A new wrinkle in the escalating debate over public
pension abuses: State employees have been able to add up to five fictitious
years onto their pensions in order to boost their benefits, a process known
as "air time." The LAT's ANthony York and Jack Dolan
tell the tale.
"Air time offers a return
nearly twice as generous as a similar benefit — known as an annuity — that can
be purchased on the private market, said Dan Pellissier,
who advised former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on
pensions. Pellissier, who as a state employee purchased
five years' credit, is
now pushing to eliminate air time as president of California
"Hanson said he gets calls
about air time frequently and advises nearly all state
employees to sign up. It
offers a guaranteed 7% to 8% return, as opposed to a 3% return available for
similar investments in the private sector, he said."
Meanwhile, speaking of state employees, Gov. Brown has ordered a hiring freeze for the government
workforce, and he dropped an earlier effort by the Schwarzenegger
administration to pay workers minimum wage.
From the AP's Judy Lin: "Brown announced what he said was a comprehensive
freeze that applies to vacant, seasonal, full-time and part-time positions. The
administration estimates it will save $363 million in the fiscal year that
begins July 1, about $200 million of which will be in general fund savings..."
"Brown is allowing for certain exemptions that are
critical to public safety, revenue collection and other
core functions. An
example includes positions that respond to disasters
situations. He also will continue to make senior-level appointments to form his
State Auditor Elaine Howle reports that some local
governments are improperly spending the money that is intended
to mitigate the impacts of tribal casinos. The Press Enterprise's Jim Miller has the story.
"The audit called for legislation that would force
agencies to forfeit tribal-mitigation grants if state officials concluded that
money went to projects lacking a quantifiable link
to casino-related impacts."
the second report by the California Bureau of State
Audits that raises concerns
about the handling of money from the so-called special distribution fund. In
2007, auditors concluded that some agencies, including
those in Riverside and
San Bernardino counties, misspent grants on things
like a boat and a program
for troubled students."
Sharon Runner, Ted Lieu easily win a pair of special
elections, reports the LAT's Jean Merl.
"In the South Bay's 28th Senate District, where the death of Long Beach Democrat
Jenny Oropeza created a vacancy, Lieu, 41, a former assemblyman, jumped into the race even before
a special election could be called. He quickly lined
up enough backing to discourage other prominent Democrats
"In the 17th Senate District, Runner, 56, a former Assembly member from Lancaster, was heavily
favored from the start to defeat her only opponent,
Democrat Darren W. Parker, 51, also of Lancaster. The district consistently votes
Republican, and Runner is half of a popular political
couple: The seat opened after her husband, George, was elected
to the Board of Equalization."
And from our "Where's Mr. Blackwell When We Need Him?" file, we read the tale of the woman who was outraged
at another woman's cleavage. She took the matter into
her own hands.
"Laura Campanello, 43, was leaving a meeting with her
17-year-old son’s guidance counselor at Bayshore High School when she
woman whom she believes was too scantily clad. After
Campanello asked the
woman--who was visiting the Bradenton school with an enrolling
cover up her chest area, an argument broke out."
"According to a Manatee
County Sheriff Office affidavit, Deputy Greg Jenkins,
resourse officer, arrived on the scene and advised
Campanello that the other
woman “was an adult and that I could not tell this lady how
“Oh then I can…just do this,” Campanello responded. As
detailed by Jenkins, Campanello then allegedly “pulled the front of her blouse
down reached in with both hands and pulled both breast
out and squeezed them
together.” The impromptu display in front of several onlookers
Campanello’s arrest for disorderly conduct."
Stuff like this never happens when I'm around....