OT: MAN WHO EDITED TEA PARTY RESPONSE TO SOTU MAKES $7.25/hr
Jan 30, 2014 | The Daily Currant
The man responsible for copy editing the Republicans' response to the State of the Union speech says he supports President Obama's proposal to raise the minimum wage.
James Evans Jr., who was responsible for editing Utah Sen. Mike Lee's speech for grammar, spelling and other errors, and then transferring the speech onto a teleprompter, said an increase in his wages from the minimum $7.25 an hour to the proposed $10.10 would benefit him.
"I've dreamed about moving out of my parents' house in Southeast D.C. and into an apartment with roommates and stuff," said Evans, 35. "It would be like a low-income version of Friends. Maybe with more drug dealers and guns since it's still really expensive to live in a good neighborhood in D.C. And the public transport here sucks. But at least I'd be independent."
The Republican National Committee outsources its members' speeches for editing to Conglom-O Publishing in a $75 million-a-year contract. As a contract employee with Conglom-O, Evans doesn't have benefits and earns the minimum federal wage of $7.25. He worked overtime this week to make sure Lee's speech, which blamed economic inequality on big government, was ready on time for the Tea Party favorite to deliver.
As a journalism graduate with thousands of dollars in college debt and few job prospects, Evans said he was lucky to get the job.
"I was hired in 2002 to copy edit George W. Bush's speeches and was nearly driven to alcoholism from the stress and overwork," Evans said. "But I like copy editing speeches. The Republicans always gets those Middle Eastern countries confused, so I have to make sure they're threatening the right one, like Syria instead of Saudi Arabia. They still confuse Obama with Osama bin Laden, so I always have to double check that, too."