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Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Chief O'Brien?-It's a loss for the Little Guy in Massachusetts, as state treasurerShannon O'Brien got past Robert Reich in the Democratic Gubernatorial primary, getting 33% to Reich's 25% in a crowded field. She might have her hands full getting past Mitt Romney. A couple of points on O'Brien-her foes made a point of the state losing $4 billion in state pension funds on her watch, but that was on a $28-30 billion dollar portfolio during a badly down market. The state could have avoided such losses if it would put up with low bond interest rate returns, but the state shoots for a better (8.25%) return than that, which means sticking some money in the stock market. Losing $4B given the down stock market’s not as bad as it looks. Her husband being an Enron lobbyist before the stench came out (he left in late 2000) isn't as bad as it looks, either. However, both will make effective but unfair attack ad fodder.

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