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.

Nelson and Sidhu; Divergent Philosophies On Public Employee Unions

Watch this clip. First you’ll hear from 4th District Supervisor candidate Shawn Nelson and then Harry Sidhu. Both talk about public employee unions.

Remember that Sidhu actually lives in an elegant estate in the 3rd District and faked an address at the Calabria Apartments (2230 W. Lincoln Ave. West Anaheim). Even though he never lived there, Sidhu claimed he did under penalty of perjury (twice).

Sidhu has become the darling of the OCEA and OCSD unions, who poured in over 1.3 MILLION dollars into mailers, radio and TV ads telling us the opposite of what we have already seen for ourselves.

Judge Tells OCERS To Release Names and Pensions

Those interested in Orange County government accountability and pension reform won a legal battle Wednesday.

In a ruling over a petition filed by the California Foundation For Fiscal Responsibility vs. the Orange County Employees Retirement System (OCERS), the Superior Court of Orange County ordered the OCERS to disclose “…gross amount paid to the payee member, the name of the payee, and the identification of the prior public employer of the named payee and no other information contained in the records OCRES.”

Read the ruling

The presiding judge, Hon. Luis Rodriguez, says in his ruling, “Individuals must have access to government files to hold governments accountable for their actions. Personal embarrassment is outweighed by the strong public policy supporting transparency in government and the strong public interest in knowing how it spends its money ‘to expose corruption, incompetence, inefficiency, prejudice and favoritism.’”

This ruling is consistent with the premise that government can only be held accountable when there is transparency. Without transparency, corruption, incompetence, inefficiency, prejudice and favoritism cannot be identified, much less routed out.

Fullerton’s $100,000 Pension Club Welcomes 15 New Members

It’s been almost a year since we published the original list of retired Fullerton public employees earning over $100,000 per year in pensions.

Since then we have learned that our state’s unfunded pension liability has grown to over $500 billion dollars. Our Friends over at California Pension Reform have updated their list of CalPERS pensions, bringing on fifteen new “hundred grand” members from Fullerton this year. That’s an increase of 40% in a single year.

So let’s see who is getting the most from largess from taxpayers. New members are in bold:

Name Annual Pension Position
JAMES “JIM” REED $166,781.88 Fire
GEOFFREY SPALDING $149,852.88 Police
GREGORY MAYES $148,889.40 Police
MICHAEL MAYNARD $140,317.20 Police
DANIEL CHIDESTER $139,416.72 Fire
FRANK PAUL DUDLEY $133,821.00 Development Services Director
ALLEN BURKS $133,782.36 Police
DOUGLAS CAVE $130,761.36 Police
GLENN STEINBRINK $127,533.00 Administrative Director
ANTONIO HERNANDEZ $127,402.20 Police
H SUSAN HUNT $126,970.80 Director of Park and Recreation
STEVEN MATSON $126,430.68 Police
RONNY ROWELL $125,168.40 Police
TERRY STRINGHAM $123,482.28 Fire
GEORGE NEWMAN $121,410.60
RICHARD RILEY $121,113.36
MARK FLANNERY $120,934.68 Director of Personnel
DAVID STANKO $120,279.84 Police
ROBERT HODSON $119,956.08 Director of Engineering
ROBERT “BOB” RICHARDSON $119,720.88 Police
PATRICK MCKINLEY $118,446.48 Chief of Police
DANIEL BECERRA $116,917.20 Police
NEAL BALDWIN $116,740.68 Police
PHILIP GOEHRING $115,076.04 Police
BRAD HOCKERSMITH $115,053.84 Fire
JEFFREY ROOP $113,618.88 Police
KURT BERTUZZI $109,255.08 Fire
LINDA KING $108,168.84 Police
DONALD “DON” PEARCE $107,972.76 Police
CAROLYN JOHNSON $107,179.80 Library Director
PAUL TURNEY $105,747.12
RONALD “RON” GILLETT $105,499.56 Police
ARTHUR WIECHMANN $104,153.76 Police
JONATHON “JON” MCAULAY $102,034.80 Fire
JOHN PIERSON $101,524.92
HUGH BERRY $100,488.84 Assistant City Manager
WILLIAM KENDRICK $100,194.48 Police

Remember… public employee pensions are negotiated between the unions and our city council. It’s time to figure out who has been representing the taxpayers and who has been sticking up for the unions.

Live: Mark Bucher and Martha Montelongo on Unions and the Economic Crisis

For the first time on record, public employee union membership now outnumbers private sector union membership.  The impact of this ascendancy is glaringly evident in California, creating a destructive and unsustainable drain that threatens the financial future of our state.

Tune in to the Martha Montelongo show on Saturday from 10-11 am as Mark Bucher joins Martha to discuss California’s Economic Crisis, the causes, and a Citizen Power Initiative to shift power back to the citizens, away from the Public Employee Unions that dominate the State Government at every level.

Teachers’ Pension Fund $42 Billion in the Hole

Last month we warned you that CalSTRS (California teachers’ pension fund) was in a bad spot and they were hoping that nobody would notice.

Yesterday CalSTRS announced that investment losses have left the fund with a $42.6 billion dollar shortfall.


Even more worrisome: the fund will be completely wiped out shortly after today’s young teachers enter retirement. To counteract that problem, the fund will need to start sucking in major contribution increases almost immediately.

Naturally the pension system wants to resolve the situation by sending more Sacramento lobbyists to persuade legislators to “take action”. And by “take action” they mean increase contributions to the fund. Since a majority of teachers’ pension contributions come from taxpayers… Well you know what that means.

Fullerton’s $100,000 Pension Club – Educrat Edition

With the CalSTRS retirement system circling the drain and preparing to ask taxpayers for a bailout, it’s probably a good time to remind you who will be reaping the generous rewards from these unsustainable commitments made by gullible school boards under union pressure. The OC Register recently released the CalSTRS database obtained through a public records request.

We couldn’t help but notice that FFFF favorite Cameron McCune topped the list with a pension amount that is more than double the rest. McCune was the administrator who strapped Fullerton with the unconstitutional school laptop program that forced parents buy $1,500 Apple laptops for their children and is still subjecting kids to unsafe Internet access.

Fullerton School District
Name Annual retirement benefit OC Register
CAMERON M MCCUNE $243,905.16 Details
ANTHONY H ANDERSON $141,939.60 Details
LINDA A CAILLET $122,659.68 Details
PATRICK BACKUS $117,350.76 Details
GLENDA L THOMPSON $111,865.80 Details
RONALD S COOPER $111,326.64 Details
OLGA B DENTON $109,938.48 Details
EDYS M MCINTOSH $108,843.12 Details
SUSAN A FENDELL $105,805.68 Details
KATHLEEN DAMERON $103,374.00 Details
JUDY M LIEB $100,611.36 Details
Fullerton Joint Union High School District
Name Annual retirement benefit OC Register
CHARLES F MARUCA $128,653.80 Details
RONALD M GROSS $125,631.48 Details
DONALD J MORRISON $123,493.80 Details
KARLA TAYLOR $122,561.76 Details
VERNON A STEWART $115,305.96 Details
LINELLA K SELWAY $110,569.56 Details
MERTON R CLARK $105,579.12 Details
JAMES E SUTTON $103,621.20 Details
RONALD N ANDERSON $102,524.64 Details
IRIS C CHOLEWA $101,569.20 Details
JOHN K PIRKLE $100,829.04 Details
GEORGE E WEST $100,393.20 Details
MARY G KLEIN $100,132.32 Details

It is unlikely that any of these retirees were strictly teachers. Most if not all of them were superintendents, principals and other administrators who were able to eke their way out of the classroom and on to even bigger bucks.

Greenhut Counsels CSPAN on Fullerton’s Pension Problems

In this video from CSPAN’s BookTV, Steven Greenhut talks about his book Plunder!: How Public Employee Unions Are Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives and Bankrupting the Nation.

Fast forward to 22:20 and listen to Greenhut recount the story of how Shawn Nelson saved Fullerton taxpayers from a secretive retroactive pension spike orchestrated by council RINOs Jones and Bankhead in 2008.