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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Missouri and Wisconsin Governors in Trouble Over Food Issues

Posted By on Tue, May 31, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Two Midwestern governors from different political parties are in hot water over food-related issues.

Missouri governor Jay Nixon, a Democrat, took a lashing on Twitter from Kansas City Republican state representative Ryan Silvey over the recent firing of the Governor's Mansion chef:

I wonder if Gov. Nixon treated everyone whose job was eliminated this poorly? Seems a little over the top. than a minute ago via Twitter for Mac Favorite Retweet Reply

According to the Columbia Daily Tribune, the state legislature approved a $45,000 budget cut from the Governor's Mansion on May 5. The cuts are effective when the new fiscal year begins on July 1.

Jerry Walsh has served as the Governor's Mansion's executive chef for 15 years, and he knew about the budget cuts. What he didn't know was that he and his kitchen staff of prison inmates would be fired, effective immediately, on May 13 when they were escorted from the mansion.

Walsh is nearing retirement age - he's 58. With an annual salary of $45,000, he makes less than many restaurant chefs with similar experience to his. He's cooked for every Missouri governor since Mel Carnahan, along with President Bill Clinton and Vice-President Al Gore. He prepared the meal after Carnahan's funeral, and for Walter Cronkite's induction in the Missouri Hall of Fame.

Who's the House Budget Committee chairman? Why, it's Representative Silvey.

When Rep. Silvey posted his tsk-tsk on Twitter Sunday night, Taunia Adams was quick to reply:

YOU cut chef's pay & campaigned on creating jobs. RT @RyanSilvey: I wonder if Gov. Nixon treated everyone..this poorly? than a minute ago via Echofon Favorite Retweet Reply

Rep. Silvey replied:

@Taunia_Adams @BrianMartorana Srsly, guys. Job could go to 6/31. He didn't have to be treated that way. Even D Reps think that was crappy.less than a minute ago via Twitter for Mac Favorite Retweet Reply

Later, when Rep. Silvey pointed out that public sector jobs cost states money while private sector jobs create state revenue, Adams replied:

When will you be taking a legislative paycut? RT @RyanSilvey: PRIVATE SECTOR jobs create tax revenue. Public sector cost revenue.less than a minute ago via Echofon Favorite Retweet Reply

For a bit they compared and contrasted what each has done to help the financial condition in the state. Adams has reduced benefits for her unspecified private sector company so employees can keep their jobs. Rep. Silvey claims he's "cut politicians probably more than anyone else has."

Adams concludes:

@RyanSilvey Btw, 10 sous chefs jobs should have been created, not the main chefs' job axed. Or like I did: cut back to keep all.less than a minute ago via Echofon Favorite Retweet Reply

Rep. Silvey didn't respond. And neither is Governor Nixon's office, which has kept mum on the subject.

Chef Walsh, a St. Louis native, will lose his state-funded benefits today, including his disabled wife's health insurance.

Meanwhile, further north, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker continues to piss people off.


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