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Friday, February 25, 2011

Wheeler trying to water down junket reform

Ted Wheeler, the Oregon state treasurer, continues to resist requiring his "Masters of the Universe" in-house investment managers to disclose all the freebies they get from people soliciting the state's investments. And he still insists that they should be immune from state ethics rules, so long as they follow their own office's expense account policies and act in "good faith."

We couldn't disagree more. When the crooks of Wall Street are drooling over state funds, the public has the right to know about every single lavish meal, round of drinks, and entertainment that they buy for state employees. If there's nothing to hide, then there should be no resistance to disclosure.

As for "good faith," how can we forget that we're talking about people who billed the taxpayers for "reimbursement" of expenses they never paid to begin with? Ted, these lovable characters forfeited their "good faith" cards quite a while ago.

Comments (10)

If there's nothing to hide, then there should be no resistance to disclosure.

Couldn't be better put. Period. There's a smelly fish barrel in these parts.

I agree with the commenters on the article and many here that the funds should be managed by Vanguard or Fidelity or whoever. For a fraction of the cost and no worse, if not better, returns.

Then these clowns can go schmooze and booze on somebody else's dime and Wheeler can spend his precious time on something other than not cleaning up the ethical morass in his own back yard.

What a disappointment.

There are plenty of people hungry for jobs in basically every industry. Why don't we fire these investment managers? It would take about a month to find new ones happy to take the job with whatever new restrictions we want put on them. We could no doubt cut the salary too.

Hell, I'll do it. Stick the money in a bunch of index funds, put my feet up, and outperform 75% of the "professionals" out there.

I'm sure we'll be reminded that it's less expensive to keep arrangements hidden from the public eye.

Wheeler might not get his chance to even be a "one-term governor". People are fed up, period.....

Even the *finance professors* agree the money should be in index funds.

Gee Ted , it makes one wonder who you are protecting , and who you owe. A small reminder , you work for us , not Stock Traders. And on Saturday you can look out your window as pissed off Oregonians are coming to the Capitol.

I'm at a loss to understand why Wheeler chose this particular battle to fight. He's rich, so bribery seems unlikely. He's politically savvy and ambitious enough to know appearances matter and that the optics on this are not good (you can hear the oppo ads already when he eventually runs for governor: "Ted Wheeler fought to keep secret how much of YOUR money was paid to schmooze with sleazy Wall Street sharks."). Finally, he's always seemed like a pretty principled guy, and what principle is more straightforward than the public deserves to know how its money is spent?

Maybe he owes some buddies from his money-management days some favors, or the hedgies are holding something over him . . .

Ted, we want the best for you. Why this waltz to the dark side?

Ted, we want the best for you. Why this waltz to the dark side?

Rather than waste energy wondering why...

Why not just 86 the guy?

I'm soooo tired of folks trying to rationalize this BS.

Do you really think this is the best we can do?

I'm all for *real* sustainability, but why do we need tolerate losers just 'cause they're already there? Is there a shortage of people qualified for this office?

Time to stop with the same-old, same-old and demand transparency and accountability. That's not too much to ask of our "public servants" - it's the "price of admission" - or should be.

Where do they live? Maybe we could get together and pay them a visit? Community involvement ?

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