For those of you who don't follow Oregon politics closely, here is something to be worried about. Although the Democrats have control of both bodies of the Legislature (House and Senate), and the Governor's Office, the GOP is pushing very hard to make a comeback, and to influence public policy in Oregon. To this end, they elected a public employee's worst nightmare as the head of the Oregon GOP. The winner of this office - Bob Tiernan - is nearly universally regarded by those cognescenti of PERS as the man behind the curtain in much of the PERS reform. No, Tiernan didn't author any of the legislation passed in 2003 (at least not to my knowledge), but he did help author Ballot Measure 8 on the 1994 ballot, that set the stage for an earlier battle over PERS benefits (the "8% guarantee"), and the evolution of Tier 2. He has palled around with Bill Sizemore, another public employee favorite. While I have no idea what the GOP agenda will be in the coming year, I am confident that they will be pushing for smaller government and further reductions in PERS benefits. Tiernan has been floating around on some blogging sites in the past year and seemed to be positioning himself for some sort of comeback. I guess we now know what he had in mind.
If nothing else interests you in the Oregon political scene, this development should keep you on your toes. Tiernan's election as the head of the Oregon GOP is absolutely not good news.