Pension-Spiking Spitzer Sees Light!

Steven Greenhut: Former Assemblyman Todd Spitzer has been a full-on tool of the public employee unions throughout his career, but after being fired from the district attorney’s office he is now seeking to be county supervisor. Spitzer wants it both ways. Spitzer now claims that he is in favor of pension reform — although he still blames others for not warning him about the likely results of the pension-spiking deal he approved for deputy sheriffs in 2001. Spitzer accuses the current DA of being unfit for office. If that’s so, then he has a duty, I would suspect, of running to replace him. Instead, he is looking to get back on the board, which is an easier route for him back relevancy (and back to a paycheck and pension) given that so many Orange County Republicans are fearful of a DA Spitzer with subpoena power. He would have to overcome strong opposition from the party. Spitzer’s grandstanding and close alliance with law enforcement unions would undermine the main goal of the DA — to pursue justice. People rightly fear that this man would go after political enemies and prosecute by press conference.

Still, it would be absurd to return Spitzer to the county board of supervisors, where he was the prime culprit in creating the pension debt the county now faces. If Spitzer wins, then what kind of message will that send in this time of fiscal problems? Expect the unions to spend big bucks on behalf of a politician that has spent his entire career doing their bidding. There is a reason I used to refer to him as Todd Spitzer, R-Unions, rather than Todd Spitzer, R-Orange. We always knew who he was representing. No surprise that establishment big-government Republicans such as Bill Campbell are jumping on the Spitzer bandwagon. For anyone who is not a union toady, former Assemblyman Chuck DeVore makes a more appealing alternative.

MARCH 25

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  1. John Seiler
    John Seiler 25 March, 2011, 15:11

    Back when Steven and I were editorial writers at The Orange County Register a decade ago, I remember him writing many times about Spitzer’s sellout on the pensions. Now the pension tsunami has washed up on our shores, even in “conservative” Orange County. We’ll soon find out if there’s a price to be paid by those who foisted the pension crisis on us.

    And, yes, they were warned that spiking pensions during an economic boom would lead to a crisis once the economy tanked. Which is what has happened.

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