The People Must Remove Legislators From The PERS Gravy Train
Those aren't our words, but rather the words and gist of an editorial from the Bend Bulletin published a couple of days ago. It centers on former long time state Republican senator Ted Ferrioli getting a huge taxpayer funded PERS pension spike as a result of his recent appointment to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council at a salary of $119,000 per year. The editorial states the obvious observation that this occurred after Ferrioli voted for the massive new health care tax and even co authored a voters pamphlet statement with Democrat Senate President Peter Courtney urging a yes vote in January.
The carrot of a big salary that creates a ridiculously high PERS pension for Sen Ferrioli was most likely dangled in front of him in some backroom conversation during last session in exchange for his vote and advocacy in favor of an unfair and unneeded new tax. That's how things get done in the Salem swamp and is a clear example of what happens when legislators spend too many years in public service, which might be a good reason to reinstate term limits, a discussion for another day.
This type of corruption would not exist if Legislators were banned from receiving a PERS pension and the only way that is going to happen is if Oregon citizens rise up with an Oregon Constitutional Amendment that achieves that result. Legislators on the PERS gravy train will never remove themselves from PERS because of the obvious conflict of interest they have under current law as the editorial points out.
This outrageous abuse of power by Republican Ferriorli in cahoots with the Democrats and Gov Kate Brown is the perfect story to tell to the citizens who must put forward a statewide initiative to stop this type of sleazy, backroom deals and restore some integrity to the legislature.