Thursday, January 28, 2010

Joe Rodriguez, poster child for Oregon's malaise

Today in the pages of the Oregonian we are treated to yet another op-ed piece from a fellow named Joe Rodriguez imploring us to "reform the tax code" in order to make sure there is enough money for government.

This must be the 7th or 8th time I have seen this guy's byline on he op-ed pages of the Oregonian, each and every time chiming in on supporting tax hikes, keeping the kicker, reforming the tax code, etc. I would venture a guess that this fellow has been published more as a guest columnist than any other single person over the last five years.

What gives? Who is this guy and why does the Oregonian seem to publish everything he sends to them, especially since every single piece seems to say the same exact thing: "Send more money."

Well, I know the guy. He was superintendent of Hillsboro School District, and I dealt with him on several charter school issues. He was always a huge obstacle to charter schools and school reform, and he supported all the crap like CIM/CAM every step of the way. And his district under his tenure summarily failed students of Hispanic descent - just look at the reading scores.

In other words, he is just the kind of guy who would rise in the dysfunctional bureaucracy of our public school system.

And he retired to enjoy his PERS pension a few years ago. I would estimate his annual PERS income at $120,000. Which he of course gets for life. And because he retired as a young man, we will be on the hook for supporting him this way for a long, long time.

Gee, isn't it just a tad bit self serving for this trough feeder to be lecturing us repeatedly on making sure the government doesn't have to feel the effects of the recession? I mean it is easy to sit on the lofty perch of a guaranteed $120K and tell everyone to pay more lest he have to cut back on his poolside daiquiris.

Joe Rodruiguez - you are the poster child for what is wrong with this state. Thank you for your regular reminders of just how screwed up this place is.


Anonymous said...

I was laid off within hours of 66 & 67 passing, so I would like to give a big congratulations to the efforts of all the "Joe Rodriguez's" out there. I am looking forward to becoming a state burden.

I had an interesting conversation with a charter school administrator who said they budgeted based on the assumption M66 & 67 would fail without any problem.

Now they're wondering; what's the ethical thing do with the extra money? Provide free breakfast, lunch and dinner to students with unemployed families? A daily cash give away? Spend it on administrators and benefits like the rest of the state is? They don't need it - how should they give it back?

Anonymous said...

Joe Rodriguez is former superintendent of the Hillsboro School District.

The one and only clown who was accused & found "guilty" and fined forelectioneering TWICE while Superintendent.

MAX Redline said...

In other words, he is just the kind of guy who would rise in the dysfunctional bureaucracy of our public school system.

Truer words were never typed.

However, the larger issue remains unaddressed, and that involves the public employee unions. When the union movement first started up, they accomplished many worthy goals that private enterprise in many cases had been loathe to grant: the 40-hour workweek, concessions to employee safety and welfare.

But today, the majority of union membership work in government - and there really is no justification for the existence of unions in a government workforce. A question that I'm considering at this point involves the possibility of crafting a Constitutional Amendment which would have the effect of banning public employee unions.

While this would be difficult to accomplish, given "equal protection" provisions (among other issues), it seems possible to argue that employees have no right to claim "equal protection" as government employees. In most cases, government staff receive pay and benefits that exceed their private-sector counterparts by a significant margin.

Not only is there no need for public-sector unions, their existence can be shown to be detrimental to society as a whole. Given that the defined role for government is to provide for the common defense, and to provide for the common good, it seems clear that public employee unions are antithical to these definitions of the role of government.

unionthug said...

Max, Unions only get leverage where there is bad management.

Since government lacks competition, it is the worst manager. That's why there are so many government unions.

You cannot improve government management. The only way to reduce government union influence is to reduce the size, scope and power of government itself.

Good luck trying to do that in a labor-state like Oregon!

Larry said...

"Gee, isn't it just a tad bit self serving for this trough feeder to be lecturing us repeatedly on making sure the government doesn't have to feel the effects of the recession?"

You mean, kinda like Jack Roberts shilling for a tax hike to pay his PERS benefits from his years as a Lane County and also State Labor Commissioner?

Or Steve Duin shilling for a tax hike to cover his wife's PERS and Cadillac Health care package, since she works for the LO School District?

And I thought prostitution was only legal in Nevada.

Anonymous said...

"Unions only get leverage where there is bad management."

Oregon teachers got the right to collective bargaining inthe 1970's from a legislature loaded with Democrats such as Blumenauer, Katz etc.

In urban school districts particularly, management has seen a steady erosion of their ability to manage the hiring, compensation, evaluation and assignment of teachers. This erosion has resulted because of the enactment of collective bargaining laws and court decisions favorable to yeachers as well as arbitration practices that incentivize arbitrators to favor union employees, For example, either side can disqualify an arbitrator. The OEA always knows which arbitrators to disqualify. Individual school districts often do not have information on past rulings by arbitrators.

Isn't Rodriguez the guy who used about 15 million of general fund "surplus" dollars for a capital expenditure only to be forced to cut school days when there was a revenue shortfall in the 2002-2003 school year?

Anonymous said...

Yeah and I think the capital expenditure was a new administration building.

Anonymous said...

Sorry guys, but public employees do not surrender their universal human right to collectively bargain just because their employer happens to be a governmental institution or agency. That's the hard truth about the concept of "universal rights" ... they apply to everyone, equally. And there is only one word to describe those who would oppose or suppress that right: tyrant.