Highest- and Lowest-Paid Governors in America Both Have a Knack for Scandal

You might expect the lowest-paid governor in the country to go off and accuse a political opponent of giving "it to the people without providing Vaseline." But money in politics doesn't buy you everything: The nation's highest-paid governor has plenty of problems of his own.

The salary reports, based on new data compiled in an interactive map by Pew's Stateline, show that Maine Gov. Paul LePage ($70,000) and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett ($187,256) have, respectively, the lowest and highest salaries of any governor in the country. Corbett, however, has refused cost-of-living adjustments, so he takes home only about $175,000. Other governors in the high range include New York's Andrew Cuomo, Tennessee's Bill Haslam, Illinois's Pat Quinn, California's Jerry Brown, and Virginia's Bob McDonnell. Governors on average are paid $133,348 a year.

But, according to Corbett's constituents at least, more money doesn't mean better value. A mid-June poll showed Corbett trailing Democrat Rep. Allyson Schwartz by 46 percent to 34 percent in the 2014 gubernatorial campaign. And 65 percent of Pennsylvania voters said they either don't think Corbett deserves a second term or they lean that way. Corbett is also dealing with the lingering aftermath of the Penn State sex-abuse scandal, which he is blamed for mishandling when he was the state's attorney general.

For his part, LePage is considering not even seeking reelection in 2014. It's not just the recent Vaseline comments that have dragged him down. LePage's favorability was at 37 percent in a recent Critical Insights poll, and a new Clarity Campaigns poll has him in a tight race with Democrat Rep. Michael Michaud. Add to that the fact that he just recently considered a run for Congress, before knocking the idea down this week. You can see why the guy may not want to bother running again.

Also of note from the data collected by Pew: In 2013, the governors of Idaho, Indiana, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Tennessee got raises. Oh, and so did Pennsylvania's Tom Corbett. The raises averaged $4,115.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.