Imagine a state-run pension system crisis so intertwined with conflict of interest, an unfunded liability so massive that will soon be eating half of every dollar that goes to fund schools and essential state services, a gross mismanagement of epic proportions that even raised national attention with The New York Times, bluntly stating, “Joseph Robertson, an eye surgeon who retired as head of the Oregon Health & Science University last fall, receives the state’s largest government pension— $76,111 per month— considerably more than the average Oregon family earns in a year.”
Former Captain Molina can’t remember a single veteran, from a retired General or Admiral or an Staff Sergeant that makes more per month than when they served on active-duty. Unfortunately, triple PERS pensioner Susan McLain has failed time in again to provide sound leadership, put forth common sense solutions, and it’s now time to permanently retire her and stand strong on PERS reform for the future of all current and new Oregonians before more teachers have to be cut, bridges collapses and potholes ruin more cars and trucks.
Oregon can in fact fund our transportation, education and essential safety-net services for Oregonians when we have PERS reform, but we cannot accomplish this under one-party Democratic rule and Governor Kate Brown. This disproportionate imbalance of power is stagnating any fresh and new perspectives and contrary to our founders belief in checks and balances. The working class deserve better. I’ll stand strong for those who toil the field, put down pavement, and work swing shifts in kitchens all across the district.
The Government Haves and the Working Class Have Nots
We have two classes in Oregon: the government haves (politically well connected), and the working class. When I travel across Forest Grove, Cornelius and Hillsboro meeting voters most Oregonians are surprised why everyone, including state employees don’t have deferred 401k retirement plans like the rest of us (some of us). Why state employees, professional politicians, the Governor and the Oregon Supreme Court are above the rest of us—and, how thousands of the government haves could be entitled to several state pensions. What’s worse is the cronyism at the highest levels—from the Oregon Supreme Court to the Governor—believe they are above the working class men and women of Oregon. We cannot continue to cut teachers, delay road and bridge construction, and wing emergency preparedness for the eventual Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. The people of District 29 have sent Susan McLain to Salem to represent the working class have nots and she’s simply not up for the task. David is running for State Representative because it’s time for new and fresh perspectives, bolder visions, checks and balances, and leadership on PERS reform.
When he gets to Salem, David is committed to sending as one of his 3 bills a PERS reform bill that will kill the current PERS system, cash retirees out if necessary, and move state employees towards a deferred 401k moving forward. This will be the start of a new dawn for Oregon and forever ensure no state employee ever, ever, ever makes more than the average Oregon family earns in an entire year.
It was disappointing to first learn that our representative, Susan McLain, has never led on PERS reform. Any PERS reform bill must include retroactive retirements. These retirees must be cashed out and provided deferred 401k. No more infighting about 6, 6.5 or 7% retirement contributions and state losses. Each state employee will decide on their own what they will contribute and it will be decided, supported and funded individually—and, not left to current and new Oregonians to finance the state’s miscalculated projections and losses.
State cronyism is bad, and it’s getting worse. While we’re not anywhere near other states in the union who are on the verge of bankruptcy it’s getting there. And, quickly. Why can’t the Governor, legislators and the courts come to agreement on common sense and fiscally responsible PERS reform? Conflict of interest. Oregon must not be last in PERS reform. We must lead the way and ensure the courts, the governor, and lawmakers who decide on the future fate of PERS, any component, cannot themselves benefit from PERS. Thus, any public and elected office holder is ineligible for PERS. This move will ensure state cronyism stops, and we can get back to sensible legislation that will benefit all Oregonians. David is committed to moving this piece of legislation through to ensure no politician ever takes advantage of the system and the people’s money.