The Nation: Helm's Crusade

Last April, Washington state legislators decided that they were not being paid enough for the roughly 90 days per year they spend in Olympia, the capital. They accordingly voted themselves a 193% salary increase−from $3,600 to $10,560. At the same time, they raised the Governor's pay from $32,500 to $47,300, the Lieutenant Governor's from $10,000 to $22,000, and the state attorney general's from $23,000 to $37,950. A number of other salaries were also raised, the total increases amounting to $1,359,059 annually.

The bill struck a nerve of Naderian outrage in a Seattle furniture salesman named Bruce Helm, 32. When the state supreme...

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