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Friday, December 11, 2009
On an unrelated topic, is anyone else besides me a bit concerned about having Mark Nelson and his PAC Counsel office representing OPRI as their lobbyist, while also representing the folks opposed to Ballot Measures 66 and 67? Since the failure of 66 and 67 will affect PERS members and, perhaps, retirees, the conflict of interest is obvious to me. I find that all the groups Nelson represents - the tobacco groups, the business groups, and a host of others - to be among the more repugnant aspects of our society. I can't for the life of me figure out why OPRI has to team up with this ugly lobbying group, which would sell its own mother to make a buck. They don't seem to think there is anything wrong with a conflict of interest so long as the dollars keep rolling in. The answer, no doubt, will be that Nelson's group "gets the job done", but surely there are lobbyists who aren't quite as two-faced as Nelson. I make no secret of my opposition to Measure 66, but I am strongly in favor of Measure 67. In opposing Measure 66, I am not throwing my hat into the ring with Nelson's group. Their opposition is the typical opposition to liberal "tax and spend", whereas my personal opposition in on the principle of how the Legislature chose to implement the Measure. But I am deeply concerned that OPRI and Nelson are joined at the hip, while Nelson's firm has the job of defeating tax measures that would benefit PERS active members and future retirees. This simply makes no sense. If you are concerned about this, you should express your displeasure to OPRI. I've certainly rethought my donation to OPRI's lobbying efforts. I don't want a dime of my money to end up in Nelson's pocket.