The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

October 3, 2013
Column Extra: California pension-change effort and its Texas tie

131003-john_arnold_ap-2009.jpgOur State Worker column in today's fiber/cyber Bee looks at San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed's push for a pension-change measure on next year's statewide ballot and how a Texas nonprofit has helped out.

Here's more:

The disclosure form filed by Reed that details the $200,000 behested donation from Action Now Initiative to the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce.

An email from the chamber's president and CEO Matt Mahood, sent in response to a telephone call to the organization's spokesman, who was unavailable on Wednesday. (We didn't see the email until this morning.)

Action Now Initiative's Form 990, which nonprofits must file with the IRS. Scroll to the bottom and you'll see that John and Laura Arnold are listed as directors of the organization.

The IRS list of "Approved Tax-Exempt Applications For Advocacy Organizations" as of May 2013. Action Now is fifth on the alphabetized roster.

Laura and John Arnold Foundation website page dated Aug. 12, 2013, titled, "Laura and John Arnold: Let's Prevent Another Detroit." It lays out arguments and ideas that parallel what Reed and like-minded mayors are saying about pensions. (Reed filed his behest disclosure 16 days later.)

An informative, readable explanation of 501(c)(4) organizations by The Washington Post's Sean Sullivan. Includes amusing video from "The Colbert Report."

With just 400 to 450 words for our weekly State Worker column, much of what we learn each week never sees print. Column Extras give you some of the notes, the quotes, the documents and the observations that inform what's published.

PHOTO: John Arnold in 2009. Associated Press

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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


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