Keith Downey - photo from legislative bio
by Steve Timmer
Apr 6, 2013, 5:00 PM

Keith, you kept your desk really neat

But you did track in some mud

As reported here earlier, Thirty Points Downey was just elected captain of the ghost ship RPM. Rachel Stassen-Berger has a more comprehensive report at Hot Dish Politics that includes this tidbit:

Downey told officials he would like a salary of $50,000 with incentives of $25,000. All the other candidates also said they would have taken a salary.

Oh, and what might those incentives be? Keeping his desk neat? Not tracking mud in from outside?

Or more likely, how many Republicans get elected; whether the RPM is successful in pressing for the further dismantling of state government, or maybe how successful fundraising goes. The latter, of course, would amount to contingent compensation. In another political context, contingent compensation is illegal in Minnesota.

No person may act as or employ a lobbyist for compensation that is dependent upon the result or outcome of any legislative or administrative action, or of the official action of a metropolitan governmental unit. A person who violates this section is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

Minn. Stat. § 10A.06 (2012).

A party chair is not a lobbyist. At least I hope not. But I submit the considerations are similar in deciding whether contingent compensation is a good idea. It seems unscrupulous in a political setting. Suttonesque, almost.

Given what must be reported in annual disclosure reports to the Campaign Finance Board, little is likely to be known about any “incentive” compensation and the reasons it is paid.

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