John Kasich Defends Increasing Salaries of His Top Staff

On Friday, it was revealed that incoming Ohio Governor John Kasich planned to give some of his top staff significant raises, while continuing to preach budget cuts, fiscal responsibility, and how unions and public sector employees are the downfall of our society. Many Ohioans were understandably outraged. But Kasich has an excuse, and is defending setting the starting salaries for a handful of close aides higher than those in the Strickland administration in the same positions.

Kasich reasoned:

"We’re fortunate that we’re getting a lot of good people to come in. Salary is an issue. There’s a lady standing in the back of the room who’s had two very good offers in the private sector who we would like to have come and work for us. I don’t know that we’ll get her. So what we’re trying to do is call people to service."

But this reasoning doesn't make sense. The people who are receiving the increased salaries are not coming from the private sector. In fact, they've already been apart of Kasich's team for some time and have a past history of public service. takes a close look at the people who will be working for Kasich with those significantly inflated salaries:

Kasich Chief-of-Staff Beth Hansen.

Beth Hansen is projected to get a starting salary of $170,000. Before that, Ms. Hansen was the campaign manager for Kasich-Taylor in which, according to campaign finance records filed with the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, she was paid a little over $159,000.00 for the year, and that amount includes a post-election bonus of $50,000.

Before serving as Kasich’s campaign manager, Hansen was the State Director for the Office of U.S. Senator George Voinovich. According to Legistorm, Hansen was paid an annual salary of nearly $153,000. Before that, she worked in the U.S. House of Representatives. With the exception of political campaigns, I don’t know if Beth Hansen has ever worked in the private sector.

If Kasich had lost, there’s little question that Hansen would have likely landed a similar gig with freshman Senator Rob Portman, not gone to the private sector.

Scott Milburn, Communication Director

Scott Milburn has hopped from one government/political job to the next that you’d almost think he’s allergic to the private sector. He’s worked for Congressman Frank Cremeans, Congressman Hobson, Governor Bob Taft, U.S. Senator George Voinovich, and the White House OBM during Portman’s tenure. His wife Stephanie is the Deputy Chief of Staff to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner.

In 2004, the last full year he worked for Voinovich, he was paid a little over $110,000. So, he’s still getting a raise for the same job with Governor Kasich… which has the same job responsibilities as Keith Daily who is paid $89,000 in the Strickland Administration.

If Scott Milburn had to go the private sector, he’d develop a rash.

Rob Nichols, Press Secretary

According the campaign’s campaign finance reports, Nichols was paid $54,000 last year to be the press secretary for the campaign. But Kasich says he needs to be paid $90,000 to prevent him from suddenly going to private sector, even though the State’s current press secretary makes less than $70,000.

Jai Chabria, Special Assistant to the Governor

Chabria is the worst of them all. Yes, he has private sector experience, but only because he left Kasich’s congressional office with Kasich to go to Lehman Brothers. Does anyone honestly think that unless Jai Chabria was paid more money than the Governor will be paid, he’d finally leave Kasich’s side and bolt to the private sector? Really, Kasich? This isn’t about favoritism, but suddenly your long-time aides have grown so tired of you taxpayers have to pay a premium just so you can keep them? THAT’s your story?!

Ben Kanzeg, Deputy Policy Director

Ben Kanzeg is an old Kasich hand. Kanzeg was an aide to Congressman Kasich in the 1990s, and even served as his campaign treasurer. When Kasich decided to leave Congress and go to Lehman Brothers, Kasich dumped half a million dollars into a new non-profit organization he founded called “New Century,” which, of course employed ex-staffers of Kasich such as Kanzeg at roughly $75,000 a year doing apparently nothing more than biding their time until Kasich ran for office again.

The Dayton Daily News was the first to pick up on the story at the great lengths Kasich aides like Kanzeg went to avoid the real private sector.

And yet, we’re told that taxpayers need to pay Kanzeg $115,000 (only $5,000 less than the Policy Director, his boss, makes) or we might lose his talents to the private sector.

Matt Carle, Legislative Liason

Former campaigner manager for Mike DeWine for Senate in 2006, campaign manager for Voinovich for Senate, former campaign manager for Betty Montgomery for Auditor Campaign, former Ohio Attorney General employee (under Betty Montgomery), and former Executive Director of the 1998 Betty Montgomery for Attorney General campaign….

Here’s a guy that John Kasich says we must pay a six-figure salary or else we might lose him to the private sector.

Except that we already know that he was willing to accept much less in the last pubic sector position he “applied” for:

You see, Carle was on the ballot this past November, and lost to Democratic incumbent Nancy Garland. A State Representative is paid a little under $64,590 a year. Matt Carle is now going to be paid $100,000 a year to be the Governor’s liaison to the very body the voters of Ohio just rejected Carle.

So, in other words, Kasich lies. There is the remote possibility that some of these individuals could go to the private sector, if they found themselves without a public official to latch on to, but it's not likely. Public service is in their blood. Kasich just wants to make sure that his friends are well taken care of. If only he cared so much about the rest of the state and its residents.


What a butthole

I'm sure people are not shocked by any of this. What he's doing is exactly what was predicted he would do ... run this state like a Wall Street company so the Execs get rich while they lay off employees and close factories.

This is the State of Ohio, John, not Lehman Brothers. And in case you've forgotton, there's a fiscal crisis upon us. Shouldn't you be cutting government spending? I'm just asking.....

Well Ohio you get what you vote for. Sorry, and the middle class is about to pay with blood and tears. Kasich could care less about them.

Unfortunately, those of us who DIDN'T vote for him will get screwed, too.

This is ridiculous. I didn't vote for him and yet I will be getting the shaft from him. Bullsh*t.

I always said that they are trying to wipe out the Middle Class Americans and this fool is showing it. How dare him think that it's ok to give his staff a raise, when Middle Class Americans is having a hard time surviving with high gas prices, high food prices, outrageous healthcare cost.
The people that voted for this fool should be ashamed of themselves and they are also to held responsible for the demise of Middle Class Americans.

This is a great article. The problem is that it won't go virile and only about 5% of the voters will see it. If that. How about you do an article on how the new staff of Kasich is going to pay 20% of their healthcare( LAUGH LAUGH), how they will have to work 230 days a year, and how their retirement fund is managed. That news may go virile!All these people have been in public service forever, how much of the taxpayers money is sitting and waiting for them to collect. INCLUDING KASICH!

So if you want to pay gov officials more to stay because of their extensive knowledge and skill wouldnt you want to do that for the middle class as well. Would you rather have a police officer, firefighter or teacher who is well educated with college degrees of some joe off the street who doesnt have the skills necessary for the job. I am sorry but I think that is worth $10,000 extra per year. Everyone thinks these public servents make so much but their average salary is between$40,000 and $60,000. And you should see some of the things these people do on a daily basis like being shot at for example. Oh and if they take a pay cut that means less taxes they pay, losing their houses and not buying vehicles and spending less at your stores and services. Real good way to think of changing our economy. Instead lets privatize and send ohio money to other states. We need and average every day working man/ woman in the middle class to run for government offices because they really care about ohio and making it a better place instead of treating it like a buisness for all your friends to get rich by. So disgusting, no wonder I hear so many people talking about moving out of ohio and this country. I cant wait to see this nation that I love and fought for in about 5 years.

Just what you expect from a TP-er; cut everyone else so you and yours can get more. Hypocrisy, thy name is Kasich. And Rick Perry. And too many others to name here.

I didn't vote for this POS but now I have to suffer and my kids will have to suffer for what he is doing. Karma is a B Kasich...remember that.

I Think he should be RECALLED!!!!! He didn't get my vote either!

I'm so sick of him giving money to anyone he wants and taking it away from our children.... He is robbing the poor to give the rich!! IMPEACH!!! IMPEACH!!!

How did this guy win the election? Because too many people didn't vote, that's why. And it is made sure they have reason not to. The little people have to work on election day, along with all the other stuff they do, so they have to cram voting in before or after work which means missing meals, time with family, etc., while most of their big bosses can leave work and go vote ANY-OLD-TIME! And they do! Oh they really do!!!

Congratulations Ohio.

Now even people who voted for Kasich will suffer.

Like most of the folks that posted, I did not vote for Kasich. He will ruin this state! I say let's use our social media resources and spread the word. Facebook/Status update and tweet your frustrations. Stick to the facts and not hearsay. I don't know if we will get a recall or impeachment but it is worth making his life as miserable as ours is going to be.

Pass the word!!! We saw what Facebook did in egypt. Social media is a very powerful tool.

He is such an ass. He is worthless and if anyone needs impeached it is Gov. Kasich. He is such a hyprcrite and will run this state into the ground. He does not deserve to be where he is.

This state did not give dems a chancto change anything so they went to Kasich and now the same people that voted him in a complaining.

Kasich is completely worthless! I hate this guy. He and his good ol' boy buddies are getting rich while us public servants are probably going to be forced to leave Ohio to find work. This fool is trying to keep young educated people in Ohio but when he does this, the first thing I want to do is leave. My girlfriend and I both have Master's degrees and both moved back to Ohio to be here and now we are trying to find jobs elsewhere.
I just want to know, Who voted for this idiot?

What the H***....Ohio has NOTHING & your handing out raises??
If the high class people you want wont work for the money offered then to hell with them! This State is in a total mess There are NO jobs & taxes are too high but we can hand out raises to MORE GOVERNMENT WORKERS!!! UNREAL!

I just hope everyone who voted republican is happy now!! I will not be voting republican in upcoming elections and I never have voted republican! So is this the reason your attacking the unions governor Kasich? You need to pay your people better? What about the working class who are struggling everyday to feed thier families? This is bull and our government is power happy right now and it's crap. They tell you whatever you want to hear just to get elected, as every politian does, but this is out of hand! This is not what teachers, police officers and any other union member deserves. It is a slap in the face and I can guarantee all of you politicians who voted for senate bill 5, karma will come around and bite you in the butt!