Today's lesson: "At Least Make It Believable" or "Is State Sen. Tom Reynolds Inflating Numbers on his Campaign Finance Report?"
First, let's consult Reynolds' campaign finance report, which lists a $6,106 in-kind expenditure for Tom's printing services on June 30, 2006 (the last day of the reporting period, when candidates generally scramble to jack up their numbers). Less than two months later, on Aug. 26 (a Saturday -- the last day of the campaign reporting period was two days later, on Monday, Aug. 28) , the campaign reported another in-kind expenditure for Tom's printing services, this time worth $10,750.
Now let's do the math. If Tom (R-West Allis) did nothing but print campaign literature for himself for eight hours a day, Monday through Saturday (we are assuming that Tom, man of God that he is, would never work on a Sunday) from July 1 through Aug. 26 (oh yeah -- we also are giving him July 4 off) he would put in a total of 48 days, or 384 hours. That works out to a labor rate for Tom of $27.99 per hour ($10,750/384), or roughly $70,000 annually (remember, it's a six-day work week, but even if he worked just five days his hourly rate would be about $34.45 and his annual wages wouldn't change much).
These estimated wage rates do not include his overhead -- Reynolds' camp lists expenses things like paper, ink, and postage separately from Tom's labor.
The median annual income for a printer is about $30,000, according to salary.com, roughly $40,000 less than Tom's envisioned value.
And Tom makes that? Really?
Curiouser and Curiouser.