We keep hearing the clucking of the Chicken Littles who are telling us that the sky is falling; California has a pension crisis, or a pension tsunami that will drown us all. Real long-term problems that need immediate attention are grossly exaggerated, with the a series of anti-employee talking points validated by allegedly independent groups, with patient stenography from most of our media.
It’s hard to read a news article or watch a TV news story about pensions in California without hearing from Marcia Fritz (pictured receiving an award from John Coupal, standing at the Tea Party Patriots podium) or Dan Pelissier. They are frequently described as “activists”, but a little research demonstrates that Fritz’ anti-pension California Foundation for Fiscal Reform has an advisory panel of far-right operatives and ideologues. And Pelissier’s Californians For Fiscal Responsibility has a web address that links directly to the CFFR home page.
Where do they get their money?
Capitol Weekly tried to follow the money in Pension reform is lucrative for former Capitol insiders.
Meanwhile, there has been some speculation about where Fritz’s group got the money for the contract after she got up at a pension reform conference hosted by the Bay Area Council on March 10 and mentioned a “large out-of-state donor.” She declined to identify the donor.
I would speculate on the identity of that out-of-state donor, but Charles Koch is getting pretty tired of all the publicity. He really preferred it when he was part of a secret billionaire’s club taking tax deductions to fund dozens of “non-profit” organizations that advanced a reactionary message.
Below the fold, we’ll look at CFFP’s Advisory Panel.
Directly from their website, here’s the Advisory Board for this 501(c)3 foundation that has claimed to be non-partisan. You’ll see the usual suspects.
And don’t forget that for Republicans, anti-pension rhetoric is the only issue where California voters agree with them at all.
Arno Political Consultants
(Whether you need to deliver “volunteers” to public hearings, write letters to the editor, or get a million signatures, APC is your conservative consulting firm. APC was the firm PG&E used to get the signatures for their initiative to fight green energy.)
Former Republican Leader, California Assembly
(Currently a highly-paid lobbyist and Chair of the Orange County GOP.
Dan Pelissier was his chief advisor when he was Republican Assembly leader)
Clovis Chamber of Commerce
(Fran is the “Business Advocate” for the Chamber)
(Board member and chief executive officer of People’s Advocate, a California-based advocacy group attempting to suspend California’s California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, AB32. Costa is also in charge of People’s Advocate’s PAC.
Costa filed the petition and “Drove the 2003 California recall election” against then-Governor Gray Davis. Costa and Howard Kaloogian “helped get the Davis Recall off the ground before the professionals took over,” Daniel Weintraub wrote in the Sacramento Bee.)
Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association
(Right, the folks who brought you Proposition 13 in a campaign funded by apartment owners. Now they demand a referendum on pensions with another minority clause)
Contra Costa County Taxpayers Association
Orange County Supervisor / 2nd District
(Moorlach has pushed a multi-million dollar lawsuit attempting to roll back pensions granted by previous Orange County Republican Supervisors. Multiple attorneys refused to take the case, and it has lost at the appellate level.)
San Diego Tax Fighters
(An organization that shares a home address with the Libertarian Party of
San Diego, and shows no meetings or boards.)
Associated Pension Consultants
Orange County Taxpayers Association
(OCTax draws its Board from the developers, lobbyists, energy companies.)
National Tax Limitation Committee
(Uhler and NLTC were the go-to guys for tobacco companies in developing astroturf organizations, and continue to follow the money.)