Sources: Ryberg Was Offered Loftis' Job
As last week's political hatchet job against S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis continues to unravel , the Columbia insiders who orchestrated the plot are beginning to turn on one another - revealing specific details of their botched intrigue.
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#1 Feb 8, 2012
Greg Ryberg is such a sore looser and money hungry politician.
#2 Feb 9, 2012
S.C. Sen. Greg Ryberg has been a vocal (and occasionally effective) critic of South Carolina’s underperforming state pension fund. Just last September, in fact, he published a piece that ran in numerous papers decrying the fund’s soaring liabilities.
“The retirement system, nearly solvent and fully funded in 1999, now carries a $13 billion unfunded actuarial accrued liability,” Ryberg wrote.“The system fell to these depths because over the previous decade politicians heaped out generous new benefits with no realistic plan to pay for them. The government simply said ‘yes’ and then hoped that it would turn out OK.”
We agree with that diagnosis …
Unfortunately, Ryberg’s efforts to fix the fund’s problems have gone nowhere for years – thanks in large part to the fact that he’s an irascible noodnik (which is putting it politely).
Thankfully, State Treasurer Curtis Loftis has assumed a much more aggressive, effective leadership role in addressing problems with the state’s pension fund. Not only has Loftis embraced specific reforms aimed at reducing the fund’s liabilities, more recently he’s drawn long-overdue attention to the investment side of the equation – decrying the soaring bureaucratic budgets and skyrocketing investment fees our state has racked up as its fund continues to underperform its peers.
What has Loftis received in exchange for performing this invaluable service on behalf of taxpayers?
That’s easy … last week he took a hatchet in the back from a corrupt cabal of retirement commissioners and self-serving politicians … with a jealous Ryberg delivering the main blow (ostensibly in the hopes of landing Loftis’ job for himself).
Joining in the intrigue against Loftis was S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley … who as we’ve pointed out has a very sketchy history when it comes to advocating on behalf of pension fund reform (but a consistent hatred for Loftis).
Whether Haley or Ryberg want to admit it, Loftis has put this issue on the map … not only articulating the basic problems associated with the pension fund’s ongoing decline (it lost $1.8 billion of its $26.2 billion value over the last six months) but proposing a range of common sense solutions aimed at restoring its solvency and sustainability.
Shouldn’t everybody be rallying around these reforms?
Yes … but that’s not what’s happening.
Ryberg – with Haley’s support – is hoping to accomplish legislatively what the good ol’ boy pension fund scammers couldn’t accomplish via their carefully-calculated character assassination attempt.
Specifically, Ryberg has offered an amendment to a broader government restructuring bill that would remove the State Treasurer from the S.C. Retirement Investment System Commission (SCRSIC)– silencing the lone voice for reform on this panel while simultaneously removing its only direct line of accountability to the voters.
Does that sound like a good idea to you?
Of course not …
#3 Feb 9, 2012
Fortunately, Loftis isn’t taking the threat lying down.
“Senator Ryberg is leading the effort to have the popularly elected State Treasurer removed from the Retirement Investment Commission,” Loftis wrote on his Facebook page Thursday morning.“He does not believe the people of SC deserve a voice in the spending of YOUR 27 BILLION dollars.”
Well … technically it’s $24.3 billion now … and this is state retirees’ money, although as we have seen pension fund costs are routinely passed on to state taxpayers. But Loftis’ point is well-taken … this is a pot of money that’s bigger than the state’s annual budget and we’re going to completely remove the one line of public accountability over it?
In addition to being flat out wrong on this issue, Ryberg is also being sneaky about it – attempting to attach his amendment to a broader government restructuring bill in the hopes no one will notice what he’s trying to do.
State Senators should reject Ryberg’s amendment. In fact, we’ll be publishing a list of which ones do reject it – and more importantly which ones don’t.
Unlike Haley – whose appointee to this commission is part of the problem – Loftis has made transparency and accountability more than just campaign slogans as they relate to this fund. For that he deserves credit, not punishment.
As for Ryberg, he needs to put aside his petty jealousies and insider allegiances and get behind Loftis’ reform efforts rather than continuing to conspire with the governor’s office in an attempt to derail them.
#4 Feb 9, 2012
Someone needs to look into Ryberg's appointment for summary court judge in Aiken County. Patrick Dorn Sullivan was suspended from the bench for 21 months because he committed Federal wire fraud after altering the SC Supreme Court's order of his initial suspension without pay. He altered the order of reinstatement in an attempt to receive his county taxpayer funded pay and then faxed the altered order (wire fraud) to the Aiken County Administrator, Clay Killian. Ryberg has many skeletons in his closet too. Is Ryberg recommending reappointing his corrupt and dishonest judge - his initial four year term expired April 2011?
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