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Federal Employees News Digest : Jan. 28, 2013
INSIGHT by Mike Causey continued from page 1 Kristi Dougherty General Manager Phil Piemonte Managing Editor Sherkiya Wedgeworth Online Managing Editor Becky Fenton Circulation Manager Nathan Abse Writer Mike Causey Columnist Edward Zurndorfer Columnist Published by 1105 Government Information Group, Anne Armstrong, President. 1105 Government Information Group is part of 1105 Media, Inc. Neal Vitale, CEO. Corporate Headquarters: 1105 Media, Inc. 9201 Oakdale Ave., Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311 www.1105media.com Office: 8609 Westwood Center Drive, Suite 500 Vienna, VA 22182-2215 Phone: Editorial: (703) 891-8554 Subscriptions: (800) 989-3363 Fax: (703) 876-5130 Internet: www.FederalDaily.com Subscription Rates: 1 year---$99 Site Licenses are available: E-mail: FENDsitelicense@ FederalDaily.com For single article reprints (in minimum quantities of 250-500), e-prints, plaques and posters contact: PARS International Phone: (212) 221-9595 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.magreprints.com/QuickQuote.asp The Comptroller General has ruled that federal agen- cies and departments may buy Federal Employees News Digest publications with government funds. This decision is No. B-185591. Federal Tax ID 20-4583700. DUNS #612031414. FEDERAL EMPLOYEES NEWS DIGEST (ISSN 1065-0970) is published weekly except first week in January and last week in December by 1105 Media, Inc., 9201 Oakdale Avenue, Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311. Annual subscription rate is: US $99. Subscription inquiries and customer service: Mail to: Federal Employees News Digest, PO Box 15428, N. Hollywood, CA 91615-5428, customerservice@feder- aldaily.com or call (800) 989-3363, fax (818) 487-4550. © Copyright 2013 by 1105 Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproductions or distribution in whole or part prohibited except by site license or reprint purchase. The information in this newsletter has not undergone any formal testing by 1105 Media, Inc. and is dis- tributed without any warranty expressed or implied. Implementation or use of any information contained herein is the reader's sole responsibility. While the information has been reviewed for accuracy, there is no guarantee that the same or similar results may be achieved in all environments. Technical inaccuracies may result from printing errors and/or new develop- ments in the industry. This publication's subscriber list, as well as other lists from 1105 Media, Inc., is available for rental. For more information, please contact our list manager, Merit Direct. Phone: (914) 368-1000; E-mail: 1105media@ meritdirect.com; Web: www.meritdirect.com/1105. January 28, 2013 Vol. 62, No. 26 2 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com shaped federal territory surrounded by Maryland on three sides, and by Virginia across the Potomac. D.C. has its own city government, but we are also aware of what is going on in Maryland and Virginia politics, too. A top Maryland official has recently been accused of allegedly misusing his office, harassing his employees and, oh yes, using the state police to act as look- outs and guards while he was having sex in public places. For more than a year now local papers, led by the scrappy Examiner, have been peeling back layers at the MWAA---Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority---and the smell gets worse each time. Big-time salaries and major perks have been reported for the outfit that takes care of two of metro Washington's three airports (Dulles International and Reagan National), which feature close-in (and free) parking for members of Congress and their staffs. The latest look into boondoggles showed that one of every 14 employees of the authority are related. The authority is run by a former postmaster general who defended the organization's top salaries by saying that is the way you get good people. (Since he left the U.S. Postal Service, it has dramatically reduced the number of high-paid officials.) Bad feds? Yes, some. And it makes the papers. Most recently, an ex-employee of the Federal Emergency Management Agency pleaded guilty in a conflict-of- interest case. He admitted that he was negotiating a job for himself with a pri- vate contractor while he was overseeing the contract. The Associated Press on Jan. 16 reported that the 63-year-old faces up to five years in jail. Employees of the unnamed firm originally blew the whistle on the deal, triggering a Justice Department investigation. Not that big a deal, in the scheme of things. Probably goes on a lot more than any of us can imagine. But many of the scandals we do learn about involve either state or local elected officials--- the former mayor of Detroit and the former governor of Illinois are cur- rently doing time---or lower-level civil servants or commissioners of city and county governments. Last year there was the tiny California town that was paying its commissioners more than U.S. cabinet officers or senators. And the town was broke. Are there crooks in government? Of course. Are there more at the state- county-municipal level than at the fed- eral level? Hard to say, and hard to com- pare because there are so many more local and state government workers than there are feds. On the other hand, states, cities and counties have been trimming their workforces (and cutting salaries and retirement benefits) because of budget shortfalls and huge unfunded liabilities. Uncle Sam, by contrast, has a sound retirement kitty (funded in part by employee contributions) and has been under a pay freeze for two- plus years. Congress last year ordered that people hired after 2012 should kick in even more to the Federal Employees Retirement System. Groups, associations and unions rep- resenting federal workers have tried, for years, to polish the image of their members. Success has been mixed, at best, except for postal unions, many of whose employees (especially letter car- riers) meet the public on a daily basis. Maybe it's time for an image-building campaign emphasizing that American federal workers have an incredibly good, squeaky clean image compared to their counterparts in much of the rest of the world. And when it comes to state and local governments, fuggadaboutit! No com- parison. The feds win. Looking for a few good, honest men and women? Check out your carpool. Or your mirror.
Jan. 21, 2013
Feb. 4, 2013