The Hillary Clinton campaign has confirmed the accuracy of a Washington Free Beacon analysis that showed that women working in Clinton’s Senate office were paid just 72 cents for each dollar paid to men.
The campaign told FactCheck.org it does not dispute the accuracy of the report, which analyzed the office’s publicly available disbursement forms from fiscal years 2002 to 2008 and found that men working for Clinton had a median salary $15,708.38 higher than women.
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The Clinton campaign says, however, that a study using private salary data provides a more accurate (and more favorable) story.
The campaign provided FactCheck.org with what it claimed to be a list of the "name, gender, title, and annual salary of every full-time person employed in Clinton’s Senate office between 2002 and 2008."
Miraculously, the median annual salary for men and women based on this campaign-provided list was found to be an identical $40,000.
Unfortunately, the salary numbers that were used have not been made available to the public.
FactCheck.org opted not to publish the data provided by the Clinton campaign and declined to share it with the Free Beacon due to concerns that the former "employees probably would prefer not to have their salaries posted online." Congressional salary data is publicly available.
The data provided by the campaign also cannot be compared with the disbursement data made available for every Senate office. FactCheck.org notes that the Clinton campaign provided data separated by calendar year, which makes direct comparisons to the publicly available data, which is separated by fiscal years, impossible.
The campaign-provided list of offered annual salaries also does not take into consideration each employee’s actual take-home pay—the amount of time each employee actually worked and any bonuses they may have received are neglected.
The Census data used to form the Democratic talking point that women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, which has been used by Clinton herself, also only takes into account only employees who worked for an entire year.
FactCheck.org is not the first outlet to report on private salary data from the Clinton campaign. Earlier this month, BuzzFeed was given internal data by the campaign that showed that if you combined the salaries for Clinton’s Senate office with various political operations associated with Clinton, the salaries for men and women were identical.
Supporting the Clinton campaign line is American Enterprise Institute Scholar Norman Ornstein, who said, "You have to try to compare apples to apples and that is difficult to do, but there is more sense in the way the Clinton people said to do this."
Ornstein’s qualification to make this assertion, according to FactCheck.org, is that he regularly sifts through disbursement reports from the secretary of the Senate while doing research for the annual Vital Statistics on Congress report.
Full disclosure: This reporter was Ornstein’s intern at AEI during the production of Vital Statistics on Congress and performed much of the "sifting" through disbursement reports to update the work done by interns in previous years.