JUST REMEMBER who pays your salary.
When all else fails, that's the standard barb a voter can throw at a state employee who appears to be ignoring the public and instead favoring some entrenched, big-money interest. It is usually a bit of a cheap shot, especially when thrown at an underpaid government worker or even a big-bucks aide to an elected official, but in essence it's true. The official works for the public, not the corporate executive or union leader who donated to the boss' campaign. The public pays the salary.
In the governor's office, however, it's not quite the case. The salaries of a few top officials on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's staff are supplemented, in some cases handsomely, by bonuses from his campaign. The taxpayer-financed salary of chief of staff Susan Kennedy is $131,000, for example, but she more than doubled her salary with her work for the Schwarzenegger reelection campaign, which paid her $192,500 for work last year. Schwarzenegger's personal assistant, Clay Russell, and communications director, Adam Mendelsohn, were paid for campaigning in the weeks before the governor's slam-dunk reelection. Then they got victory bonuses. So did David Zingale, chief of staff to the governor's wife, Maria Shriver.