Fullerton’s Pension Watchdog Endorses Shawn Nelson

The Fullerton Association of Concerned Taxpayers (FACT) just sent us the following endorsement of Shawn Nelson for County Supervisor in Orange County’s Fourth District:


“During his 8 years on the Fullerton City Council, Shawn has demonstrated that he is a true friend of the taxpayer,” said Jack Dean, president of FACT. “He’ll make an outstanding County Supervisor.”

Dean noted that FACT was especially impressed with Nelson’s willingness to blow the whistle on a secretive attempt to boost the pensions of Fullerton’s city employees by 25% in 2008.

“Had Shawn not let us know that such a deal was in the works, I doubt that we could have stopped it,” said Dean. “And in light of the subsequent economic meltdown and huge market losses experienced by CalPERS, Fullerton would be in much worse financial shape today.”

“We’re going to need him on the board of supervisors to help maintain the impressive momentum the county has been making on pension reform,” added Dean.

FACT has a special interest in the public pension issue. In 2005, the group successfully blocked an attempt by the Schwarzenegger administration to issue nearly $2 billion in bonds to make the state’s pension payments. The state appealed, and in 2007, FACT won an appellate court ruling that enforced the California Constitution’s ban on unapproved state debt. Article XVI, Section 1 of the California Constitution requires voter approval for long-term state debt exceeding $300,000; FACT won a decision from the Third District Court of Appeal that issuance of a pension bond should not be allowed because it had not been submitted to the electorate. FACT was represented in both cases by the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) in Sacramento.

Next month FACT — once again represented by PLF — will be filing an amicus brief in support of the County’s lawsuit on retroactive pensions (County of Orange v. Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs and Board of Retirement). The goal will be to protect the landmark legal decision that FACT and PLF secured in the pension obligation bonds victory (Pension Obligation Bond Committee v. All Persons Interested).

“FACT has a direct interest in protecting and enforcing the precedent it established,” said Dean, “that is, the  constitutional principle that major government indebtedness must receive voter approval.”

Under the auspices of FACT, Dean publishes a website called PensionTsunami.com that tracks the growing public pension crisis on a daily basis. He is also vice president of the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility — a watchdog organization that plans to conduct a ballot initiative to reform the state’s pension system.

One Reply to “Fullerton’s Pension Watchdog Endorses Shawn Nelson”

  1. I am trying to locate a Web Page that outlines the various Pension Packages in the California Counties.

    It would seem mathematically possible that there should be a few counties who did not follow the Mob into this Pension craze.

    Appreciate any help on this as our county is one that followed!

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