Ugly pension power play pays off for union tool Kamala Harris

Are Kamala Harris’ parents proud of her today? Dr. Shyamala Gopalan, a breast cancer specialist, and Stanford University economics professor Donald Harris had Kamala after emigrating to the U.S. from crypto-democracies in India and Jamaica, respectively. Is this what they hoped for from their daughter? That she’d use her law degree to move up the ranks of the state Democratic Party and help maintain California’s status as a crypto-democracy? That their child, in her role as the state’s attorney general, would betray democracy by writing slanted ballot language that doomed two pension reform measures that polls showed voters loved? The doctor and the prof must be proud. With this act of sabotage, Kamala Harris is now the equivalent of a made man in the mafia that run the Golden State. The sky’s the limit now. Who knows how much more Harris can achieve in her chosen role as union tool masquerading as public servant? She’s a thug in a dress.

But then this is nothing new when it comes to California and public employee pensions, is it? Rank-and-file taxpayers are being abused on a 24-7-365 basis.

As I have written before, the title and summary for the pension reform measures that Harris put out are full of red herrings and loaded language, as the California Pension Reform group has detailed:

While the Attorney General accurately describes parts of the initiatives, she provides other statements that are either provably false or grossly misleading:

1. “Reduces pension benefits for current and future public employees…”

This is an absolutely false statement. The proposals do not change pension benefits for current employees. The proposals simply require current employees to pay more for future benefits and then only if the fund is at risk of not being able to pay the employees the benefits they are due.

2. “… including teachers, nurses, and peace officers, but excluding judges.”

The AG selectively lists three positive poll-tested jobs out of thousands of government employee job classifications when both measures apply to all public employees, except constitutionally-protected judges.

3. “Prohibits public retirement systems from providing death or disability benefits to future employees.”

The AG includes the words “prohibits” and “death or disability benefits” in the same sentence when our measures actually specifically provide for those benefits. To avoid any confusion about death and disability benefits, both initiatives say:

“Sec 12 (d) All government agencies that provide pension or other retirement benefits for their government employees may also separately provide death and disability benefits for the benefit of their government employees, regardless of the date of hire. The cost of such death and disability benefits is not subject to the cost limitations established in this section.”

As I noted last month, what’s so infuriating about this is that “direct democracy” is the only means that Californians have to do an end run around the unions, green cultists and trial lawyers who control Sacramento. While California may be a liberal-leaning state, when it comes to ballot measures, many of those liberal voters show common sense, and warm, for example, to the argument that a state with high taxes should be able to make ends meet. There are plenty of signs that many of these liberals were quite willing to believe that pensions are far too generous for public employees.

But not union thug Kamala Harris. She’s in the tank for the union status quo.

This is only the start of how the state government is rigged against the interests of regular Californians.

For years, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System has tried to discredit anyone who questioned its lies about the health of pension programs up and down the state. The main cause of the problems local governments faced? A 1999 state law that led to massive retroactive pension giveaways to hundreds of thousands of public employees. How was it justified? With CalPERS’ lies to lawmakers in 1999 that benefits could be sharply increased with no downside to taxpayers.

When Arnold tried to name someone to the California State Teachers’ Retirement System board in 2006 who wouldn’t go along with the fiction that CalSTRS was well-funded, three Democratic state senators blocked the nomination on the grounds that David Crane was, according to the L.A. Times, ….

… too concerned about the burden of pension shortfalls on taxpayers.

As I have written before, who took Crane’s place? Surprise, surprise. A teacher.

How should Californians think about what we face overall? Here’s how:

We are all Bell.

The nightmares destroyng the small city in Los Angeles County, in one way or another, haunt every taxpayer in California. Virtually every local government, every special district, must make decisions about compensation policies that are directly influenced by public employees, and, in many cases, dictated by public employees. Is it any surprise the resulting policies are crazy?

For years, education reformers have observed that K-12 school policies seem to be much more about protecting the interests of adult employees than students. With the Kamala Harris-orchestrated destruction of pension reform in California, it’s time this thesis be broadened. In Sacramento, state leaders decide on policy in ways that are much more about protecting the interests of public employees than taxpayers in general. Great, just great.

Yo, Kamala: Congratulations for continuing this repellent, anti-democratic tradition. If your parents were capable of judging you with the impartial smarts one would expect of a sophisticated cancer doctor or econ professor, they would be puking all over the place. Think about that as you celebrate your ascension to the top ranks of California’s union thugs.

8 thoughts on “Ugly pension power play pays off for union tool Kamala Harris

  1. I would be surprised if the proponents don’yt take this to court. The courts have the power to force an-in-fact unbiased title and summary. Happened last time around with Jerry’s slanted try wrt Proposition 23.

  2. If her parents could survive her dating Willie Brown I think they can handle this. Then again, for a young woman to have dated Willie Brown says a lot about her priorities.

  3. It’s amazing that anyone can accuse California of being under the sway of “millionaires and billionaires,” even more amazing that anyone would think any millionaire or billionaire in California would be a republican. A wealthy democratic living in California once told me why he wasn’t a republican, despite agreeing with them on virtually every economic issue; he said “we’ve already got the republicans.”

    And despite somewhat elevated public awareness in the past year or two, we still hear far too little about the fact that public employee unions spend about $250 million per year in California of MY TAX MONEY to buy anything and everything they want, including most all state legislators, as well as most all county supervisors, city councilmembers, and oversight commissioners across this state.

    The public employee unions can put onto the ballot any initiative they want, any time they want, and they do it frequently. And you know what it takes for them to do this? They write a check. It takes them about five minutes. They don’t have to ask anyone for money. You work for the government, you pay the union, and millions of dollars pour into their treasuries EVERY DAY.

    Any businessman who takes a stand against government worker unions has their name publicly disclosed and they are immediately targeted by union sponsored punitive legislation, or they suddenly have inspectors and auditors showing up, or they suffer frivolous “unfair labor practices” or “unsafe working conditions” allegations and investigations, or discrimination lawsuits. Then the union PR machine kicks into gear and induces compliant reporters into regurgitating defamatory reports on these companies. Meanwhile, union operatives go to companies and vendors who do business with the offending corporation or business owner and threaten them with similar treatment if they don’t cut them off.

    California is owned by government worker unions and businesses and wealthy individuals keep their heads down. It’s a union police state, with our elections under nearly absolute control by the public sector unions, and their corrupt hedge fund buddies on Wall Street who get to invest hundreds of billions of dollars worth of MY TAX MONEY to fund pensions that are five times better than social security and start 15 years earlier.

    California’s public sector unions are taking us straight to hell to feed their greed, and Kamala Harris is, as the author so eloquently describes, they’re willing stooge.

  4. That’s a fine whine you have, Chris. Too bad you seem to have intentionally jiggered the facts to fit your continuing rants.

    1. It did reduce benefits, primarily by increasing their direct cost to employees and providing a mechanism to reduce or eliminate future COLA adjustments for retirees.

    2. The fact that the AG’s analysis didn’t include every single public job affected doesn’t misstate anything about the proposal. Nurses, teachers and police officers are merely the most visible public employees, and teachers make up a large percentage of all public employees in our state. You’re just unhappy that the description didn’t use tax collectors, DMV clerks, prison guards and social workers as potential piñatas for our largely uninformed electorate.

    3. The initiatives DID in fact prohibit public pension systems from providing death and disability benefits. It included language that permitted the state or municipality to make separate arrangements for death and disability benefits, presumably through the same private insurance companies that sell such benefits to private organizations.

    So it seems all of your complaints are, once more, without merit. Do you think you’ll ever admit that here or on the other places where your efforts to undermine and attack public employees are regularly published?

    Not likely….

  5. Pingback: CA Attorney General Distorts Democracy to Aid Unions

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