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California State Retirees endorses 2016 candidates

Posted Jun 03, 2016 by newspaper editor    0 Comment(s)  0 Likes Like Dislike

Sacramento, Calif. - The California State Retirees Board of Administration voted to endorse the following candidates in the June 7 primary election:

Legislative Incumbents
The vast majority of the Democratic incumbents recommended for endorsement are legislators who CSR has endorsed in the past and/or supported financially. Republican candidates recommended for endorsement have supported state employee Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) bills to augment state employee pay and benefits, and the state budget which includes funding for retiree healthcare and CalPERS. They also refrained from demagogic attacks on public employee pensions. Most are running for reelection unopposed and/or without serious opposition in districts that strongly favor them. For these reasons, both recommended Democrats and Republicans are certain, or nearly certain, of advancing in June and winning in November 2016.

Open-Seat Candidates
The open-seat candidates recommended here have completed CSR’s questionnaire (positively) and are strongly positioned to win in November.

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Big question mark – voter turnout on June 7

Posted Jun 03, 2016 by Bob Hendricks    0 Comment(s)  0 Likes Like Dislike

Ted Toppin, CSR legislative advocate

Sacramento, Calif. - June, of course, brings California’s statewide primary election. Voters will nominate candidates for President, U.S. Senate and 53 congressional seats. We will decide on one proposition of little consequence, pick the two candidates who will compete for 20 state Senate and 80 state Assembly seats in November, and make countless other decisions in our local communities.

There’s really nothing left to add about the presidential campaign. It’s ugly, and it is going to get uglier. The U.S. Senate race – which features 34 candidates – is of interest mainly because we are replacing the woman who has held the job for 24 years – Barbara Boxer.

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Supreme Court deadlock upholds win for unions in fee case

Posted Mar 29, 2016 by Bob Hendricks    0 Comment(s)  0 Likes Like Dislike

In this 2013, photo provided by Center for Individual Rights, Rebecca Friedrichs, a veteran Orange County, Calif., public school teacher, poses for a portrait. A tie vote from the Supreme Court means public sector unions in about half the states can continue collecting fees from workers who choose not to join. The justices on Tuesday, March 29, 2016, divided 4-4 in a case that considered whether public employees represented by a union can be required to pay "fair share" fees covering collective bargaining costs even if they are not members. Courtesy of the Center for Individual Rights via AP Greg Schneider

In this 2013, photo provided by Center for Individual Rights, Rebecca Friedrichs, a veteran Orange County, Calif., public school teacher, poses for a portrait. A tie vote from the Supreme Court means public sector unions in about half the states can continue collecting fees from workers who choose not to join. The justices on Tuesday, March 29, 2016, divided 4-4 in a case that considered whether public employees represented by a union can be required to pay "fair share" fees covering collective bargaining costs even if they are not members. 

Courtesy of the Center for Individual Rights via AP Greg Schneider.

 

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Retirement for all proposal moves ahead

Posted Mar 28, 2016 by newspaper editor    0 Comment(s)  0 Likes Like Dislike

Sacramento, Calif. - By the end of the decade, millions of California workers could be enrolled automatically in a state-run retirement program viewed by proponents as the most significant attempt to address golden-years poverty since the New Deal.

After more than two years of work, the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Investment Board will vote Monday on a slate of recommendations to the Legislature on what a state-managed plan should look like. Those will be folded into pending legislation by Senate leader Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, with the goal of putting a bill on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk this summer.

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California to collect $20 million in CalPERS bribery settlement

Posted Mar 18, 2016 by newspaper editor    0 Comment(s)  0 Likes Like Dislike

The late Alfred Villalobos, who was accused of bribing CalPERS officials, speaking in 2008 at the dedication of a building named for him at Whittier College.

Nearing the finish line in the biggest scandal in CalPERS’ history, California officials accepted $20 million to settle civil charges over the bribery case that has hounded the giant pension fund for years.

Arvco Capital Research, a defunct Nevada investment bank owned by late financier Alfred Villalobos, agreed to pay the state $20 million to resolve a state lawsuit accusing Villalobos and his firm of bribing officials at CalPERS. The sum includes $10 million in attorneys’ fees

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Public pension critics launch another initiative

Posted Jan 27, 2016 by newspaper editor    0 Comment(s)  0 Likes Like Dislike

Jan. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A group of nationally recognized pension reformers today announced the launch of the Retirement Security Initiative (RSI), a national, bipartisan advocacy organization focused on helping state and local governments meet their pension obligations and avoid insolvency. Spearheading the group's efforts are: former Utah State Senator Dan Liljenquist; former Lt. Governor of New York Richard Ravitch; former Mayor of San Jose Chuck Reed; former CFO of Chicago Lois Scott; and financial restructuring expert Jim Spiotto.

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Reed, DeMaio drop pension measure -- for now

Posted Jan 19, 2016 by newspaper editor    0 Comment(s)  0 Likes Like Dislike

Measure to curb California public pensions is pulled – for now

Sacramento Bee, Jan. 19, 2016

Beleaguered by fundraising doubts and attacks from organized labor, two former California officials said Monday they are backing off plans to place a measure on the November ballot intended to curb public pension benefits.

Instead, former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and former San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio said in a joint announcement, “We have decided to re-file at least one of our pension reform measures later this year for the November 2018 ballot.”

Reed said in a telephone interview that he is disappointed but undeterred. Professional fundraisers and potential donors, he said, believed that economics, politics and a pending U.S. Supreme Court decision would strengthen the likelihood of passing a pension measure in two years.

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Unions discuss possible implications of Supreme Court case on fair share fees

Posted Jan 13, 2016 by newspaper editor    0 Comment(s)  0 Likes Like Dislike

Sacramento Bee,  Jan. 13, 2016 -- State and local public union officials plowed through a 100-page U.S. Supreme Court transcript on Monday, trying to divine how the nine justices are leaning in a case with the potential to tie a knot in the pipeline of money that feeds their treasuries.

While the outcome of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association could end compulsory payments to government unions, maintain the status quo or fall somewhere in between, the labor leaders interviewed by The Sacramento Bee remained optimistic regardless of the outcome that their associations would adapt.

“We’ll continue to exist,” said Dave Low, executive director of the California School Employees Association, “but it would weaken us.”

 

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One pension scheme shelved -- New ballot measure planned

Posted Oct 08, 2015 by newspaper editor    0 Comment(s)  0 Likes Like Dislike

Chuck Reed and Carl DeMaio announced they will not be circulating for signatures the pension initiative they previously announced earlier this year while promising to announce two more pension initiatives. The decision reflects, again, that Reed and company can't "handle the truth" about their pension schemes. Impact of Reed/DeMaio Pension Measures on New Public Employees

 

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Attorney General releases summary on Reed initiative

Posted Aug 12, 2015 by newspaper editor    0 Comment(s)  0 Likes Like Dislike

Proponents of a California ballot initiative requiring pension changes to go through a public vote on Tuesday rejected Attorney General Kamala Harris’ official description of the measure as an attempt “to try to mislead the public.”

For every ballot measure, the attorney general’s office issues a short name and description to appear on the petitions that backers use to get signatures. Because it is often the entry point for voters to understand what’s in a ballot initiative, the wording carries high stakes.

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The mission of the California State Retirees is to protect the pension and health benefits of all retired state employees.

 

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