Skip to comments.CA: Senate rejects governor's nominee for pension board (Dem slanted panel reject Gub's dem nominee)
Posted on 06/08/2006 7:03:59 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
Democratic lawmakers have denied David Crane, one of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's friends and economic advisers, a seat on the California State Teachers' Retirement System board.
The Senate Rules Committee voted 3-2 along party lines Wednesday to reject the Republican governor's appointment of Crane to the board. Democrats said they were concerned he would not protect teachers' pensions.
Schwarzenegger last year was forced to withdraw an attempt to alter public employee pensions after police and firefighters launched an ad campaign against it.
The governor wanted to shift retirement plans for teachers and other public employees to a defined-contribution system - one that relies on matching contributions from employees and employers to fund individual retirement accounts. The value of such accounts fluctuate with the stock market. Schwarzenegger vowed to revisit the issue this year, but has not yet done so.
California's pension obligations have skyrocketed from hundreds of millions a year, to billions a year, thanks to plans that now guarantee former state workers a high percentage of their pay in retirement.
Unions opposed Crane's nomination because he thought CalSTRS should not have weighed in on the governor's pension proposal.
Crane, a San Francisco financier, has served as the governor's special adviser on jobs and economic growth since Schwarzenegger was elected in 2003. He is a Democrat.
In voting against his nomination, Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata said he believed Crane was too concerned about the cost of state pension systems on taxpayers.
Those concerns, Perata said, "are not the job of the person with fiduciary responsibility for those retirees. That job is only to protect the members' benefits."
It was the second time since last year that the Rules Committee has defeated a Schwarzenegger nominee to the board. The last one, Kathleen Smalley, was one of the two who dissented when the board voted to oppose the governor's pension proposal.
Margita Thompson, the governor's press secretary, called the Senate's decision unfortunate.
"David Crane's unique financial expertise would have benefited California's teachers and taxpayers," she said.
Robert Mapplethorpe, get your camera ready.
David Crane: Arnold's other Democratic adviser
Posted by NormsRevenge
On News/Activism 01/26/2006 9:32:54 AM PST
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