Attack on the Sage?

Gov. Robert Bentley and several Republican legislators seem to be painting a target on the back of David Bronner, head of the Retirement Systems of Alabama, saying that RSA returns on investment aren’t as high as they should be.

Bronner—whose organization has fronted the money for dozens of state economic development projects—says the performance looks a lot better if you make the right comparisons. While its performance was less than the median for major funds, for example, it was better than average for all-sized funds, he told the Gadsden Times.

Throughout his tenure, Bronner has insisted that RSA invest in Alabama, including development of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. “I contend the RSA’s Alabama investments greatly help all Alabamians by creating jobs and tax revenue, greater than any normal return, ” Bronner was quoted in the Times. “A poor state like Alabama cannot support a sound pension program unless it grows in wealth.”

The Times also quoted House Minority Leader Craig Ford, D-Gadsden, a strong Bronner supporter. Talk of replacing him is “insane, ” Ford told the paper. “He’s one of the smartest individuals and I appreciate his investment in Alabama.”

By Nedra Bloom

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