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Democrats blast Republicans for high-salaried staff

Aug 23, 2011 3:08:00 PM - thestate.com
S.C. Republican officeholders have spent more than $500,000 in taxpayer money to give a half-dozen of their former campaign staffers high-paying state jobs at the same time that the state is laying off employees and the unemployment rate is 10.9 percent.

That was the message from the S.C. Democratic Party Tuesday, which held a news conference to criticize how elected Republicans officials have handled taxpayer money since taking office in January.

Gov. Nikki Haley brushed off the criticism, saying, “Their job is to complain, my job is to work,” adding, “More than anything right now, we are dealing with Hurricane Irene.”

Democrats, led by state chairman Dick Harpootlian, specifically called out six people who worked for GOP campaigns but now have taxpayer-paid jobs:

• J.W. Ragley, who worked on Superintendent of Education Mick Zais’ campaign, now makes $99,840 a year, including benefits, as a deputy superintendent of the state Education Department.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)