I know I am asking for it, but I am going down this road again. I got an email about Ralph Smith's latest burger fest and read something interesting. He was making a plea for money and one of the reason's stated was that he had 2 full time aides to pay for.
Let me give you a little background. Each Senate and House member is given a budget to pay for staff. It's in the mid 30's. This money has to be used for staff. You don't have to spend it all, but it can't carry over year to year. It's entirely up to the member to decide how the money is spent.
So, we can assume that Ralph is using his entire staff budget for one aide (which is what most do) and is using campaign funds to pay for the salary of the second aide.
But before you go and give him your hard earned money, lets think about why on earth he needs two people in the first place.
I did this job. Same district. Same demands. During the Session, it's tough. You could certainly use more than one person and we did have more at the end of Brandon's term. But in the recess (10 months of the year), it's essentially part time work. I know, you Ralph people are going to say I didn't do a good enough job. Even though you are entitled to your opinion (although I think I did a fine job), I know a lot of other aides and their work load was no different.
I can say with absolute confidence that you do not need two full time staff members to run a Virginia Senate office. During a campaign year, maybe you need more people. And like I said, during session you do as well. But not during the recess of a non-campaign year.
I don't know Ralph's aides, never meet them. I am sure they are nice people and competent workers. This isn't about them. It's about Ralph's staffing decisions.
So when you go to write Ralph Smith a check, think about how he is using the money. You may want to put your checkbook back in the drawer.