CalSTRS Ousts Schwarzenegger Advisor

June 8, 2006 ( - The California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) removed a close advisor of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger from its board, saying that his volatile personality clashed with the moderate view the board wanted to portray.

According to the Sacramento Bee, David Crane is the second of Schwarzenegger’s choices to be axed by the board.

According to the Bee, Crane faced resistance from teachers’ organizations and union leaders who claimed he broke his fiduciary duties by not taking a stand against a measure to convert guaranteed public pensions to hybrid plans that would be a mix between 401(k) and traditional pensions for newly hired employees.

Crane was nominated Wednesday and only supported by two senators, but he offered to quit his current position as Schwarzenegger’s special adviser for jobs and economic growth if he could keep the seat (See Schwarzenegger Advisor Offers to Quit Post to Stay on CalSTR Board).

Crane wrote a letter that said he could be more helpful as a part of CalSTRS’s board than as the governor’s advisor because of his strong financial background, according to the newspaper.

Crane worked as a partner at Babcock & Brown, an international investment firm, for 25 years. He wrote in his letter about his interest in taking on the job of helping the $142 billion retirement fund get back on its feet – it has a $20 billion long-term funding gap, as well as making sure it can handle future pension obligations without outside aid.