Bob Plain is the editor/publisher of Rhode Island's Future. Previously, he's worked as a reporter for several different news organizations both in Rhode Island and across the country.

38 responses to “Seth Magaziner announces bid for general treasurer”

  1. leftyrite

    I’d like to know how AFSCME feels about this guy. I’m tired of blind voting over the way people appear to be.

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  2. Sully

    In Almonte’s defense, although hev was on Smith Hill, he had been ringing the bell on the pension issue for years as state auditer.

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  3. PinkHatLib

    “He began his career as a teacher at an impoverished elementary school in Louisiana.”
     
    Hehe, he worked at Point Judith Capital and Teach for America! What out, Seth. Sounds a bit too “Wall Street” for these parts.
    https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/08/05-6

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    1. Rhody Towny

      Yeah.  Screw it.  Why not let every treasurer invest millions in their own companies.  “Blind” trusts just like “blind” superpacs.  Actually, screw it.  Let’s just call a constitutional convention and give all executive and legislative authority to whoever the wealthiest resident of the state is – so long as they have an ivy league MBA.
       
      Would that finally make you happy Pinkhat?

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      1. PinkHatLib

        Would I be happy if more “Wall Street” folks left NYC to open local venture capital shops? Absolutely!
         
        Note btw that those alternative investments in PJC were made by Caprio, yes? And Bob’s actually the one calling for more of that btw, not me, although I can’t say I’m opposed as a portion of the portfolio.

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    2. Rhody Towny

      Is this kid anything but another heartless ivy league finance stiff sucking money out of the middle class and riding daddy’s coattails?  
       
      Maybe.  I’m not sure.  But he’d better come out with a more specific platform.  The bottom 99% got seriously burned by just trusting the “D” next to some financier’s name last time around.  

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      1. PinkHatLib

        Yes, can’t we find any investment managers with no financial experience to weigh them down in the Democratic primary?

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        1. Rhody Towny

          The state hires investment managers, even under Queen Enron.  A sensible Treasurer does not have to be an “investment manager.”
          Why does the Treasurer have to be an investment manager in your mind?
          Do you think the Governor has to be a CEO?  Does the Lt. Gov. have to be an EVP?  Does the Secretary of State have to work at a registration desk?
          Is no other experience sufficient or valid?
          Look.  We elect people to make decisions on our behalf.  We don’t expect them to be experts in everything.  We expect them to hire experts when needed.  And we expect them to faithfully carry out the will of the people they represent.
          Trust is a more important quality in a candidate for Treasurer than “investment management experience.”

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          1. DogDiesel

            Really? What were the options?

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            1. Rhody Towny

              Who’s more dangerous: an incompetent baffoon or a competent thief?

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          2. PinkHatLib

            I want to trust my primary care physician as well, quite possibly that’s most important. Yet an MD is not optional.

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            1. Rhody Towny

              Except MDs have a real skill.  Financial “professionals” and “oracles” are little more than worship of survivorship bias.  
              But the comparison is invalid even if you think finacial gambling is a real skill.  Because the state HIRES INVESTMENT PROFESSIONALS.  
               
              What you are saying is that no Governor should be in charge of the Dept. of Health unless (s)he’s an MD.  That’s absurd.

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              1. PinkHatLib

                Ah, I see. So the progressive position is that no financial experience is necessary to oversee the recommendations of hired investment professionals. You can’t seriously believe that. Do you even know who currently directs the RI DOH? (hint – his background is not in finance)

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                1. Rhody Towny

                  You are ridiculous.  Who does Fine report to?  Chaffee.
                   
                  You are making the argument that no Treasurer can ever be elected and competently oversee the work of other experts.  It’s the dumbest argument I’ve ever heard.
                   
                  How did RI ever elect a Treasurer before “investment professionals” were a thing?

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  4. leftyrite

    If there’s no conflict of interest in so-called venture capitalists opening “shops” and selling “products” that benefit the financial “industry,” there should be no problem in some very capable teacher, fireman, or public officer running for the position of state treasurer, also.
    But, as Stuart Smalley might say, maybe I’m shoulding all over myself.
    Administering the pension funds is, by far, the biggest responsibility of the treasurer. Here, we have a “retirement professional,” who wants to “focus on improving Rhode Island’s aging and neglected infrastructure, extend support for small business and entrepreneurs, and create financial empowerment opportunities in underserved communities.”
    Hey, that’s great. 
    What does he want to do for the pensioners who contributed their earnings to build up funds that have already been leveraged?
    The Democratic Party seems to have forgotten those who helped build it. It’s all Wall Street-Lite now.
    I like the fact that Magaziner will split the Obama-Clintonista vote in the primary, but I’d like to see a real Democrat, not a financial paper salesman, in the Treasurer’s office.
     
    -

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    1. DogDiesel

      Sounds like a pitch for a different office but I guess he’d have to glam it up a little. I don’t think just pitching a pension fix post Raimondo will carry a lot of meaning to the average nonpublic employee voter.

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  5. Johnnie

    A pension “crisis” was manufactured by Raimondo and the monied interests. The Journal and the other elements of the ruling class got behind her and helped ram the pension deform legislation through the General Assembly. The haves and the have-mores throughout the country were ecstatic and wanted to know how the duplicitous witch did it. They sent her on the lecture circuit.
     
    Slick Gina and her handlers are now remaking her image as the women’s candidate who will make them proud as she distances herself from the pension overhaul while portraying herself as the tough cookie who stood up to the unions and special interests and did what had to be done. 
    What a crock of shit!
     
    Nevertheless, a portion of the state pension fund has now been privatized into 401(k)s, the details of which are naturally sketchy. They have successfully opened the door to complete privatization. Most people fail to grasp what this portends in the future for teachers, public workers and the wages and benefits of all sectors of the workforce. This will go a long way toward driving down wages and benefits and the business class is fully cognizant of this – although most of us are not.
     
    Does anyone honestly think they had to “privatize” part of the pension plan in order to “save” it? This is the real coup and what they were after. All the other takeaways pale in comparison.
     
    And some of the dolts on here talk about how Taveres invested even more in hedge funds, fired the Providence teachers, supports charter schools and privatization – but he opposes the NECAP – so he must be progressive. And no one is picking on him. 
     
    Well how is this: I will. He and Raimondo are the same people and neither of them represent you. They represent a system and a class of people in whose interests society is organized. You don’t have a choice. Voting is not where decisions are made or where change takes place.
     
    One more point about this boy scout Seth Magaziner. The people who gave us Raimondo, Taveres, Diossa, etc., are now giving us this “socially conscious” investor to try and diffuse some of the anger around this pension overhaul, Race to the Top, the NECAP, etc. This guy, like the feminist Raimondo, knows how to pick your pocket and drive you down with a smile on his face. The kind of people you can believe in.
     

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    1. cailin rua

      like the feminist Raimondo
       
      What’s your problem with feminism?  What does Raimondo have to do with it?  Would you refer to Clarence Thomas as “civil rights lawyer”, Clarence Thomas, just because he is African American?  It should be no secret that both the right and the left have learned to co-opt feminist, anti-poverty, civil rights, lgb and other progressive causes.  There is plenty of evidence of this right here in R I.  Starting with Engage.ri is probably a good place to point out how this works.  The non-profit sector has exploited these issues very successfully.  To blame all this on feminism, however, points to the pervasive problem of misogyny across all segments of society, even traversing the boundaries of race and both political and sexual orientation.
       
       

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      1. Johnnie

        caillin rua:
         
        I think you misinterpreted my point. I am saying that she pandering to women – I’m being attacked because I’m a women who dares to speak her mind and challenge power and the status quo. A vote for me is a vote for all women. When in actuality she is tightening the chains on all working people, particularly low-paid women. She is the class enemy of working women yet she  pretends to speak for them.
         
        I have no problem with feminists, particularly radical feminists – even bourgeois feminists like Gina – who want equality for women only within their class. Women will still be allowed to clean her house and take care of her kids while she joins the men in the boardroom. 
         
        I don’t think you fully understand what she has spearheaded here in RI and what it all means. My attacks have absolutely nothing to do with her being a women. She is making that argument and you’re buying into it. 
         
        They are selling Gina to us just as they sold Obama to us. Look at what Obomber’s presidency has done. It has disoriented and disarmed an awful lot of people. There is virtually no opposition to an incipient police state – and serfdom.

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        1. cailin rua

          I’m not buying into anything, Johnnie.  I remember how Family Services R. I. was used by the anti-defined benefits forces and what an integral part of Engage.ri they were.  I don’t blurt these things out to make myself or anyone else feel comfortable.  Every one of these issues are extremely important.  There is a lot of money involved in all them, hence the politics and political appropriation of issues in such a way the money involved and the political power inherent in it can be controlled.  
           
          Things are not what they seem.  In the end it will probably be Fung against Gina.  I don’t know. If you were African American and Clarence Thomas were running against Tom DeLay wouldn’t you at least consider voting for Thomas?  You are correct, however, when you point out that so many neo-lib Dems are just posing on the issues.

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          1. cailin rua

            To be realistic, I have to admit the Thomas/DeLay analogy is not a good one.  There would be many more reasons to vote for Raimondo than for Fung even if, on the level of our local economy, we would be getting pretty much the same thing.  I believe Raimondo is more socially progressive.  That’s a reason to vote against Fung.

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        2. PinkHatLib

          “I am saying that she pandering to women – I’m being attacked because I’m a women who dares to speak her mind…”
           
          Sorry, when did she say that?

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          1. DogDiesel

            She never did. The only panderer here is Johnnie. Pandering for attention.

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    2. DogDiesel

      The only crock of shit I see is your vitriol laced diatribe. Anyone that calls the largest pension gap in the country a ‘manufactured crisis’ has zero credibility.

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  6. leftyrite

    Dog’s point about a decent pension fix not being particularly attractive to the general public is well-taken.
    But, do we fold because machine politics and the mass media rule at present?
    It seems to me that what is being tried by Clinton, Raimondo, Magaziner, Obama, LLC., is a strategy of telling the American people what contracts count and what contracts don’t.
    That sets a fearsome precedent.
    So, who will truly rule us?  (Because “rule” will become the operative concept very quickly in such an environment.)
    (Who let that dog out, anyway?!)

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    1. DogDiesel

      “It seems to me that what is being tried by Clinton, Raimondo, Magaziner, Obama, LLC., is a strategy of telling the American people what contracts count and what contracts don’t.”
       
      Agreed.

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  7. Johnnie

    Dog Diesel
    Why didn’t Caprio see the “crisis”? Only Gina, John Arnold and Engage RI saw it. And they had to fix it immediately without a study or public discussion on how best to do it. Just like the “crisis” for the pensioners in Central Falls after they pay the bondholders 4 times what they pay the retirees. But there was no crisis for the bondholders, was there?
    The pension plan was 48% funded; why is that a crisis – because they told you so? Do you think we will ever find out now why the pension fund was less than half-funded? 
    Did you read David Sirota’s: “The Plot against Pensions” – The Pew-Arnold campaign to undermine Americ’s retirement security. Does that have any credibility with you?

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    1. DogDiesel

      Because they ignored it for political gain.
       
      http://sabew.org/2011/04/pension-promises/

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    2. DogDiesel

      Additionally, you might want to check your facts on the funded percentages in Central Falls during the bankruptcy proceedings.
      MERS: 78.3%
      Police & Fire: 16.2%
      1% Plan: 8.8%
       
      http://blogs.wpri.com/2011/07/19/why-central-falls-owes-its-retirees-80-million-in-benefits/

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      1. Johnnie

        Dog Diesel: The bondholders received every cent that was owed to them. By law they had to be paid first..
        Can you say the same for the pensioners?
        http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424053111903885604576486610528775994

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        1. DogDiesel

          You’re changing the argument. First you complain that it was a manufactured crisis then you provide woefully inaccurate data and now you want to complain that the bond holders got paid first according to law. Red flags on pensions were popping up back during Nancy Mayer’s tenure but no one did anything about it. That was over 20 years ago. I’m not condoning what happened in CF but how is that relevant to Gina Raimondo? CF along with help from the GA and liberal governor screwed over the CF retirees. I’m not even a Raimondo fan but facts are facts.

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  8. Johnnie

    Pinkhatlib
    What I wrote was not a quotation or it would have been italicized. It’s called hyperbole.

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  9. cailin rua

    This thread has gone way off topic.  I won’t jump to any conclusions re: Magaziner.  The asset management company he works for has been around for a long time.  It seems like an interesting group but what do I know?  Have to see how the screw turns, I guess.  After going to SourceWatch, I found this story:

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324735104578118702839619208

    Interesting.

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  10. cailin rua

    Ed deformer Ruppert Murdoch is demanding pay per view from his team over at WSJ.  I should have known.  Forbes seems a little looser:

    Trillium filed its proposal on behalf of a client, the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica, and is being joined in its push by another Citi holder, the AFSCME Employees Pension Plan.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveschaefer/2012/11/14/shareholder-urges-citi-breakup-says-bank-can-recoup-50b-valuation-gap/

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  11. leftyrite

    Read “How to Pay Millionsand Lag Behind the Markets,” by Gretchen Morgensen in the NYT for October 19.
    It’s all about Gina’s handling of state pension monies. Reads like truth.
    Kind of shocking.
    Kind of disgusting.
    Kind of done purposely.

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    1. PinkHatLib

      And totally off-base. The whole idea of alternative investments is to provide steady returns irrespective of the performance of stocks. You can get “better” performance in some years by not investing in bonds, and when the market crashes you take a beating. These will be the same folks crying, “how could this have happened?”

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  12. Johnnie

    “Strong returns from our investments, including alternative investments, help move the pension fund closer to the 80 percent funded level, where the cost-of-living adjustments come back. We constantly monitor our investment strategy, and make changes when necessary.”
    If you are stupid enough to believe them, Gina’s motivation for these risky, high-cost  investments is to get the fund closer to 80% funded so she can restore COLAS. This of course is her sole motivation – to help the pensioners. Is there any lie that they won’t tell?
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/20/business/how-to-pay-millions-and-lag-behind-the-market.html?ref=gretchenmorgenson&_r=0

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  13. leftyrite

    And, getting back to Seth for a moment, I notice that he’s standing, and being photographed, in a barber shop. 
    Maybe barbers are big union guys; I don’t know.
    One gets the feeling, though, that the appeal is to everyone other than unionized government employees or retirees from government service.
    Isn’t that our money in the pension funds, with which you’d like to be “creative”?   
    What’s up with that?  
    If that’s the status quo, I despise it.
    Keep shining on, Johnnie. My message was more like yours before I had a home and grandchlldren. I still respect your views without too many filters.

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