Armey claims FreedomWorks' staff provided research and marketing help for the book, and Kibbe tried to get Armey to sign a memorandum saying he did not use the organization's resources.

"We had a very dysfunctional organization that was being used primarily at that time scheduling all kinds of things in the interest of establishing a reputation for Matt and selling his book," Armey said. He also complained that he was being kept out of fundraising meetings and press requests for himself were being redirected to Kibbe in an effort to make Kibbe the face of the Tea Party movement.

Neither Kibbe nor FreedomWorks Vice President Adam Brandon would talk about Armey's accusations and the group's press secretary Jacqueline Bodnar said only, "We want to thank Dick Armey for his years of service. We are focused and excited heading into 2013 and we wish him well."

"We are just moving into 2013," Bodnar said. "FreedomWorks has always had the same mission to create a winning constituency of activists of limited government. We've always done that and we will continue to do that in 2013 and we are excited to do that in 2013."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Women Get Short Straw for Pay on Capitol Hill

(File Photo) Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Testifying on Capitol Hill as a woman can be tough. But being a woman working for the Republican leadership can also be tough -- on your pocketbook.

Men who work for House Republican leaders -- as chiefs of staff, legislative aides and in other jobs -- earned an average of $68 more per day of work than women in the House GOP leadership, according to 2011 salary data analyzed by the non-partisan Legistorm. That means men earn about $24,000 more per year than women within the House's Republican leadership. The gender pay gap in the Democratic House leadership was about $1,500 yearly.

In the Senate, the gap was even larger. Men working for the Senate GOP leadership earned, on average, $73 more for each day they worked than females in the GOP's Senate leadership, or about $27,000 more per year, according to the analysis, which was first reported by the National Journal. Female staffers in the Democratic Senate leadership earned about $5,000 less than men.

"Nowadays women are as equal as men, they are equally as smart as men and we know in Washington, D.C. they are equally interested in politics, so if you find a gap, it's cause for concern," said Ariane Hegewisch, a study director at the Institute for Women's Policy Research.

Legistorm founder and president Jock Friedly said the data showed that when men and women held the same job title, they made "relatively the same amount." The issue, he said, stems from promotions.

"Many more men were making it into the higher ranks on Capitol Hill, and therefore overall pay for men was much higher than for women," Friedly said.

When taken together, women held fewer senior positions and thus had lower pay. But there are plenty of exceptions to the rule. For example, the highest ranking Republican in the Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, has a female chief of staff.

And for four years the highest ranking person in the House was a woman, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

"When I was speaker, I was the highest-paid person on Capitol Hill, and women took great joy in that," Pelosi said at a news conference in May. "But I can't speak to what the Senate -- it's, needless to say, it's another world."

The Senate has never been led by a woman.

Both parties are guilty of this promotion gap, but it is much more prevalent among Republicans, where all male staffers earned about $10,000 more on average than female GOP staffers in both chambers. There are four times as many male chiefs of staff in Republican offices than there are female chiefs of staff. Democratic chiefs of staff are split fairly evenly down gender lines, with 184 men and 135 women.

But while women on Capitol Hill seem to be getting the short straw on pay, they are still doing better in Congress than in their private-sector counterparts. Nationwide, women earn about 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. That is a wider gap than on Capitol Hill, where the Legistorm analysis showed women make 86 percent as much as men.

Hegewisch argued Congress does better on than the private-sector on gender pay gaps because of the transparency of Congressional salaries.

Congressional staff salaries are a matter of public record, a fact that Hegewisch said reduces inequalities in bonuses or pay raises. She said the smaller pay gaps in Congress could also be due to the overall lower pay of Congressional staffers.

While CEOs and vice presidents of public companies, only about 16 percent of whom are women, can make millions, the chiefs of staff in Congressional offices earn around $150,000.

"I think very few people deliberately discriminate," Hegewisch said.

But, she said, since every Congressional office sets its own rules for pay structures and promotions, the process is "pretty deregulated, and the more deregulated the process is the more likely you are going to get some kind of discrimination."

"Even our Congress people, that should be fair and above it, they all have different rules and different preferences and then discrimination creeps in," Hegewisch said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama's Address: Going to 'Keep Up the Fight' for Paycheck Fairness Act

The White House | Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- In his weekly address President Obama promises to “keep up the fight” to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.”
“I was so disappointed when an important bill to give women more power to stop pay disparities -- the Paycheck Fairness Act -- was blocked by just two votes in the Senate,” Obama says in the address, “And that’s why I’m going to keep up the fight to pass the reforms in that bill.”
The Act failed in the Senate last November, but the president highlighted it during Women’s History Month to show that even though progress has been made, there still is much more to be done for women’s rights.

Last week the White House released a report looking at the status of women in America.
“There was a lot of positive news about the strides we’ve made, even in recent years,” Obama noted referencing the report showing that women have caught up with men in seeking higher education.
The president said this is important to him not just as President, but something he cares deeply about “as the father of two daughters who wants to see his girls grow up in a world where there are no limits to what they can achieve.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


President Proposes Pay Freeze for Federal Workers

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama announced Monday plans for a two-year freeze in civilian federal worker pay for calendar year 2011-2012.

The freeze is expected to save $2 billion for the fiscal year 2011, $5 billion over the next two years, and $60 billion in total over the next 10 years.

The announcement only affects civilians; it does not affect military personnel. It also does not affect members of Congress, who sets pay for its staff.

Administration officials painted this move as essential to help put the nation back on sound fiscal footing, and the first of “many actions,” that they will take to tackle the deficit.

The president’s proposal will require congressional approval.

Upon taking office in 2009, President Obama froze the salaries of senior White House officials and this year he proposed freezing salaries of all political appointees across the government.
Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio