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GOP Gives Reagan $150,000 a Year to Pay Staff Salaries

June 29, 1989|From the Baltimore Sun

WASHINGTON — Former President Ronald Reagan is receiving a previously undisclosed $150,000 yearly staff subsidy from the Republican National Committee.

The money does not go to Reagan directly, but instead is being given in monthly installments to four top aides at his Los Angeles office. The funds are in addition to the $183,000 annual stipend that Reagan receives from the federal government for his staff.

At a congressional hearing earlier this year, a federal official testified that all four living ex-presidents subsidize the salaries of their office staff, using either their own money or funds raised by foundations. Reagan is believed to be the first, however, to receive such assistance from a political party.

The apparently unprecedented arrangement was initiated in the final days of the Reagan Administration by White House aide Frederick J. Ryan. It was approved by Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., who then was chairman of the Republican National Committee, and his successor, Lee Atwater, and went into effect earlier this year.

Reagan currently has 12 to 14 aides, about twice as large a staff as that maintained by any previous former President. Reagan's press spokesman, Mark Weinberg, one of those getting a committee payment, referred questions about the arrangement to Republican Party headquarters in Washington.

Weinberg said that he was a consultant to the Republican committee, which is the way that the committee carries the payments on its books. But a committee official said that was being done merely for accounting purposes and that none of the Reagan aides were being paid to advise the party.

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