House Republicans Demand Answers As Parents, Kids Lose Hundreds of Millions Through State Savings Program

The Oregon House Republicans distributed the following press release this morning.

House Republicans are demanding answers after news reports indicated that the Oregon College Savings Plan has lost hundreds of millions of dollars in value over the past few months. Oregonians are learning the state invested much of their savings in a risky portfolio that has lost 38 percent of its value this year.

“The state government has marketed the Oregon College Savings Plan as a safe and conservative program for Oregonians’ college savings,” said House Republican Leader Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg). “Despite repeated red flags, Democrats fell asleep at the wheel and allowed Oregonians to lose hundreds of millions of their hard earned dollars. Oregonians deserve an explanation, considering the state could have invested in other bond funds that have posted modest gains this year.”

Rep. Hanna said Democrats knew several months ago that the Oregon College Savings Plan was losing value, but advised Oregonians not to cash out of the plan. In October, the State Treasurer acknowledged the losses but said he wasn’t “changing a thing” and that “overall people are going to be fine.”
“This is yet another example of the Democrats’ continued mismanagement of state finances,” Rep. Hanna said. “Everyone understands that the Wall Street crisis was caused by greed and risky investments, yet our Democratic leaders sunk Oregonians’ college savings into failing mortgage-backed securities and corporate bonds.”

Rep. Hanna said House Republicans support increased legislative oversight of state investments and will continue to push for a Legislative Audits Office to hold the Executive Branch accountable.

“Oregonians are losing confidence in state government’s ability to manage our finances,” Rep. Hanna said. “While Democrats defend the status quo, House Republicans will continue to call for increased legislative auditing capabilities. As legislators, we need a Legislative Audits Office to protect our constituents from a state government that’s out of control.”

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Posted by at 01:20 | Posted in Measure 37 | 12 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • ZT

    I have no specific knowledge of this program, but just based on how state and municipal financing works you would have to assume that (a) the fund managers made political contributions to get the contract (‘pay to play’), and then used the fund as a dumping ground for bad assets.

  • Jerry

    Government officials and state workers in Oregon are among the best and brightest this country has to offer. I say give them another chance. They are good people working hard for all of us in these trying times.

    • Harry

      Yes, smart, savy business types, they are. Especially the Treasurer-elect.

      If the College Savings Plan goes under, I am sure that he can invest whatever is left in some Bull Semen investments. I hear that Treasurer Ben runs a cattle semen business on the side out in Tumalo.

      • Anonymous

        Westlund’s plan for making money won’t work for the state. Oregon doesn’t have rich parents to leave it buckets of cash.

        • Harry


          “Oregon doesn’t have rich parents to leave it buckets of cash.”

          How wrong you are… Oregon’s “parents” are called taxpayers. Plenty of money where that came from… just shake that money tree by increasing taxes, fees, fines, levies, etc.

          • Big K

            The “other” parenst will pay those taxes.

  • John Fairplay

    The College Savings Plan served its purpose – giving State Treasurer Randall Edwards lots of taxpayer-funded publicity through television ads he didn’t have to pay for. It is a sign of Oregon’s public corruption that Edwards will never spend a night in jail for stealing all this money.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Ok – can we get this straight?

    Is the contention here that as late as October, the State treasurer said he wasn’t changing a thing in a mortgage backed security investment plan?

    I need to make a call.

    “Hello, Mr. Made Off? Hi, this is Rupert”

    “Hey Rupert, how ya doing?”

    “Well, not so good, you know, retail sales down that sort of thing.”

    “Well, you know, not everyone can be under indictment for the one of the biggest scams in history and get house arrest when he can’t post bail”

    “Well, I’m glad you brought that up Bernie, listen, we got a guy here who was saying mortgage backed securities were ok in October, what do you think about that?”

    “Sounds like my kind of guy Rupert. My first rule of thumb when running a scam is keep it real stupid. Let’s face it, who would have thought that me running around saying I had a secret formula would work?”

    “Good point Bernie, so you think you might like this guy as a roomie? I mean it sounds like he was running a pretty stupid scam, anyone saying mortgage securities were ok in October is super stupid right?”

    “Yeah, but you see he wasn’t running a scam. Just because you say stupid things and play with a lot of peoples money doesn’t mean you are running a scam”

    “Wise man Bernie, wise man……. So you are saying you think this treasurer is just simply stupid?”

    “That’s pretty much it Rupert, I don’t see a scam there, just a stupid guy running a fund.”

    “So no perp walk for him?”

    “Probably not. What fund was he managing?”

    “An Oregon 529 fund”

    “Oh ok, well, there you go. You think a state fund manager in Oregon has any idea what he is doing? I mean these are the same clowns who promised an 8% return on PERS investments in perpetuity right?”

    “Yep, that’s the state. But what about the people who invested in the fund? No sympathy there Bernie?”

    “Not a bit Rupert, you think I am going to have any sympathy for some rube who invests in something Oregon runs?”

    “Wise man Bernie……wise man, hey best to you and yours and good luck while you are in “Jail””

    “Jail? You crack me up Rupert, gotta love ya, take care”

  • Insider

    If only Bruce Hanna and friends would actually DO something more than issue press release after press release, then Oregonians might actually trust Republicans to govern.

    So far, it’s all talk and no action from Hanna and company.

    • Whacko

      Then stop voting for Democrats. Can’t do much when you’re in a superminority.

  • lw

    i agree, no action. And we’re getting restless.

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