The Whole Truth vs Accounting Malpractice is Demanded Citizens Encouraged to Contact Their City Officials

The Whole Truth vs Accounting Malpractice is Demanded
Citizens encouraged to contact their city officials

April 19, 2012

RI – An “open letter” to Rhode Island municipal officials was released today by the national task force organized by the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity providing research and analysis on Rhode Island’s underfunded municipal retirement systems. The open letter is in response to the evaluations of locally administered pension plans recently submitted by each city and town.

The letter requests that city officials utilize the same realistic assumptions used in the private sector when evaluating the scope of their pension and OPEB liabilities and assets.

“It is obvious that our cities are using unrealistic methods to determine the scope of the problem,” said Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity. “We urge Rhode Islanders to contact their city officials and demand that accurate accounting figures be put forward. How can a problem be solved if we don’t accurately quantify it?”

Citizens can contact in their city and town officials in one of two ways:

1) Copy and paste the open letter into a personalized email or letter to their town or city officials. The text can be found on the Center for Freedom’s website ; or

2) Contact officials in multiple municipalities with a version of the same letter by utilizing an automated online contact form

“We all remember the public outrage when Enron and other corporations were exposed for conducting fraudulent accounting practices … and rightly so. But why should we be any less concerned about accounting malpractice when it comes to our public pensions?” asked Rich Danker, member of the task force and project director for economics at American Principles Project, which is hosting the online form to contact municipal officials.

Additional information can be found at

The task force members who will provide commentary and analysis and may participate in statewide forums or committee hearings in the General Assembly, include Eileen Norcross of the Mercatus Center, Rich Danker of American Principles Project, Bob Williams of State Budget Solutions, and Mike Stenhouse from the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity.

Additional bio information for Task Force members can be found on the Center’s website at

For over 25 years, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University has been the world’s premier university source for market-oriented ideas-bridging the gap between academic ideas and real world problems. A 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization located on George Mason University’s Arlington campus, Mercatus works to advance knowledge about how markets work to improve our lives by training graduate students, conducting research, and applying sound economics to offer solutions to society’s most pressing problems.

American Principles Project is a Washington-based 501(c)3 organization. Founded by Princeton Professor Robert George in 2009, last year it became the first public policy organization to sponsor a presidential debate, which was shown on CNN. APP works across three areas: economic policy, education, and Hispanic outreach. It’s economic initiatives are public employee pension reform and monetary policy reform. It has worked to promote awareness of the public pension crisis and proactive reform ideas.

State Budget Solutions, a non-partisan organization advocating for fundamental reform and REAL solutions to the state budget crises, is a non-partisan, positive, pro-reform, proactive organization that is anchored in fundamental-systemic solutions.

The Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, a non-partisan public policy think tank, is the state’s leading free-enterprise advocacy organization. With a credo that freedom is indispensable to citizens’ well-being and prosperity, the Center for Freedom’s mission is to stimulate a rigorous exchange of ideas with the goal of restoring competitiveness to Rhode Island through the advancement of market-based reform solutions.

Contact Information:

Mike Stenhouse, CEO (401.225.4005)

Mercatus Center: Eileen Norcross (via Emily Washington), 703-993-4886

American Principles Project: Rich Danker, 202-503-2018

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