Letters to the Editor

Brown’s pension reforms ‘Worth Fighting For’

California Gov. Jerry Brown defends pension reforms for the same reason he proposed and signed them into law many years ago: stopping abusive pension practices and preserving the state’s fiscal health, says his press secretary, Evan Westrup.
California Gov. Jerry Brown defends pension reforms for the same reason he proposed and signed them into law many years ago: stopping abusive pension practices and preserving the state’s fiscal health, says his press secretary, Evan Westrup. Vida en el Valle

In his latest commentary (“Brown, with nothing to lose, defies unions on pensions,” Nov. 29), we learn more about Dan Walters’ musical tastes than we do about why the governor is defending reforms to the state’s pension system before the California Supreme Court.

Quoting lyrics from Kris Kristofferson’s “Me and Bobby McGee,” Walters tells readers that Brown is taking a stand because “with nothing politically to lose, he has the freedom to do whatever he wants.”

This premise is flimsy at best. Let’s remember it was the governor who pushed these reforms back in 2011 and 2012 when he had everything to lose politically – including re-election. The governor’s motivation today in defending these reforms is the same as it was then when he proposed and signed them into law: stopping abusive pension practices and preserving the state’s fiscal health. It’s pretty simple.

Should Mr. Walters find himself searching for inspiration from his record collection again, a more apt tune from Mr. Kristofferson may be “Worth Fighting For” or perhaps “The Show Goes On.”

Evan Westrup, press secretary, Office of Gov. Jerry Brown

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