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Monday, May 08, 2006

Funny How Time Slips Away

Ole Willie was right. Here it is May 8, 2006. At 5 p.m. tonight, the clock runs out on all those "window" retirees who wish to appeal that notice PERS sent them in early March. It only seems like yesterday that I got my "Notice of Board Action" and here I'm out of time to appeal it. Fortunately, the PERS Coalition (including OPRI and AOF - groups to which I belong and contribute) has my back with two different lawsuits filed. These cases are the Arken case (lead attorney, Greg Hartman) and the Robinson case (lead attorney, Gene Mechanic). Both cases have been filed as class actions in Multnomah County. To date, there has been no ruling on class action status. Nevertheless, if you want to help the cause, OPRI represents *all* retirees, regardless of former employer. They have a legal defense fund to which you can contribute. They are also having a general meeting of members and other interested parties on Friday May 12, 2006 in Salem. Wander over to the OPRI web site for more information about the legal defense fund and about Friday's meeting. Alas, I'll be in California attending my nephew's wedding and won't be at the OPRI meeting. But invited speakers include Greg Hartman from the PERS Coalition and Paul Cleary, Executive Director of PERS. It ought to be both informative and enlivening. I highly recommend that those who can get to Salem for this meeting attend.

Several have emailed me about my judge comments in a previous post. There are two interesting statewide judicial races and one interesting local race. The most important statewide race is for the Supreme Court. It pits Jack Roberts, Virginia Lindner, and Gene Hallman against one another for the position vacated by former Chief Justice Wallace Carson. The Oregonian has endorsed Virginia Lindner and she's rumored to be Gov Ted's favorite. Gene Hallman has been widely endorsed by the labor unions involved with the PERS Coalition. To my knowledge, Jack Roberts hasn't any significant endorsements. The second statewide races pits Court of Appeals Justice David Brewer (author of the PERS Special Master's Report used in the Strunk case) in a brutal battle against himself. The only choice there would be a write-in to send a message. Final, the local race drawing the most interest is in Marion County where Judge Paul Lipscomb (yep, that one!) is running against Ross Day. This is a tough race because, in my opinion, the opponent could be worse than the incumbent. The major issue in that race seems to be Measure 37, while PERS has received relatively little notice. Nevertheless...... Finally, keep in mind that all of the current PERS litigation has been filed in Multnomah County, so watching the Multnomah County Circuit court elections might be more than a spectator sport this year. My limited experience in/with the Multnomah County Circuit Court system hasn't given me to strong opinions about any of the judges running for re-election. If others have more information, pass it along.

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