Frank Sortino, an admirer of Ronald Reagan, sent a $500 check to the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.
Ive never donated a dime to a presidential campaign, Mr. Sortino, director of the Pension Research Institute, Menlo Park, Calif., said. Thats how seriously I feel about him.
This is the greatest hope we have in this country for turning things around, Mr. Sortino said of Mr. Obamas candidacy.
Mr. Sortino enclosed a letter to the senator with the check he sent June. 4, writing, I have been a registered Republican for 50 years. Mr. Sortino wrote he was inspired upon reading Mr. Obamas book The Audacity of Hope. I have not been so motivated, so inspired, since Ronald Reagan first ran for president, he wrote.
Mr. Sortino, a professor emeritus in finance at San Francisco State University, said he focused his letter on Mr. Obamas educational ideas, including paying competitive wages to get quality teachers.
On investment issues, Mr. Sortino said, he agrees with Mr. Obama, who said in his book that he supports automatic 401(k) enrollment and beefing up the pension system to give all Americans a bigger stake in the fruits of globalization.
I dont agree with everything he says, Mr. Sortino said in the interview, particularly Social Security personal accounts. Hes opposed to that. Im for it. He thinks Social Security should be a safety net. Its not all or nothing. No one proposes moving all Social Security money to investment accounts. Its not gambling. Its not speculation. Its investment. Whats wrong with letting Social Security participants move into a diversified portfolio to invest in their optimism for America?