A whole new Phil

first_img160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! More than seven years into his tenure as state treasurer, Phil Angelides has a grand idea: Why not use public-employee pension funds to finance state infrastructure projects? Good idea, Phil. It’s innovative, nonpartisan, forward-thinking. So what took so long? It’s not just Angelides’ seven unaccounted years in office that we’re talking about – a time during which he found countless other ways to use pension funds to further political goals he supports. It’s also the partisan obstructionism that’s been Angelides’ bread and butter ever since the recall of Gray Davis first made the ballot. For the last two and a half years, Angelides has done little more than try to obstruct any and all reform in Sacramento. And during the last several months, he stood by idly as his fellow Democrats in the Legislature sunk any hopes of putting an infrastructure bond on the June ballot. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event In short, Angelides has never shown much interest in reform or bipartisan cooperation before. So why the sudden change of heart? Might it have something to do with the June primary, when Angelides – who hopes to challenge Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in the fall – will face deep-pocketed state Controller Steve Westly, who has positioned himself as a moderate? Whatever the motivation, though, it’s nice that Angelides is taking the state’s infrastructure needs seriously. As for the idea itself, it may have merit – especially if the treasurer first admits that he and his party have jeopardized the future of California with pension giveaways to public employees that threaten to bring cities, counties and even the state into bankruptcy. Maybe he’s right, though: Investing pension funds and tax dollars in rebuilding the state’s infrastructure could return such huge dividends that it would keep California afloat and provide for a healthy future. Of course, that’s exactly what Schwarzenegger proposed doing and Angelides and his pals scuttled.last_img read more