The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

February 23, 2011
Brown pulls CalSTRS appointee

Gov. Jerry Brown has removed a California State Teachers' Retirement System board appointee who helped author a controversial study that criticized the state's largest public pension funds.

Brown's predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, appointed Cameron Percy to the CalSTRS board on Dec. 30. As a graduate student at Stanford, Percy was part of a team that wrote, "Going For Broke: Reforming California's Public Employee Pension Systems." Schwarzenegger often referenced the report's highly disputed claim that California's Big Three pension systems -- including CalSTRS -- faced a collective $500 billion in unfunded liabilities. (Click here for an earlier post about Percy's appointment to CalSTRS.)

Brown revoked Percy's appointment last Friday along with that of another Schwarzenegger pick for CalSTRS, Steven Kram. Kram is chief executive officer of Los Angeles-based Content Partners LLC. He also served as chief operating officer for the William Morris Agency from 1988 to 2005.

Bee colleague Dale Kasler, who covers state pension funds, this morning asked Brown spokesman Evan Westrup why the governor revoked the appointments. The answer: "These appointees served at the pleasure of the governor and their services were no longer required."

Another Schwarzenegger appointee who publicly criticized the state's public pensions, David Crane, hasn't been removed from the University of California Board of Regents. Crane was the face of the Schwarzenegger administration's push for pension rollbacks and often blasted the UC pension system, CalSTRS and CalPERS for their accounting practices and investment assumptions.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at jortiz@sacbee.com.

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