Speed Reads

Numbers don't lie

Study: Democrats pay black campaign staff 30 percent less than their white coworkers

A study from the New Organizing Institute, a left-wing nonprofit that offers campaign training and consulting, reports that while Democratic campaigns are more likely to hire minorities than their Republican counterparts, they also pay minority staffers significantly less.

"Republican campaigns have more pronounced disparities both in gender and racial/ethnic representation among campaign staff," the study says, but "African-American staffers on Democratic federal-level campaigns are paid 70 cents on the dollar compared to their white counterparts; Hispanics are paid 68 cents on the dollar. Women on campaigns are also paid less than men... 95 cents on the dollar." Income disparities were less pronounced on GOP campaigns.

Some of the discrepancy may come from the tendency to hire minority staffers for low-paying field work focused on minority outreach, says Jamal Simmons, a Democratic consultant, rather than higher ranking (and paying) strategy positions.

This is not the first time Democrats have come under scrutiny over pay disparities. President Obama has been criticized for vocally opposing the gender wage gap while women on the White House staff are paid 88 cents on the dollar compared to male staff.