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Saturday, August 08, 2009

If I Had A Rocket Launcher

I'd use it on our Governor. In an unbelievable show of stabbing all his supporters in the back with multiple knives, Governor Kulongoski VETOED SB 897. This was one of the few significant PERS bills passed virtually unanimously in the Oregon Legislature. Among its most important elements was a section, due to take effect in 2011, that would have required PERS to "own" the final estimates and Notices of Entitlement given to PERS members just before and just after they retired. This bill was sponsored by OPRI and motivated by the Kay Bell case in which PERS denied repeatedly that there were errors in Kay's estimate and then long after she retired decided there were significant errors and reduced her benefit by a very large amount. It is very hard for me to reconcile a Democratic Governor who self-servingly solicits and gets money from the various public employee unions, gets support from those unions and then deliberately and provocatively points a loaded gun at them and vetoes a bill they strongly support. I have no idea what the Governor's reasoning was and I really don't give a damn. This was a needed bill designed to curb the reign of errors of PERS. It was supported strongly by both parties in the Legislature (passing virtually unanimously in both the House and Senate), and then vetoed by the Governor on the VERY LAST DAY he was permitted to have any impact on this bill.

This was a cowardly act by a cowardly Governor. Ted, you have earned your place in history as the most ineffective and chicken-shit Governor in Oregon history. May you rot in obscurity.

1 comment:

MollyNCharlie said...

If I read Ted's veto letter right (challenging as the logic seems twisted to me) he feels justified because there is one case on appeal, which we know would not be effected by this bill, and possibly some more to be filed. If that is so, this is starting to look like a catch 22 -- we shouldn't change the law until the law suites are resolved. In the mean time more errors and grave injustices occur so more law suites get filed. At best his logic is twisted.

Kay Bell worked hard during the legislative session to help folks understand the personal impact of some of PERS' mistakes. In a whisper campaign bill opponents tried to paint her as greedy, trying to get money she was not entitled to. All Kay was trying to accomplish was to see that what happened to her doesn't happen to others. I hope that Kay will have the courage to do this all again next legislative session.