With a degree in Broadcast Journalism and experience as a television news anchor, ODOT spokesman Steve Faulkner would seem like an unlikely candidate for a career in politics.
But after leaving television and spending a few years as a poorly-paid legislative aide in the Ohio House, Faulkner seems to have caught Mary Taylor’s eye, earning himself a position as her Deputy Press Secretary at the Auditor’s office, where he made about $46K a year.
When Taylor rode the 2010 Republican wave into the Lieutenant Governor’s office, she brought many of her trusted people with her. Faulkner made the cut and was promoted to Communications Director at the LG’s office where he was paid $65K a year.
In September, after serving only nine months as Communication Director, Faulkner was again transferred – this time out of Taylor’s office over to ODOT, where he now makes $75K/year and appears (according to state payroll records) to have received a one time, $3000 bonus on 11/19/2011.
It left me wondering what Steve has done (or done wrong) to deserve all of these promotions and transfers so quickly? What special skills are possessed by Mr. Steve Faulkner that were so desperately needed by the Ohio Department of Transportation – skills so valuable that Mary Taylor could no longer rationalize having him in her office when his talents were so desperately needed at ODOT?
Well I’ve discovered the answer: Safety Videos.
ODOT launched a safety video campaign last month and based on recent uploads to ODOT’s official YouTube channel, it seems Steve has gone back to his roots, acting in a series of “safety” videos based on well-known TV shows and commercials.
This one, for example, attempts to teach us about the dangers of distracted driving by using the popular Mac vs. PC commercial format. (Steve’s the distracted guy on the right)
And this one just seems like an excuse for some white guy to rap.
With ODOT claiming huge budget shortfalls and delays in projects that might last decades, it’s nice to see at least one person at the agency is fully earning his salary.