We have previously reported on a proposed ballot initiative on public pensions in California that, as written, would cover UC. There appears to be money behind the campaign for this initiative. Another indication of such money comes in the form of a letter by former UC Regent David Crane on CalSTRS. Crane was appointed by Gov. Schwarzenegger but the appointment was not endorsed by the state senate and thus ended.
In any event, the letter from Crane addressed to Gov. Brown – which his website says in today’s Sacramento Bee – seems to be part of the larger campaign for the initiative. It was circulated on the website of (and by emails from) a group associated with Crane – Govern for California: [excerpt]
…Governor, it’s long past time to act. By not addressing CalSTRS, California has already become the largest “deadbeat” state government, a term coined by The New Yorker to characterize governments not even paying minimally required pension contributions. Every day of additional delay adds millions of dollars to the next generation’s burden. If you don’t act, you are effectively defunding their classrooms, cutting their public services, and raising their taxes…
Oddly, a search in today’s Bee (under Crane, CalSTRS, opinion, viewpoint, letters to the editor, etc.) did not find the letter. It did find other earlier Crane-related items. Among them was a recent article indicating Crane was involving himself in state legislative contests related to his pension interests. See:
As we have noted in past postings, the chief UC interest in this matter is to be excluded from the proposed initiative and to leave funding of the UC pension to the university and (current) Regents.
UPDATE: Crane in a later post on Fox and Hounds no longer claims the letter appeared in the Bee. See http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2014/01/political-leaders-must-focus-calstrs-funding-crisis/