Former Dem: vote Republican to force PERS reform

by NW Spotlight

An opinion writer in the Hillsboro Argus, a lifelong Democrat until two years ago, is advocating that Oregon voters vote for Republican legislative candidates because it’s the only way to make progress on PERS reform.

The writer, Robert Harris – who is now in the Independent Party of Oregon, says that things like fully funding education, keeping our parks open and our kids healthy are not possible “as long as voters believe that Democratic Party ideals are subservient to a public employee union agenda.”

Harris goes on to note that with PERS requiring an additional $1 billion in the next 2-year state budget cycle, moderate voters “believe any spending increase or strategic reserve will be used for gold-plated public employee benefits before increased services.”

Because Democrats depend on public employee unions for funding and foot soldiers, and because public employee unions have “proved a willingness to punish Democratic candidates who don’t adopt their agenda,” Harris advises voting Republican in 2012 to send a message to the Democratic Party “that PERS reform, tax reform, and fully funding education have to go hand in hand.”