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AFP-Oregon Launches Second Ad in "Reform PERS" Series

March 23, 2011

Second Target of Statewide TV Campaign Cost Oregon Taxpayers $200 million – Enjoys Gold-Plated Retirement

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Sublimity – With States across America reforming the way government employees are compensated, AFP-Oregon today continued its ten-week television ad campaign to educate Oregonians about problems with the State’s Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) and to urge reform of the system during the 2011 Legislative Session. The series will highlight some of the outrageous “PERS Poster Children” who have cost taxpayers millions in cost overruns on public projects or lawsuit settlements. Viewers are encouraged to visit www.americansforprosperityoregon.com to learn more, and to contact their Legislators to demand reform of the troubled retirement system.

The second ad, which begins running today, features State bureaucrat Lindsay Ball. After a stint as Director of the Department of Administrative Services, Ball was given a salary of $171,000 per year and the responsibility of managing construction of the State’s emergency radio network (OWIN), a job he botched completely. Not only did the cost of the network balloon from $400 million to $600 million under his watch, but Ball deliberately misled – and apparently directed his staff to mislead – the Legislature and the Governor about the costs of building the radio network. Despite Ball being forced from the project, his incompetence is still being felt to this day according to yesterday’s Oregonian. Ball retired in August 1 of 2010, having not paid a penny toward his own retirement since 1980. Based on his high final salary, Ball is now enjoying a benefit of around $15,000 per month, despite costing Oregon taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

“Taxpayers in our state are struggling under a growing burden from PERS,” noted AFP-Oregon State Director Jeff Kropf. “For too long, the Legislature and the Governor have failed to act to curb double-dipping and self-dealing. It’s time for strong action that will remove Legislators, the Governor and Oregon Judges from PERS, and require all government employees to pay at least 6 percent of their salaries into their own retirement plans. Without these and other steps, PERS will continue to be an albatross around the neck of Oregon’s private sector.”

The AFP-Oregon ads are running in media markets across the State. www.americansforprosperityoregon.com.

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