Where's the Times on MWD?

That question is being asked by San Diego Union-Tribune editorial writer Chris Reed, who can't believe the L.A. Times has written repeatedly about the $82,000 David Nahai will get after leaving the DWP and nothing about a $70 million pension deal at the much-larger Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Reed writes:

Four weeks ago, I wrote the first version of this post to express my utter amazement that the Los Angeles Times -- by far the biggest newspaper in Southern California -- had failed to inform its readers that the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California -- by far the biggest water supplier in the region -- was preparing to retroactively increase the pensions of its entire staff by 25 percent at a time when it was in the middle of a two-year, 31 percent increase in the rates it charges water districts serving 19 million people from Ventura to Riverside to San Diego. The MWD's pension system was already $400 million underfunded. Now MWD bosses, who stood to reap huge gains personally, were moving to increase the unfunded liability by $70 million.

If this is not a story to the L.A. Times' 900,000 readers, what is? It's stupid public policy. It's mendacious public policy. It's the sort of public policy that normally the Times would decry.

What was amazing four weeks ago stands as literally incredible today. With the MWD board vote on the 25 percent pension spike just a few days away, a Nexis and Google search shows the LAT still hasn't told its readers about the proposal.

Even though it's been denounced by politicians, local water districts and good government groups. Even though key details showed the pension deal is even more dubious than it seemed at first. Even though every other big paper has realized it is news.

Doesn't turn up for me either in a search of the Times archives, but the search function doesn't seem to reliably pick up the paper's own blog items, so you never know anymore. The OC Register has been writing about it on its watchdog blog and on the front page. The deal has gotten so much negative media coverage that the MWD unions are planning a rally before Tuesday's vote.

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