Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Now what happens on the pension initiative?

Now that the pension initiative (about which we have been blogging scroll down for info) is filed what happens now? The initiative would bar anything but defined contribution plans for new hires starting in 2019, including at UC. Filing an initiative costs only $200. But the proponents don't have the money for a campaign to gather signatures and hope - with the fanfare created by the filing - to attract one or more sugar daddies to finance the effort. Jon Ortiz of the Sacramento Bee has some observations and questions:

How will Attorney General Kamala Harris describe it? Harris has been accused of crafting slanted title and summary descriptions of 2012 and 2014 pension proposals to bias voters against them. Reed sued Harris over the 2014 language and lost...

Will it get on the ballot? The number of signatures required to qualify a constitutional amendment is based on a percentage of participants in the last gubernatorial election. Turnout was so abysmally low last year that pension-plan proponents need just 585,407 qualified signatures. “That’s about 60 percent of the signatures you needed in 2014,” said Mike Arno, who heads a Sacramento-based signature-gathering firm. “It doesn’t cut the price in half, but it nearly does.” ...

Who will pay the freight? Just a handful of wealthy donors have the means to fund a pension campaign that will spark a titanic battle with labor a la the 2012 fight over payroll-deducted union dues. Unions won that tussle while also backing Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 tax increase... Someone interested in backing Republican candidates might see the pension measure as a relatively cheap chance to siphon off labor’s political cash from a tax measure or local races.

Is it bad timing? The measure would be on the same 2016 ballot as a presidential election, so more Democrats, who tend to support unions would turn out, right? It might not matter... Successful local pension measures in San Diego and San Jose three years ago indicate the issue crosses party lines...

Full story at

Of course, asking for money is hard - and you don't always get it:

ead more here:
ad more here:

Read more here:

Read more here:
ead more here:

No comments: