By Lee Hedgepeth
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY – Minda Riley Campbell, daughter of former Governor Bob Riley and current lobbyist, just secured her client Baker Donelson Berman, a $72,000 one year contract for determining the median Alabamian household income.
Despite this pricey State government contract, the Federal government collects such data through the US Census Bureau. (It was about 42,000 for an Alabamian family last year, an easily searchable fact).
“We want some outside legal authority to tell us which one do we use. Are we going to use the [income] when they are elected in November? Do we change it in January? When do we do it? We want to make sure there’s no question,” Alice Ann Byrne, general counsel for the State’s personnel department told the press about the decision to hire an outside firm.
The idea didn’t exactly come from within the personnel department. Minda Riley Campbell approached the group with the proposal, according to the general counsel.
“She called us up and said she had noticed that a lot of major law firms… were getting a lot of business and wanted to know if we had a problem with Baker Donelson getting business with the State,” Byrne said.
According to Byrne, she replied: “We didn’t, but we didn’t think Baker Donelson worked cheap.”
Turns out the state did need services, and indeed the fee wasn’t cheap – topping in at a cost of $76,000 a year.
The Alabama Political Reporter spent no money at all in researching the average Alabamian household income, which for an individual, as opposed to a family, is only approaching $23,000 a year, according to these statistics from the US Census Bureau.