More Family Feuding in Pensionreformville?

August 3, 2011

To: Interested Parties
Re: More Family Feuding in Pensionreformville?
From: Steven Maviglio, Californians for Retirement Security

Even with Jon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and even former Assemblyman Roger Niello throwing in the towel on their hopes for a pension initiative next year, ex-Schwarzenegger official Dan Pellisier is “guaranteeing” a measure for the November 2012 ballot.

Now, pardon us, but doesn’t Pellisier know what Coupal and Niello (and just about every other politico) know? That the November 2012 ballot – with President Obama likely to spur strong Democratic turnout – is the worst possible scenario for an anti-middle class pension measure? Or is he just trying to fool an out-of-state financial backer who might not know any better?

Here’s what Pellissier said on Capitol Public Radio this week:

Pellissier: "We're getting a lot of interest from good, reliable Republican voters and some of the key Republican folks in the state. And we are confident that we will have the money to execute our campaign."

What’s wrong with this picture?

(A) The number of “good, reliable Republican voters” in November 2012 will be low; and (B) “key Republican folks” aren’t exactly the key to victory in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by 13 percentage points.

But there's another hurdle, according to Capital Public Radio’s report: “…the lack of unity among reformers. Pellissier downplays any idea of a rift, but there are several efforts out there - and not everyone is working together.  Niello says that must change: ‘Once there is monied interests participating, they will quickly shy away if there's significant rifts.’"

Pellissier caused plenty of rifts in his day (remember the 2005 pension measure?), and now is back at it again this year. But as the Sacramento Bee aptly pointed out, “the biggest obstacle to pension reform may be pension reformers.”

All of this makes us wonder why anyone would even consider financing a statewide ballot measure.