John Arnold is the chief funder of anti-pension activity across the nation. A former Enron energy trader and Wall Street hedge fund manager, Arnold retired in his thirties and has devoted a significant portion of his fortune to attacking public workers’ pensions. So far he has spent more than $50 million on his anti-pension crusade. How, exactly, does Arnold spend his money? In large part, he funds the work of other groups that carry out his agenda. Today NPPC released a new video exposing John Arnold’s Web of Connections.
Some of the groups Arnold funds are well-known, such as the Pew Research Center. Others are more secretive, such as the Retirement Security Initiative. What these groups have in common is that they take Arnold’s money and then travel from state-to-state promoting his anti-pension cause. Sometimes they do this by offering misleading research based on biased or inaccurate data. Other times they hire high-priced lobbyists to woo legislators behind closed doors.
We’ve documented how Pew’s Public Sector Retirement Systems project has been compromised by John Arnold’s money. Despite the sterling reputation of the Pew organization as a whole, the employees of this project actively travel to different states to push for the elimination of defined benefit pensions for hard-working public employees.
The Reason Foundation is a prominent, right-wing, libertarian organization that is hostile to the public sector in general. Recently, Pew has offered to conduct “cost-free” analyses of public pension plans in Iowa and was involved in attempts to gut teacher pension plans in Michigan.
The so-called Retirement Security Initiative (RSI) might be the most insidious and most dangerous of the groups Arnold funds. RSI is composed of a hodgepodge of washed-up politicians, all of whom threatened public pensions during their political careers. Now, this rogue’s gallery of pension critics has come together to attack pensions in other states.
Watch our new video below:
To learn more about John Arnold and the various organizations he funds, please visit ProtectPensions.org/Arnold.