Despite Arizona’s “lean budget,” Governor Doug Ducey has rewarded his staff and political appointees with lavish pay raises - one of those staffers is Blaze Baggs.
You can say Blaze Baggs hit the Ducey jackpot with a 133% pay raise. It’s like he went to Bucky's Casino and got lucky.
Blaze Baggs, Governor Ducey’s Director of Operations & Logistics, is familiar with Bucky’s Casino, as last year he was arrested there for disorderly conduct for allegedly tearing a sign off the property.
Yet this year, Doug Ducey rewarded Baggs with the biggest pay increase (in percentage) amongst his staff. He accompanied this by giving other staffers and political appointees hefty 11-20% pay raises. The Arizona Republic’s Craig Harris tweets that the average raise/promotion is $16,668, all the while teachers this year got a 1% stipend averaging $400.
But Ducey and flacks continue to defend these lavish raises.
"You have seen individuals who have really proven themselves and done good work," said Ducey spokesman Daniel Scarpinato.[Arizona Republic, 10/17/17]
We presume not getting arrested again is “proving yourself.”
“While Doug Ducey gives Arizona teachers peanuts, staffers with questionable reputations get thousands of dollars of guaranteed pay raises,” said Arizona Democratic Party Executive Director Herschel Fink. “Arizona teachers are some of the hardest working people - they prove themselves on a daily basis - and this Governor continues to disrespect them. It’s time for Governor Ducey to rescind these lavish pay raises and give Arizona teachers the raise they deserve.”
Read the Phoenix New Times article on Baggs’ arrest here.
Read the Arizona Republic’s article on Baggs’ 133% raise here.