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Editorial: PERS should stop fighting transparency

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Public Employees Retirement System shouldn’t be fighting to keep the public blind to what it is doing. But it did.

It spent $1,627 on lawyers to defend charging a reporter $112 for some records. And it lost.

Gordon Friedman of the Statesman Journal in Salem requested travel receipts of PERS board members. That’s the kind of thing that the public should have access to for free…

PERS told Friedman that he must pay to see the records. Friedman asked the Department of Justice to order PERS to release the documents for free, arguing that it was in the public interest.

The DOJ sided with Friedman and ordered the release…

We Respond & Your Comments

PERS is a horror show. Consider:

  • It has over $21 Billion in unfunded liabilities;
  • It’s going to cost $885 million more next year;
  • “Contributions” from state and local governments will increase by 4% of payroll in 2017. And 2018. And 2019.
  • It’s paying 23,000 retirees more than they made when they were working.

Our advice to the stars of this nightmare: you get in more trouble trying to cover up the mess you made than you’d have gotten for fessing up to the mess itself. Think Teapot Dome. Think Watergate. Think Monica’s blue dress.

OK, PERS brainiacs – we warned you. Now step up and fix it.


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