Dems Upset Over First Lady’s Houston Fund Raiser
An upcoming Houston fundraiser featuring first lady Michelle Obama at the home of a former Enron executive who is part of a movement to convert public pensions to 401(k)-style plans has some local Democrats angry and ready to take to the streets in protest.
John Arnold, a Houston billionaire and former Enron trader, is hosting the Michelle Obama event with his wife, Laura Arnold, at their Houston home on November 1.
Arnold is part of a California organization that thinks public employee pensions should be eliminated and replaced with a new system — like a 401(k). The group wants to take this campaign nationwide.
President Obama has made support for teachers a centerpiece of his push for the American Jobs Act. He also has the support of the National Education Association, the nation's largest teacher union, but that support is shaky.
Gayle Fallon, president of the Houston Federation of Teachers, thinks the 401(k) proposal is "frightening for teachers."
Houston Democratic activist Art Pronin says he doesn't think Obama supports converting teacher pensions to 401(k)'s, but "This is creating a lot of consternation in Democratic circles, and it's going to make it that much harder to get the vote out next year politically."
Other activists, including the Houston chapter of Occupy Wall Street and local teacher unions, are considering a big public protest of the first lady's event.
President Obama and other Democrats constantly criticize and even demonize rich people and their wealth, but see nothing wrong with asking them for campaign donations and support.
What's even more puzzling is seeing the demonized wealthy people fork it over, eagerly.