1. The flaws in the 2013 STRS retiree election, most notably commanding
retirees to "Select TWO candidates" were NOT an
accident. The ballot language was deliberately changed from the 2009 ballot, and
was specifically designed to cause confusion among the voting retirees who
originally intended to vote for ONE candidate (called single-shot voting). They were deliberately tricked, by
carefully crafted language (and a pop-up, second ballot for online voters) into
thinking their vote would not count at all unless they voted for TWO candidates,
which worked very much in favor of the incumbents. The STRS staff and board were
very much aware of this all along and heartily approved it. They PRETENDED not
to see the confusion it caused when retirees pointed it out to them REPEATEDLY.
To them it was clear as a bell, which was a sham. We had legitimate
concerns, yet we were totally ignored, and deliberately so. Everyone at STRS was
in on the act. They knew what was coming and were prepared for it.
2. No one at STRS has offered an explanation for WHY the 2013 ballot was
different from the 2009 ballot, even though there were four retirees running for
two open seats in both years. WHY? The active teachers on the STRS board would
demand answers in their home school district if their
school board refused to provide any explanation whatsoever for why flawed ballot
language was being used for an operating levy. Perception: deliberate deception
on the part of STRS staff and board (backed by OEA), what else? STRS has
absolutely NO intention of ever offering an explanation. This
was all planned very, very carefully.
3. OEA basically runs the STRS board and staff; otherwise, why does the
STRS board vote unanimously or nearly so to pass all issues put before them?
(Notice that the issues always seem to favor OEA's wishes.) NOBODY on the board
ever asks hard ball questions! For sure OEA runs the two retired board members,
though they would argue otherwise; otherwise, why would OEA spend many thousands
of active teachers' dollars to get them elected again? And why would those two
candidates for re-election PERMIT this? What interest does OEA have in
retired educators when it is well known that they drop these people like
hot potatoes the minute they retire and aren't paying into the OEA coffers any
more? Is this OEA's way of repaying thousands of teachers for their 30 years of
loyalty to their union? The playing field for this election (as for previous
elections) was NOT level. The two non-board-member candidates had only
out-of-pocket money for their campaigns while the winners had megabucks of OPM
behind them! Money talks. OEA money buys board members and board
4. The investment department has been screwing us BIG TIME, for a long
time, and they know it. Heads need to roll, but knowing this board and staff, I
don't see it happening. Everybody's too happy with the status quo because
they're ALL benefiting at our expense and are not about to rock the boat. Isn't
it interesting that while people say they have earned back everything they lost
in the stock market in 2008, and while the DOW has reached a record high of
15,000, STRS STILL is a whopping $13 billion shy of
where STRS was with total assets in 2008. Yet HUGE bonus checks
are still handed out to investment staff like candy!.
5. OEA has complete control over ORTA. Why else would ORTA go along with
them (other than sheer stupidity) to screw retirees out of COLA funds and
affordable healthcare, not to mention allowing potentially extremely damaging
language (to retirees) to be written into the pension law? ORTA pretends
to represent retirees, but I have yet to see proof. What has ORTA done for us?
Not one damned thing. CORE gave it their best shot, but couldn't fight City
6. All the above groups are extremely afraid of Dennis Leone. Why? Because
he is the ONLY one who LISTENS TO RETIREES and
fights for what is best for them. He rocks the STRS boat by asking tough
questions and pushing for straight answers. Why don't these groups like that?
You be the judge. You know what the bottom line is, every time. Where there's
money there's greed and corruption. Dennis Leone represents truth, openness and
SUNSHINE; the last thing the STRS board and staff, ORTA, and especially OEA want
to see. What have they got to hide? PLENTY!!!
7. Retirees are scorned and laughed at -- PLENTY -- by STRS staff and board
and OEA. For most of our careers we had the naivete to trust these groups to
look out for our best interests. So naive on our part. Never