Leave it to America’s well heeled, elite politicians to dive into the nepotism pool and arrange cushy jobs for their relatives. Yet another case crosses the transom this weekend with the revelation that the wife of Maine’s Republican Governor, Paul LePage, has secured a tidy position for herself. First Lady Ann LePage has taken a page from the playbook of her daughter Lauren and landed a summer job… waiting tables in a restaurant. (Washington Post)
Last summer, Lauren LePage made a whopping $28 an hour at McSeagull’s, “a bustling restaurant touting double-wrapped bacon scallops and views of Boothbay Harbor,” according to the Associated Press.
This year, her 58-year-old mother is following in her footsteps to make some extra dough during the profitable tourist season.
“Oh honey, it’s all about the money; it’s all about the money,” LePage told CBS affiliate WGME. “I told him (Governor Paul LePage) my money I earn here I’m putting in a kitty. I want to buy a car this summer.”
What kind of car? Not a Mercedes or a Range Rover — the political elite’s preferred modes of transportation — but a Toyota RAV 4, the kind of modest SUV a person apparently buys when their spouse is the lowest-paid governor in all 50 states, according to the AP.
The Governor is not only the lowest paid state executive in the nation (with a salary of $70K) but he doesn’t even crack into the top 50% of wage earners in his state. One can see how the family might be a little tight on cash, not only for luxuries, but for the basic necessities of life. Kudos to Ann for getting out there and hustling and best of luck in finding a good deal on a RAV 4.
The job that the First Lady took should also send at least a bit of a message to those who are pushing for a federal minimum wage of $15 per hour and trying to force the restaurant industry into paying the same for their wait staff. Hearing that waiters at Boothbay Harbor who serve seafood to the dinner crowd are pulling down $28 per hour (less than $20K short of what the Governor makes) isn’t at all surprising. Popular, skilled wait staff can earn more in tips in a single night than a lot of people with four year degrees are making in three days. If you force restaurant owners to up their wages and move to a no tipping policy to compensate for the higher menu prices which result, their net wages can actually go down, as we’ve seen in some cities around the nation already.
But as far as Ann’s job situation goes, if any Democrats are hoping to make hay out of this, I’d abandon that line of thought immediately. I can assure you that most of the working class people in the country will have a lot more respect for the LePage family than they will for any millionaire couples looking for government work elsewhere.