Shifting Laws, Corrupt Continuity

By now you should have read yesterday’s front-page advertisement for the Gaspee Tea Party rally in the Providence Journal. I’m referring to the article on big-money state pensions that Monique mentioned last night.
Most of the article is a series of revelations that make one wish for something symbolic (but not harmful) to tip over or sink, but this insidious qualifier ought not slip by without note:

No one is allowed any longer to buy credit for more time than they actually served in the military. Since 1994, there has been a minimum 20-hour-a-week work requirement for pension credit. That same year, lawmakers repealed the pension provision that recognized the part-time, six–month-a-year legislative clerks and doorkeepers as full-time state employees for pension purposes.

As egregious pension-related schemes have come to light, policies have been changed, but neither the players nor the politics have been rectified significantly. Legislators and judges still offer mutual support for budgets and jobs and so on. Unions still get away with manipulating contracts to drain the public coffers. Who knows what tricks haven’t been exposed in the pension system and in other areas of state government.
The only way to prevent such stories from being regular features of the state’s major media outlets is to turn up the spotlight and change the people in office.
Toward that end, I hope to see you Wednesday.

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