Monday, May 18, 2015
CONTACT: Amy Runyon-Harms, Executive Director at [email protected]

DENVER: After news stories revealed apparent dishonesty from Colorado Treasurer Walker Stapleton over legislation to shore up Colorado’s Public Employees Retirement Association pension system, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, called on Stapleton to apologize for abandoning state employee retirees after earlier supporting them.

“No matter where you stand on the issue of protecting our state’s retirees, one thing is clear: you can’t trust Walker Stapleton,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. “State employees who worked their whole lives preparing for retirement on their PERA pensions deserve better than a treasurer who pays lip service to the state keeping its promises–but then sells them out to protect political loyalties.”

The Denver Post reported this past weekend that Colorado Treasurer Walker Stapleton is “trying to distance himself” from legislation he supported during this year’s legislative session to authorize the issuance of bonds to reduce PERA’s unfunded retirement liabilities. After conservative activist groups complained, Stapleton claimed he did not support the plan to issue pension obligation bonds to shore up PERA, despite having lobbied for the legislation’s passage with legislative leaders and even testifying in favor of the bill. [1]

“The far right is working hard to destroy public pensions, and Stapleton’s political alliances are directly in conflict with his responsibilities as Treasurer of the state of Colorado,” said Runyon-Harms. “By attacking legislation he once supported, and then lying about it, Stapleton has cost himself friends on both sides of the aisle. It doesn’t matter how you feel about PERA, the only thing that matters today is Treasurer Walker Stapleton can’t be trusted to lead on the issues that matter most to his office.”