ST. LOUIS – Close to 100 people, including members of ACORN, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 2000, Pro-Vote and the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute, marched into Rep. Jim Talent’s (R–Mo.) Senatorial campaign headquarters here on April 12.

The protesters wanted to draw attention to the “exorbitant” pay that Talent has received from Washington University. Talent teaches a two-hour-a-week class at the university for $90,000 a year.

“He is making $1,500 an hour,” said Grant Williams, of Local 2000. Talent has repeatedly voted against raising the minimum wage. “Jim, if you won’t raise the minimum wage, get us a job like yours,” Williams said.

Members of Washington University’s Political Action Coalition (PAC) think the $90,000 wage amounts to a University subsidy for Talent’s Senate race. The Board of Trustees of Washington University donated $10,500 to Talent in 2001, said members of PAC.

Protesters were also concerned about Talent’s $230,000 salary for a part-time lobbying job in Washington, D.C. Talent has refused to release his billing records to Missouri Democratic Party executive director Mike Kelly, who has requested the records twice.

Gale Shumpert, of ACORN, said, “we can’t live off of $5.15 an hour. We want Talent’s wages.”

Jay O’Zier, committeeman for the 22nd ward, said, “we want more than a minimum wage. We want a living wage!”

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