The New York City pension deal is big, and so is the LIRR pension scandal

new-york-city-pension-deal-big-and-so-lirr-pension-scandal
Andrew Cuomo. (Azi Paybarah via flickr)
Tweet Share on Facebook Share on Tumblr Print

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Comptroller John Liu said their move to streamline and bring pension investment in-house will be a "game changer" that could save lots of money for taxpayers. The New York Post editorial page does not agree, and worries that "errorsand intentional mischief" could "be magnified."

The deal would eliminate the the investment responsibility of dozens of pension board members and countless money managers, which will bring down overhead. But, as the Long Island Rail Road pension scandal shows, it's the quality, not quantity, of people involved that's critical. More than 1,000 former LIRR employees filed for disabilities when they retired, and got it, despite having no discernible injuries. The New York Times puts it, simply, "The largest commuter railroad in the United States and not one employee who knew how to blow a whistle."

Some links:

Bill Clinton, speaking on Staten Island, said he "won here twice." A reporter notes it was only once. [Tom Wrobleski]

MORE ON CAPITAL

ADVERTISEMENT

A Standford law professor writes, "today civil rights are as likely to undermine equality as they are to further it." [Richard Thompson Ford]

Governor Andrew Cuomo was honored by the Empire State Pride Agenda for passing same-sex marriage. "I don't know that I'll ever have an opportunity to accomplish something that touches people as directly and personally as this." [Josh Robin]

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wants to lift the ban on gay parents from adopting (11 states right now ban it). [Alison Gendar]

A mayoral candidate reflects on a night in Zuccotti Park. [Tom Allon]

NPR notes the "millionaires tax" "actually applies to individuals who make more than $200,000 a year." [Joel Rose]

City Comptroller John Liu was instrumental in getting the pension deal accomplished. Bloomberg proposed naming it after him. [Reuven Blau]

The deal was monumental enough to bring Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Comptroller John Liu together. [Erik Ortiz]

"Liu is ceding a tremendous amount of power." [Sally Goldenberg and Josh Margolin]

The pension deal does not address the underlying reason pension costs are growing (Bloomberg and Liu don't agree on that at all). [Geoff Decker]

An editorial board says the deal is "ignoring the chief driver of city pension costs: runaway benefits." [New York Post]

Reuters says the City Council has to approve the deal, in addition to the state lawmakers. [Joan Gralla]

An editorial board praises the pension deal "while dreaming for more." [Daily News]

While schools struggle with budget cutbacks, top officials at the state teacher's union got a pay raise. [Scott Waldman]

"There's no question there's a shortfall," Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said of the state budget. [Jacob Gershman]

Silver is on the same side of the millionaires tax as the Occupy Wall Street protesters, but he "tried to distance himself" from them. [Erik Kriss]

Despite evidence of massive corruption, it's unclear if officials can stop Long Island Railroad disability payments to former employees. [William Rashbaum and Mosi Secret]

"The largest commuter railroad in the United States and not one employee who knew how to blow a whistle?" [New York Times]

"[T]here's little doubt that someone in management was willfully blind." [Daily News]

A lawyer for the Washington Heights police officer who was at the origins of the ticket-fixing probe said, "We'll fight the case" and "see who's believable." [William Rashbaum and Al Baker]

15 police officers are expected to surrender in the ticket-fixing probe. [Sean Gardiner]

And at 4 p.m. today, gambling comes to Aqudeuct racetrack in South Ozone Park, described by the Times as "a sleepy middle-class neighborhood peppered by white bungalows, karate studios and garden centers." [Dan Bilefsky]