Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The New Broom: Sweeping the Illinois TRS Board One Member at a Time (from Bob Lyons)



"Monday we had two open seats on our TRS board and the outgoing governor appointed one of his people to the TRS Board that morning, though he should have known that the appointment was made too late.  

"Today that person and also two Quinn appointees, Marcia Campbell and Mark Harris that were appointed but never confirmed by the senate, were told that they are no longer TRS trustees.  

"Campbell, of course, is a state officer of the Illinois Federation of Teachers and has served with distinction for some years.  That means that now we have four openings for gubernatorial appointees that Governor Rauner can make. Two other Quinn appointees still have two years on their term.  

"Recall that there are a total of 13 seats on the board with the State Superintendent of Education as our president.  Chris Koch was appointed superintendent under a Democratic administration, and Governor Rauner will have new appointments to the state school board as well.  Six seats on the TRS are held by active and retired teachers."


Bob Lyons, TRS Trustee



Commentary:

They are changing the TRS Board...

Don’t wait until it is too late to act. I have said before we must openly resist the way in which the state's politicians (without moral conscience) continue to regulate public welfare. We must protest against the liars and thieves who have manufactured a financial crisis. We must protest against the liars and thieves who have perpetuated a financial crisis through irresponsibility, mismanagement and corruption; we must protest against the liars and thieves who have ignored moral responsibility and refused lawful remedy for the financial problems they have created. They are stealing part of the pension you have earned. They will continue to steal more of your pension in the future.


7 comments:

  1. Quinn and Rauner belong in jail.
    Yes, you may quote me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Posted as a comment on Fred Klonsky’s Blog by Fred Klonsky:

    I have talked about Governor Wall Street’s involvement in managing public pension funds for a number of reasons. None of these reasons are a secret.

    1. He made a fortune from public pension fund management while attacking public employees for receiving promised pensions.
    2. He received campaign contributions from hedge fund and public pension fund managers which is in violation of state law and the SEC.
    3. There is a conflict of interest in his ability to name members of the pension funds boards of trustees when his company makes money from these investments.

    It’s a bad thing.

    --Fred Klonsky

    ReplyDelete
  3. From Bob Lyons:

    “It is no secret that I and others on the TRS Board had concerns when new Governor Quinn appointed people to the board for the first time. The reality was they were capable and their only agenda was to be good. What Rauner will do remains to be seen. Remember there is no pay to be gained by joining this board and the background to be considered a candidate will be some skills for investing.

    “On a related matter the new administration will be faced with the reality that if they want to press ahead on taking active teachers into a 401k that they would meed to pay off what is owed to TRS (about $55 billion) and to do so in a "reasonable period) maybe ten to fifteen years. Should make that concept a nonstarter.

    “I know you may be concerned but don't create a problem where none exists. And Governor Rauner should pick people that can gain senate approval.”

    --Bob Lyons

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Bob, for all that you do!

      The core of my message is deeper than my solicitude for a new TRS Board, nevertheless. Allow me to reiterate the essential message and clarion call:

      We must openly resist the way in which the state's politicians (without moral conscience) continue to regulate public welfare. We must protest against the liars and thieves who have manufactured a financial crisis. We must protest against the liars and thieves who have perpetuated a financial crisis through irresponsibility, mismanagement and corruption; we must protest against the liars and thieves who have ignored moral responsibility and refused lawful remedy for the financial problems they have created. They are stealing part of the pension you have earned. They will continue to steal more of your pension in the future.

      Delete
  4. From John Dillon:

    “Anyone who invests in a financial future knows that there are fees for making those investments, and hedge fund managers invest in extremely risky investments to charge higher percentages for possibly greater returns. This is how our new Governor works and receives his less-taxed millions with which to purchase political office.

    “As TRS holds nearly [$46] billion in assets, and each year receives funding contributions that total (for year 2014) nearly $3 and ½ billion, it would be a choice award for an investment counselor. This may be an initial indication of what a Governor Rauner will do – recoup for his friends and fiscal allies the money spend to secure an opportunity to make more.”

    --John Dillon

    http://pension-vocabulary.blogspot.com/2015/01/from-bob-lyons-and-glen-brown-rauner.html

    ReplyDelete
  5. From Fred Klonsky:

    “Thanks Bob. Glen knows that I will always join him at the barricades. I stood in my bath robe - coffee in hand - and I looked out my window this morning and saw no barricades there. Damn.

    “While I, of course, share everyone's concerns about the political and legislative attacks on our pensions and I have lots of concerns about what I understand and don't understand about so-called alternative investment strategies and what percentage of our investments are done by high-risk fund-to-fund managers, I agree with your description of what has existed for the past six years under Quinn and the restrictions imposed on Rauner by the system.

    “Transparency and full access to facts are what are important and I appreciate more than ever that you always share with us what you know.”

    - Fred

    ReplyDelete