Top adviser becomes state employee

A top adviser to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder whose $100,000-a-year salary was covered by a nonprofit fund now will be paid by the state.
AP Wire
Oct 19, 2013


The Republican governor's office said that Rich Baird will also get a raise, with his pay now $140,000 annually as transformation manager after becoming a state employee Wednesday. Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel said the salary is comparable to other senior staff.

Snyder's New Energy to Reinvest and Diversify, or NERD, fund had been used to pay Baird since January 2011. That's drawn criticism from Democrats and liberal groups, who have called the fund "secretive" and argued the Wednesday transfer raises more questions.

Wurfel said Baird is now one of the office's eight allowed unclassified employees, and the switch "just formalizes that role and makes it official." She said the governor hopes to end "some of the unnecessary distractions" of Baird's employment arrangement with the change.

Baird is a retired PriceWaterhouseCoopers executive and longtime friend of Snyder. Wurfel said he had been a consultant under contract because his retirement agreement from the accounting firm prohibited him from seeking full-time employment, but Baird recently renegotiated the agreement at Snyder's request.

Snyder has said he doesn't know who contributes to the nonprofit fund, which also pays housing and some expenses for Detroit's state-appointed emergency manager, Kevyn Orr. The governor said in a deposition earlier this month related to Detroit's bankruptcy that an independent board handles donations to the fund, which was created to offset the "burdens of government."

The fund's name draws on the governor's campaign description of himself as "one tough nerd." It can accept unlimited anonymous donations.



"Snyder has said he doesn't know who contributes to the nonprofit fund,"

I have a few ideas. But anyway, this fellow appears pleasant enough, but for a re-negotiated salary of $140,000, up $40,000 from his charity pay, indicates he must be quite masterful at "advising". And of course, we all know our Michigan legislators receive the 2nd highest salaries in the country, second to California.

Population of California (2012): 38.04 million.

Population of Michigan (2012): 9.883 million

Barry Soetoro

Let me guess....the Democratic advisors would volunteer their time. There is no reason Michigan shouldn't go to part-time legislators with pay and benefits adjusted accordingly. They are barely in session 100 times per year.


Well, I singled out this gentleman because he represents the Republican brand - you know, the one that just closed down government to the tune of $24 Billion+, because it wants less government, less public employment, less government interference, less government wealth redistribution, less.....oh well, you get the point. Don't you?

Barry Soetoro

And you missed my point - the Dems all volunteer their time, right?


I didn't miss your point. I answered it - can't you read it?

Barry Soetoro

I guess not. Are you going to label me an idiot, too?


I'm prepared to do so if you ask nicely.

Barry Soetoro

OK then - hit me! Please.


Your manners are impeccable.


He looks like one of the friendly used car salesmen at Preferred Auto Sales. Watch out.

deuce liti

He looks like he should be called, "Zippers The Inappropriate Clown."


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