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Requiem for a Pension Fund? 

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger launches an attack on CalPERS. The giant pension fund's Democratic allies aren't taking it lying down

Wednesday, Apr 6 2005
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For its only TV spot to date, Citizens to Save California has turned to Goddard Clausen, the consulting firm whose principals created the 1993 "Harry and Louise" TV ads that helped torpedo President Clinton's health care reform. Republican operative Mike Murphy, who was Schwarzenegger's chief strategist during the recall election, is also expected to play a key role in the reform effort, sources say. Murphy's Washington-based consulting firm, D.C. Navigators, lists the California Manufacturers and Technology Association -- which is on board with the governor's pension fund plans -- among its clients.

CalPERS's defenders aren't taking the governor's efforts lying down. Union leaders, cheered by early polls that show the governor without much traction on the pension issue, are pledging to raise as much money as it takes to counteract the opposition. Nurses, firefighters, and other labor groups have taken to shadowing Schwarzenegger at public events, even crashing recent fund-raisers with corporate high-rollers in Washington and at New York's trendy 21 Club. "He can run, but he can't hide," says Carroll Wills, who heads the 30,000-member California Firefighters Association and who predicts the governor will get more than he bargained for in tampering with CalPERS. "He started in his Humvee making a big splash. And look, we've already got him sneaking into side doors."

About The Author

Ron Russell

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