Enron billionaire John Arnold doesn’t have PBS to push his anti- worker pension message anymore. Amid strong public criticism, PBS says it has returned a multi-million dollar donation to the John and Laura Arnold Foundation putting the news series “Pension Peril” on hiatus. Hundreds of PBS stations across the country aired “Pension Peril,” that echoes the same pension cutting themes that the Arnold Foundation is promoting legislatively which advocates cutting retirement benefits to fire fighters, police, teachers and other public workers. The Arnolds financed the series for $3.5 million without it being disclosed to PBS viewers.
PBS ombudsman says the decision to return the donation was a positive development.
“One is that the decision to accept a grant of $3.5 million from the Arnold Foundation, with a stated interest in “public employee benefits reform,” flunks PBS’s own “perception test,” which is part of the service’s Funding Standards and Practices.”
The John and Laura Arnold Foundation have been pushing lawmakers across the country to change benefits and have worked on pension issues in Rhode Island, Kentucky, Illinois, Montana and Arizona. They assist with actuarial services, financial and legal advice.
The Arnold Foundation has teamed up with other organizations like the Pew Charitable Trust to insert themselves in pension issues on the state level.
You can read more about John Arnolds’ efforts to make retirements less safe for public employees in this article published in Rolling Stone: http://ow.ly/tyCTf