It’s a rare glimpse into Kerry’s fiefdom that hits up taxpayers for $4.3 million in pay per year, according to records obtained using the Freedom of Information Act.
Kerry, however, does not reveal the names of anyone on his staff and redacts the titles of eight top aides paid up to $186,680 a year.
The 27 entries include brief titles — from “policy analyst” to “senior advisor” — and bi-weekly pay. It’s unclear if Kerry is on the list. Kerry’s Climate website does list Rick Duke and Sue Biniaz as as deputy special envoys, yet the FOIA release does not.
An equally reticent State Department told the Herald they “considered the foreseeable harm standard” in exempting names of government employees and some titles.
That standard did not stop former Labor Secretary Marty Walsh from sharing his staff names, titles, and pay this summer. Walsh, the former mayor of Boston now NHL Players’ Union executive director, earned $203,100 as Labor Secretary.
Kerry, who falls under the State Department but has told the Herald he only reports to President Biden, has never been forthcoming since being named Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.
James Rosenbaum, branch chief of Statutory Compliance for the State Department, cites the exemption that argues adding names of Kerry’s employees “would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of an individual’s personal privacy.”
Federal government watchdog Michael Chamberlain, director of Protect the Public’s Trust, said it all is in lockstep with Kerry’s disdain for transparency.
“Once again, the lack of transparency from John Kerry’s secretive State Department Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate is not only stunning but, sadly, par for the course,” said Chamberlain.
“What little information this document does reveal is that the median salary of folks who work for him hovers around $170,000 per year. And what does the American public get for that?” he added, saying that Kerry’s “disturbing level of influence on foreign policy to powerful left-leaning special interests” should not go unchecked.
Kerry has already informed the Herald that he will not share full details about his staff until October, a month before the Nov. 5 presidential election.
The Herald sought a snapshot of his bi-weekly payroll in July and the response came late Friday by email. Others are also growing frustrated by his silent act.
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer on Friday launched a probe into Kerry’s dealings with environmental activist organizations.
That comes after Kerry announced in December that the U.S. has joined with 56 other nations in phasing out coal power plants.
Comer, according to multiple reports, has written to Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying the Committee on Oversight and Accountability is “continuing its investigation” into Kerry.
Comer said in a released statement that “documents produced to the Committee reveal that the State Department sought and received feedback from leftist environmental groups on the Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA) and enabled those groups to influence U.S. foreign policy.”
Comer’s letter adds: “These documents raise significant concerns that confidential information related to U.S. foreign policy, energy policy, and national security policy, have been shared with these groups, including in off-the-record meetings with Envoy John Kerry.”