Friday, April 6, 2012



LINK to underlying USA Today article.


According to state Rep. Christina Hagan (Republican - Marlboro) and Stark GOP Chair Jeff Matthews it is a good thing, due to the decentennially required by the U.S. Constitution redistricting and the Ohio Republican Party gerrymandering the districts to the GOP's advantage, that Stark County is split up into three districts.

Accordingly, the SCPR tracks the spending habits not just on the 16th Congressional District (currently held by Jim Renacci - R/Wadsworth) which used to encompass all of Stark County but also Congressmen Bob Gibbs (currently R -18th; to be the 6th) and Tim Ryan (currently D -17th; to be the 13th).

Because Ohio loses two congressional seats due to population loss, Congressman Renacci has to battle current Democratic 13th District Congresswoman Betty Sutton for the right to remain in Congress.

So as asked in the title to this blog, who is the most frugal congress person vying for office in the 2012 congressional election for Stark County?

The winner is:  16th District Congressman Jim Renacci.

As can be seen from extracts from LegiStorm, he bests his November opponent by over $150,000.

And as can be seen by the graphics on Congressmen Gibbs and Ryan below, he best Gibbs by about $25,000 and Ryan by some $357,000.

Congratulations Congressman Renacci.

However, readers of The Report are reminded that this measure of frugality with taxpayer money is a relative phenomenon.

Note, that if Renacci had stayed at his 01/01/2011 - 03/31/2011 pay standard he could have saved taxpayers an additional $100,000.

But he chose to grant staff raises totaling 4.5%, 15.6% and 9.5% in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters and thereby blemished his record of frugality.

Does anyone think that his car dealership is handing out 29.6% per annum in raises?

He still does better that the others who are likely to represent Stark County (except, maybe Sutton) come January 1, 2013, but the key point for everyday Stark Countians is that nearly 30% in staff raises is not happening at their places of employment.

By this standard, even Renacci looks he like does not have much of problem spending "other people's money."

Think he might "hold the line" next year, if elected?

Another note that the SCPR cannot pass up.

One of Renacci's staffers is Stark GOP Chairman and Stark Board of Elections Director Jeff Matthews' wife Heidi.

Heidi started out as staff assistant to now retired Congressman Ralph Regula in 2000.

In her first full year (2011) she earned $27,833.34.

By 2009, she was earning just a few dollars shy of $100,000.

Well, Congressman Regula retired.

But with Renacci's defeat of Democrat John Boccieri in November, 2010, she was back on the job with the Republican Renacci.

The Report is told that husband Jeff (remember, Stark County GOP chair) took the initiative with other 16th District GOP chairmen (losing only the Ashland County chairman -  the home of Renacci Republican primary opponent Matt Miller) to enhance Renacci's chance of getting the GOP nomination.

Again, credit is due Renacci.

He did not bring Matthews in at $100,000.

He cut her and cut her good to a mere $80,208.33.  About a 20% cut from her last Regula year.

And he even cut her rather large quarterly raises enjoyed under Congressman Regula.

Ms. Matthews only got about 20% in raises from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011.

Compared to the Regula years, quite a come down.

Not counting her year at $100,000 under Regula, Matthews has received as measured her current Renacci salary 188% over a ten year period.

18.8% per year over ten years!

Interesting, no?

For comparision purposes, here are the salaries meted out by Congressmen Gibbs and Ryan for 2011.

Your tax dollars at work!

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