Where do Whitman & Brown stand on Pension Reform & Pension Crises?

Former Governor Jerry Brown & Meg Whitman, former E-Bay CEO

1) California has a significant budget crisis, which includes a significant gap in Pensions, because these pensions are severely underfunded.

“The $1 million to $2 million in annuity value that more than a million non-public safety employees in California will receive through their pension programs in their middle fifties to early sixties similarly makes most California public employees de facto millionaires by their middle to late fifties.  Frequently, California public employees, particularly in public safety, pay less than half or even nothing toward the employee’s portion of retirement programs for the
benefits they will receive.

The California public employee compensation crisis will continue to cripple the state in the years ahead–and more so and sooner than most now recognize.  As a result of inaccurate actuarial assumptions concerning

a) long-term return on investment,

b) the number of government employees in the future, and

c) longevity, both the short-term and long-term fiscal crises at the state and local government levels require change immediately.  The status quo is unsustainable.” [from Executive Summary of Report]

CLICK HERE FOR “REFORMING PUBLIC EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION AND PENSIONS” report from California Center for Public Policy – dated October 6, 2010.


2) Jerry Brown campaign apologizes to Whitman for referring to her as a “whore” but also alludes to a incident where the unions may have cut a deal with Whitman if she fights AGAINST pension reform.

“…Do we want to put an ad out? Brown said. ‘That I have been warned if I crack down on pensions … that they’ll go to Whitman, and that’s where they’ll go because they know Whitman … will cut them a deal?’

At that point, what appears to be a second voice interjects:  ‘What about saying she’s a whore?’

Brown replies, ‘Well, I’m going to use that.  It proves you’ve cut a secret deal to protect the pensions.’

Brown’s campaign didn’t deny the conversation took place…”

3) “A 7,000-member union that represents state investigators, law enforcement personnel, 911 dispatchers and others on Tuesday endorsed Republican Meg Whitman for governor…
Brown campaign spokesman Sterling Clifford said Whitman manipulated the endorsement.  ‘Whitman began her campaign calling for the privatization of prisons and an end to the pension system as it now exists, but conviently went back on those pledges when asked about them by CSLEA,’ Clifford said.  ‘So the question now is, does Whitman believe she was wrong to propose privatizing prisons? Why the change of heart? How can voters trust that she won’t change her mind again?’

‘That response sounds a lot like sour grapes from the Brown campaign for their inability to garner a public safety union’s endorsement,’ said Whitman spokesman Darrel Ng.

Thus far, CSLEA is the only state employee union to formally support Whitman.”


4)  “Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman cancel big KGO debate: Who was the bigger chicken?”

“The debate had been announced months ago, and was scheduled Tuesday at 10 a.m. [October 4th] with longtime Bay Area broadcaster (and tough questioner) Ronn Owens — who last week won the National Association of Broadcasters’ prestigous Marconi Award for being the nation’s best major market talk show host.

Both the Whitman and the Brown campaigns say it was ‘by mutual consent’.

Owens is no pushover.   He would have asked tough questions of both sides.   And then there’s his audience: getting unpredictable questions from the real voting public — as Ronn’s show delivers — is something both candidates would rather avoid at this point.
5)  Jerry Brown speaks at Labor Day in Santa Ana.
(bottom picture from left:  Francisco Barragan; Jerry Brown, Art Montez in background; & participants)
Race for Governor debate (Photo by Pool/Getty Images N. America)

About Francisco Barragan