Another threat to public employees

We know about the Koch brothers funding of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and it’s off-shoot Americans for Propserity (AFP) and their keen interest in the Iowa Legislature. This past session they pulled their bills from a box with model legislation written for the wealthy, not for every day Iowans and, since they bought their way into our statehouse, AFP was able to accomplish many of their goals, limiting public-employee collective bargaining, workers’ compensation, medical malpractice and asbestos claims to name a few.

And now there’s a new player in town, The Reason Foundation is yet another in the web of organizations funded by the Koch brothers. It portrays itself as a top-tier think tank with respected public policy research on a variety of issues. But Reason doesn’t provide unbiased facts on any issue – only the side of the story that favors the Kochs and their wealthy friends. Putting “Reason Foundation” and “think tank” in the same sentence results in an oxymoron.

In a Des Moines Register article, “Gov. Kim Reynolds said she supports a legislative committee’s fact-finding inquiry into Iowa’s underfunded public employees’ pension funds, but she indicated plans have been dropped for a task force to recommend changes in retirement programs.”

Why?

Because the Reason Foundation offered to do a “study of Iowa’s public employees’ pension funds”… FOR FREE. Interestingly, the Reason Foundation has published a pension reform handbook that includes establishing a 401(k)-style defined contribution retirement plan and a “hybrid” plan that mixes traditional defined benefit and defined contribution programs.

So, once again, the Koch Brothers and their allies are inserting themselves into OUR legislative process. These are not Iowans and are not entitled to a say in how Iowa manages its affairs. The state needs to honor the promises it made to its employees through IPERS and should solve whatever problems exist without breaking those covenants.

WHAT CAN YOU DO???  Contact your legislator and the Governor – tell them to represent Iowans, not the interests of out-of-state organizations and their wealthy donors.

We Deserve Better!

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