by Jim Nintzel
The Arizona Republic reports that Democrat Ron Barber received a $43,000-a-year raise when working in Gabrielle Giffords' congressional office:
The Democrat running to replace former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords saw his annual salary raised from about $70,000 to about $100,000 a year after becoming her district director in Giffords' first term in office.
His new salary was higher than all but one other district director that year in the Arizona House delegation. It was twice the state's median income.
Barber spokesman Rodd McLeod, in response to The Republic's inquiry about the raise, pointed back at Republican opponent Jesse Kelly.
The family construction firm where Kelly works has been awarded tens of millions in stimulus- and government-funded projects, despite Kelly's opposition to the stimulus and most government spending.
"If you want to see a real raise, take a look at the $60 million Jesse Kelly’s family took on the taxpayer dollar," McLeod said.
National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Daniel Scarpinato weighs in:
With only a week left until the election, it's important for the voters to know that Jesse Kelly is feeding at the public trough. He is lining his pockets with millions in stimulus and earmarks, and his campaign's only response has been to defend this excessive spending by the federal government. Jesse should either give the taxpayers their money back, or stop deceiving them.
Oops, sorry! That's what Scarpinato told the Weekly in 2010, when he was trying to make sure that Kelly did not win the GOP primary for the CD8 seat. This year, he provides an NRCC soundbite about how Barber should provide a refund:
It's troubling to think that Southern Arizonans paid Barber six figures for his role in shaping policies like ObamaCare, the failed stimulus and Cap-and-Trade. Maybe it’s time for a refund.