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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 28, 2010 7:12 PM. The previous post in this blog was Without a league, will there be a game?. The next post in this blog is Google and the French radar detector flap. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Outrage of the Year: Secret Government Employee Pensions

Not only is Oregon's obscene public employee pension system violating state law by refusing to disclose pension recipients and their benefits, but it also has money to hire an outside lawyer to fight the state's own attorney general on the issue.

What a rogue agency. When the battle between the public and the government employee pension machine begins in earnest -- the real throwdown is still a few years away -- this kind of behavior will hasten the defeat of that machine.

Comments (17)

Jack, I hope you're wrong about the "real throwdown" being a few years away. It sure seems that the issue is coming to a head much quicker than that.

Your lips to God's ears, Steve Buckstein.

They've got the courts on their side, and politically, they destroy anybody (like Greg Macpherson) who dare to question them. And so the change will not be immediate.

But eventually, the money will simply run out, and the question will become whether the federal government is going to bail out the insolvent state and local pension systems. When we get to President Romney (or GOP equivalent) with control over Congress, the answer will be no, and the pensions will all be scaled back in bankruptcy (or something equivalent to a bankruptcy).

Fireman Randy will have to sell his Rolls Royce and buy an Acura. Can't wait.

How is it that there are so many Randy Leonards in office in Oregon who do not care in the slightest how bad it gets?
"Hey if there's not enough money that means we need more" is Randy's take.

I think TriMet or Portland Police and Fire pensions could be the harbinger for PERS.
Or the other way around depending on who holds out longer.

TriMet has the narrowest and shallowest pool of resources to raid for their delaying the inevitable. So I see them first falling into the fiscal abyss.

The city is reaching critical mass and the State under Kitzhaber will go into delay delay delay mode.

All the while "stakeholders" all round are talking about what good investments more of the the status are. Trying to get one more light rial, one more streetcar line and Urban Renewal scams everywhere.

JPACT is a collection of thoroughly dishonest imbeciles peddling the madness of reckless abandon for the sake of staying on course.

Jack -

It is amazing, yet there is also some question about the current ruling by AG Kroger.

Former AG Hardly Matters and his puppeteer Peter Shepard issued an opinion on a Public Records Act top PERS request several years ago for data that was pretty indistinguishable from the current request. That previous opinion was 180 off from the one jusrt issued by the current AG.

IIRC, the requestors in the prior case never took the issue to court for a definitive determination.

Now, a new AG rules differently.

AIUI, the underlying applicable provisions of the Public Records Act (ORS Chapter 194 ?) haven't changed in the interim.

Mind you, its my opinion that the previous opinion in the Meyers regime sucked. Not only wrong on the law, but corrupt in the special way the in crowd in the AG's office in Salem has worked for years as an extension of the Harrang, Long law firm in Eugene, which has been the "independent" shill for most state agency heads for so many years.

But if I was sitting there as an agency head with two separate and contradictory opinions, I'd be scratching my head as well, and might want to seek outside counsel.

That Pete Shepard who wrote the initial Meyers era AG opinion is now hired as outside counsel to challenge the AG Kroger opinion is utterly hilarious.

Wher's Sleepy Ted? Our illustrious Governor, former Oregon Attorney General, former Oregon Supreme Court Justice and future PERS pension collector, appoints the PERS Board. Might our learned Governor have some input to the Board and authority there?

Somebody wake Ted up.

"How is it that there are so many Randy Leonards in office in Oregon who do not care in the slightest how bad it gets?"
====

Great question! WTF is wrong with Oregon?

16 years of Kitz n Kulo Epic FAIL, and what will next week bring? 4 more years!!!

"Hey if there's not enough money that means we need more" is Randy's take."
====

Exactly! Kitz needs a sales tax to manage this ungovernable state. And Scam Adams will spend it all and then some.

Portland and Oregon both having a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Tighten your belts and cut the spending.

Really Nonny, you expect a lame duck governor to do anything other than run for cover? The corruption being written of re: Peter Shepard smacks soundly of a major violation of the bar's "conflict of interest" rules but would the toothless Oregon State Bar actually censure the behavior?

It's only a conflict of interest or fraud when they're Republicans. Ask Sizemore.

"How is it that there are so many Randy Leonards in office in Oregon who do not care in the slightest how bad it gets?"

Hey, when've you've got 2 pensions from govt why would you mess with it?

Anyone that can make a decision is usually a beneficiary of PERS so its always easier to look the other way.

How big is that chip you are carrying Mister Tee? Sizemore's problem was more like being an outsider. Insiders get away with whatever, regardless of party.

LucsAdvo -

Come on my friend, regarding Sleepy Ted surely you recognize sarcasm when you see it.

As for a conflict of interest by Shepard, there really, by the legal profession's arcane rules , is not one. Shepard is taking the same legal position now as he did previously, and doing so for the same client, PERS.

Nonny, I just see this a bit differently.

Shepard should have been representing the State and People of Oregon the first time around (he was working for the AG's office right?). This time around, I agree he is representing PERS, prima facie.

Also I trust you are using friend in the most loose sense possible. I am kind of picky about friends. ;-) I don't know you well enough to call you that.

Just so everyone is on the same page. PERS has already given the Oregonian all of the information it has asked for except the name of the retired employees.

This whole fight is about whether a public employee, once retired, has a right to privacy that prohibits PERS from identifying them by name. The Oregonian can get their pension amount; their final salary; the position they last held; the years worked; and a host of other information about the pension.

Yes, and now we're entitled to see the name. You don't like it? Don't take a job on the public's dime.

And since PERS undoubtedly has them, shouldn't the addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses be revealed as well so people can know where to go with the torches and pitchforks?

Thank you, bureaucrat.

Just the names with the dollar amounts will be fine.

I'm not complainig Jack since I didn't make that kind of money anyway. It's just that from the article one is led to beleive that the State is refusing to release the pension benefits for specific types of retiree. The truth is that PERS has told the Oregonian that a former Mayor of Portland, who earned $X when the year they retired, who worked X amount of years under the PERS system, is receiving Y amount of pension. It's just the name that is being witheld.

Now if you believe that the "public" has a right to know the name then I respect that. It's just that I know a former police officer who worked undercover putting biker gangs in jail who finds it disquieting to discover that his name and address may end up on the internet.


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