Register editorial beats up Nelson on pensions

This editorial in today’s OC Register looks like a clear case of buyer’s remorse when if comes to backing a candidate for office — in this case, the candidacy of Shawn Nelson who won the June election to finish Chris Norbys term as 4th District Supervisor.

While the Register didn’t credit this blog for breaking the story on Nelson’s decision to sign up for a county pension under the most generous plan available, nice that they are following our lead here.

From the piece:  “When put to the test in his first days in office, Mr. Nelson compromised his purported principles for self-interest when he elected, as a new hire, to take the most lucrative pension program the county offers rather than the other option, which includes a voluntary 401(k)-style program. His decision is a missed political opportunity to show taxpayers in the county that he is serious about pension reform. He could have made a symbolic statement by rejecting the platinum plan, which puts taxpayers on the hook. He did the opposite.

Of course, it is only human nature to be self-interested. The benefit is available so why not take it? Why take a sterling benefit when they could have platinum? That is exactly the argument we made in editorializing about the two-tiered pension “reform” negotiated by the supervisors; it makes no sense to voluntarily forgo free money, better benefits and earlier retirement.

Mr. Nelson’s choice brings other issues to a boil. Should elected officials get pensions at all? Should supervisors be full time? How are we to trust supervisors to reform the pension system when they are personally invested in it?”

Now I checked the FFFF site today and looks like they had some posts defending Nelson saying he never campaigned on what he’d do personally about his own pension.  We are happy to see the FFFFers defend a county employee’s pension benefits.  Thanks for seeing things our way guys!

  5 comments for “Register editorial beats up Nelson on pensions

  1. RHackett
    August 19, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    I like the poster on the 4F blog calling them out as suckers.

    They are twisted up over that and the rationalizations for Nelson are priceless.

  2. Union Member
    August 19, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    Nelson played the OC Register like a fine tuned piano. Actually he had a concert going on; it seems anyone resembling a conservative was singing his song. The Register states that “Nelson compromised his principles for self-interest”. This is not true. Nelson simply acted on what his true principles are – self interest.

    This whole thing is like a scene form the program Punked. Hey, let’s get those knuckle draggers at the Fullerton Blog to make a big stink over public employee pensions, then we’ll get the good ole boys at the Republican Central Committee to fry Sidhu on the same issue, and them we’ll have the OC Register tell the whole world how freakin great I am! Eight years from now, 16 years of service, top pay, heck I’ll make out a lot better than any of those stupid working types. It worked! We’re all getting Punked!

    At least some of the readers of this blog had the sense to smell a rat and say something about it. The OC Register went to bed with him.

  3. Leo
    August 19, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Nelson’s glass house must look like the remains of the Twin Towers. And, Sidhu’s is not much better.

    Ironically the candidate officially endorsed by organized Labor for that seat, Lorri Galloway, is not taking a PERS pension of any sort. I talked to her today, and she told me that when she was elected to the Anaheim City Council she opted for a 401k plan instead. She said that she felt that as a part time councilmember being part of a PERS pension plan just didn’t feel right. “Firefighters, police officers, nurses, social workers, the folks that fill in pot holes; they work for decades doing our dirty work. They’re the ones that deserve those benefits”. Refreshing.

    Perhaps the OC Register should stick to reporting baseball scores, the weather and used car sales ads. Or used like in most households – liner for the bird cage.

  4. pagra
    August 20, 2010 at 10:05 am

    It seems to be a given that Mr. Nelson is “the” defacto supervisor despite that fact that he will have to run again in November. In fact he is represented in the newly printed 2010 OC Super`s intro booklet as such.
    Perhaps we should examine him and his relationships within the politcal circle of OC and Southern California more intensely before deciding to permenently elect him to the seat.
    I would like to see more in depth critique of pols in this column and other publications. It might help to belay voter apathy for a political system that promotes it.
    Kudos to the Register and to OC Liberal…

  5. Quite Concerned
    August 20, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Its been over a week since the she-it hit the fan and not one word from Supervisor Nelson or his staff, other than the snide remark during the Supervisors meeting last Tuesday on how he had to pick either of the two offered retirements. It seems to me that he is actually going to try and ride this one out. I think he is losing votes by the minute.

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