OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Posts Tagged ‘unions’

Unions Only Care About Privacy When It Benefits Them

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on June 7, 2017

This came over the wire from the Freedom Foundation…

“As always, the left’s outrage is selective and its principles a moving target. When it suits them to stand for privacy rights, no one can muster more righteous indignation. When it doesn’t, the silence is deafening.”
– Sam Han, California Director of the Freedom Foundation

OLYMPIA – This weekend, the Freedom Foundation’s California director Sam Han penned an op-ed for The Orange County Register detailing the hypocrisy of labor unions on the issue of privacy and the efforts by the Freedom Foundation in Washington, Oregon, and California to inform workers of their rights.

Check out excerpts from the piece below or read the whole thing here.

OC Register: Unions Only Care About Privacy When It Benefits Them
by Sam Han
June 4, 2017

It turns out the much-heralded commitment of the political left and its allies in organized labor to the ideal of privacy rights has its limits.

And that limit once again manages to expire just short of themselves.

For example, they’re all for protecting the identities of taxpayer-subsidized home health care providers already represented by the same public-sector unions that fund liberal candidates and causes.

Meanwhile, under a bill currently working its way through the state Legislature, the names and contact information for tens of thousands of private-sector workers would be divulged for no other reason than exposing them to union organizers.

Naturally, this information would be handed only to the union, but not to anyone who might have a conflicting message to share.

The hypocrisy is stupefying.

As always, the left’s outrage is selective and its principles a moving target.

When it suits them to stand for privacy rights, no one can muster more righteous indignation. When it doesn’t, the silence is deafening.

Continue reading here.

Posted in California | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

1st District Special Election: Do Wins Ballot Order Lottery, Candidate Statements, & Who is Chuyen Van Nguyen?

Posted by Chris Nguyen on December 18, 2014

Supervisor's Chief/Businessowner Andrew Do (R-Westminster), California State Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), Councilmember/Deputy DA Chris Phan (R-Garden Grove), Television News Anchor Chuyen Van Nguyen (NPP-Garden Grove), and Office Specialist Lupe Morfin-Moreno (R-Santa Ana)

Supervisor’s Chief/Businessowner Andrew Do (R-Westminster), California State Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), Councilmember/Deputy DA Chris Phan (R-Garden Grove), Television News Anchor Chuyen Van Nguyen (NPP-Garden Grove), and Office Specialist Lupe Morfin-Moreno (R-Santa Ana)

The Secretary of State conducted the ballot order lottery on Tuesday and transmitted the results to the Registrar of Voters, and Andrew Do was the big winner, so here’s how each candidate will appear on the January 27, 2015, ballot (assuming their designations aren’t challenged in court by December 26):

  • Andrew Do, Supervisor’s Chief/Businessowner
  • Lou Correa, California State Senator
  • Chris Phan, Councilmember/Deputy DA
  • Chuyen Van Nguyen, Television News Anchor
  • Lupe Morfin-Moreno, Office Specialist

Most OC Political readers are familiar with Do, Correa, Phan, and even Morfin-Moreno, but most have expressed little knowledge of Nguyen.  To fill everyone in, let’s take a closer look at each candidate:

  • Andrew Do (R-Westminster), 51 years old

    Do is a partner in a law firm who was a deputy district attorney for eight years and who served as Chief of Staff to former Supervisor Janet Nguyen, who vacated this Supervisor’s seat to become a California State Senator. As an attorney, he has served as President of the Asian Bar Association of California and the Vietnamese-American Bar Association of Southern California.  He is a former adjunct professor at Cal State Fullerton and judge pro tem in the old Orange County Municipal Court.  Fleeing Vietnam as a child, Do grew up in the First Supervisorial District, attending Junior High and High School in Garden Grove.  He is a graduate of Santa Ana College, UC Davis, and UC Hastings.

    Do was elected to the Garden Grove City Council in 2008 and served for three years. (He now lives in Westminster.)

    Do’s candidacy for Supervisor is endorsed by the Republican Party of Orange County, former Supervisors/current Senators Janet Nguyen and Pat Bates, Supervisor-Elect Michelle Steel, Congressmen Ed Royce and Dana Rohrabacher, Congresswoman-Elect Mimi Walters, and Assembly Members Young Kim, Travis Allen, Matt Harper, and Don Wagner.

  • Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), 56 years old (though he will turn 57 on January 24)

    Spending the majority of his career in elective office, Correa was an investment banker and real estate broker before entering the State Assembly.  He is a licensed attorney, though opted to go the banking and real estate route before entering politics.  A native Californian, Correa grew up in the Fourth Supervisorial District, attending K-12 in Anaheim.  He is a graduate of Cal State Fullerton and UCLA.

    After narrowly losing a 1996 Assembly bid by 93 votes, Correa became a State Assemblyman in 1998, termed out in 2004, and then held this same Supervisor’s seat from 2005-2006.  He resigned from the Board of Supervisors in 2006 to enter the State Senate, where he stayed until terming out last month.  His resignation from the Board caused a February 2007 special election, only the second special election for Supervisor in Orange County history.  Janet Nguyen won that special election to fill his old Supervisorial seat and now holds his old Senate seat.

    Correa’s candidacy for Supervisor is endorsed by the Democratic Party of Orange County, Sheriff-Coroner Sandra Hutchens, District Attorney-Public Administrator Tony Rackauckas, the Orange County Labor Federation (i.e. association of unions), the Orange County Employees Association (i.e. general public employee union), the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association (i.e. the fire union), and the Orange County Business Council.

  • Chris Phan (R-Garden Grove), 40 years old (though he will turn 41 on January 14)

    Phan has been a deputy district attorney for two years.  He served on active duty in the United States Navy as a Judge Advocate General (anyone remember the TV show JAG?) from 2001-2008.  He was a JAG defense attorney from 2001-2003, JAG prosecutor from 2003-2005, and served generally as a JAG attorney from 2005-2008.  He is currently a lieutenant commander in the Navy reserve.  Fleeing Vietnam as a child, Phan grew up in Indiana and has lived in Orange County for six years.  He is a graduate of Indiana University and Southern Illinois University.

    Phan was elected to the Garden Grove City Council two years ago.  Ironically, Phan holds the exact same seat that Do held for three years.

  • Chuyen Van Nguyen (NPP-Garden Grove), 65 years old

    Nguyen is currently an anchor on VNA-TV (Vietnam America Television), Channel 57.3.  He has previously been an aircraft parts manufacturing supervisor, marketing consultant, newspaper publisher (Tieng-Chuong), and staffer for former State Senator Joe Dunn (D-Santa Ana).  He was a pilot in the South Vietnamese Air Force from 1970-1975 and was a Lieutenant when Saigon fell.  Politically, he was active in various Vietnamese organizations in the early 1990s.  After fleeing Vietnam, Nguyen settled in Texas before eventually moving to Westminster.

    In 1998, Nguyen ran for Mayor of Westminster and came in fourth out of five candidates (Tony Lam won his third election to the City Council in that same election); Mayor Frank Fry was re-elected, beating Mayor Pro Tem Joy Neugebauer by 3.5%.  (He now lives in Garden Grove.)  Considering his poor finish in 1998 when he held greater name ID than he does now and considering he didn’t even have the $2500 to get a ballot statement, he is expected to only play spoiler in this election by splitting the Vietnamese vote.

  • Lupe Morfin-Moreno (R-Santa Ana), 57 years old

    Morfin-Moreno is currently an office specialist with the Orange County Health Care Agency.  Politically, she is best known as an anti-illegal immigration activist and Minuteman.  A former Central Committee member, she lost her Central Committee bids in both 2010 and 2012 (Central Committee members who were elected in 2012 now serve four-year terms, rather than two-year terms due to change in the California Elections Code, so the next Central Committee election is in 2016).  A native Californian, Morfin-Moreno grew up in the First Supervisorial District, attending elementary, junior high, and high school in Santa Ana.

    Morfin-Moreno previously ran for Mayor of Santa Ana in 2012 (coming in fourth out of six candidates), this same Supervisor’s seat in the 2007 special election (coming in ninth out of ten candidates after dropping out of the race), the State Senate in 2006 (losing the primary to Lynn Daucher, who then loss the general election to Correa), the Santa Ana Unified School District in 2002 (missing a seat by 486 votes) and in 2000 (coming in seventh of nine candidates).

Do, Correa, and Phan got ballot statements while Nguyen and Morfin-Moreno did not.

Here’s Do’s statement (assuming it isn’t challenged in court by December 26):

At the urging of many Orange County leaders, I decided to run for County Supervisor. My experience includes:

Orange County Judge Pro Tem; Deputy District Attorney; City Councilman; Small Business Owner; Orange County Supervisor’s Chief of Staff.

As a Deputy District Attorney, I spent eight years fighting to make our community safe, prosecuting violent criminals and sex offenders.

As your Supervisor, I will fight hard for:

Local businesses and job creation, higher educational standards, health care programs, less waste in government, strong public safety, and anti-gang programs. I oppose tax increases.

Serving as Chief of Staff to California State Senator and Supervisor Janet Nguyen gives me valuable experience and an in-depth understanding of issues facing our area. Senator Nguyen urged
me to run for Supervisor.

I have deep family roots in central Orange County, having attended Jordan Jr. High, Bolsa Grande High School and Santa Ana College. I’m a graduate of the University of California, Hastings School of Law.

U.S Representatives Ed Royce and Mimi Walters, Senators Janet Nguyen and Pat Bates, Assembly members Young Kim and Matt Harper and Supervisor Michelle Steel have all endorsed me and I would be honored to receive your vote. Please visit www.AndrewDo2015.com. Thank you.

Here’s Correa’s statement (assuming it isn’t challenged in court by December 26):

It’s been an honor to work for you as your State Senator. Now, I respectfully ask for your support as your County Supervisor.

In the Legislature, my priorities have been jobs, public safety and public education. My work has earned me endorsements from respected leaders and organizations, including:

Sheriff Sandra Hutchens
District Attorney Tony Rackauckas
Orange County Professional Firefighters Association
Orange County Business Council

I helped cut taxes on small businesses and stopped unnecessary regulations. As a result of my work, I’ve been honored by the Orange County Taxpayers Association and named the California Small Business Association’s “Legislator of the Year.”

I’ve made our schools better and safer. I brought more education money and local control back to Orange County. I also co-wrote the new law to protect our children from heinous crimes. That’s why the California School Boards Association made me their “Legislator of the Year”.

It’s been an honor to represent you during these difficult economic times. Now, I’d like to bring my understanding of our communities to work for you as County Supervisor.

No one will work harder. I respectfully ask for your vote.

For more information please visit: www.loucorrea.com

Here’s Phan’s statement (assuming it isn’t challenged in court by December 26):

Embracing our diversity. Uniting our community. Serving our people!

As a former refugee, I am blessed to live the American Dream! I have served our country with honor and pride as a Navy officer for over 14 years. I am currently serving our community as an Orange County Deputy District Attorney and a Garden Grove City Councilmember. I humbly ask for your support to become your 1st
District Orange County Supervisor.

Military experience and public service taught me that our strength lies in our diversity. Orange County is truly a melting pot of culture, background, and ethnicity. As Supervisor, I will work hard to attract businesses to our District, increase employment, provide greater safety for our community, and protect our resources.

Over many months, I have walked and met many of our District’s residents. I have listened, learned, and shared many ideas with our residents so that I will be well-equipped and prepared to serve our County to the best of my ability.

Please learn about my candidacy at www.votechrisphan.com. I would be honored to have your vote and support. Together, we will ensure a brighter future for our County and forge a better tomorrow for our families. Thank you!

(Cue my usual Nguyen disclaimer: Senator Janet Nguyen and candidate Chuyen Van Nguyen are not related to each other, and neither of them are related to me.  The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Lisa Bartlett, The Union-Backed Candidate In The Fifth District Supervisor Race

Posted by Greg Woodard on October 23, 2014

Robert Ming and Lisa Bartlett, both Republicans, emerged from the June open primary as the top-two vote getters for the Orange County Board of Supervisors race in the Fifth District.  Ming (who I am supporting) and Bartlett will face off on November 4 for the privilege of representing most of south Orange County on the Board.  I have known Ming for several years, and I can attest to his conservative credentials, and his character as a man.  I do not know Bartlett, so I can only form an opinion based on her actions on the campaign trail, and, in my opinion, they do not reflect well on her.

In June, Bartlett issued a press release called “Ming’s Dings” that was an attack on Ming and his supposed policies “dinging the taxpayer.”  However, as I previously reported, the release was riddled with false facts and errors.  Despite being called out on those false assertions, I have not seen any retraction from Bartlett.  In addition, while that first installment of “Ming’s Dings” promised subsequent regular reports of how Ming was supposedly dinging the taxpayer, I have not seen another installment.  Apparently, Bartlett could only muster that one attack on Ming’s policies, and even that attack contained false facts.

On September 2, Bartlett issued a press release, again using false facts to erroneously claim that she was fundraising at a 2-1 clip against Ming.  In fact, the true fundraising numbers showed a small difference between the two.

I know that candidates often embellish their mailers and take liberties with the way they portray their opponents.  But what should not be tolerated is outright lies, and Bartlett has twice shown that she apparently cares more about smearing Ming than getting the facts right.

Equally troubling is that the public employee unions seem to be spending a lot of time and effort on Bartlett.  I recently received a mailer from a local PAC in support of Bartlett that smeared Ming with the same false facts that Bartlett used in her “Ming’s Dings” hit piece.  The PAC has received $18,000 from the Orange County Employees Association and the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association, both public employee unions.  I reached out to Bartlett’s campaign for comment on whether her campaign had coordinated with the PAC on the mailer, or provided the PAC with the erroneous information, but she did not respond.

I recently learned that another public employee union, the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs has endorsed Bartlett.

As a conservative, all the union money and the endorsement thrown at Bartlett concern me.  Public employee salaries and benefits are a huge County expenditure, and the unfunded pension liability threatens not only the current financial stability of Orange County, but also the future for my kids.  Ming has a plan to reduce the unfunded liability by benchmarking public employee salaries to those earned in the private sector.  Ming also is an advocate of transparency in the labor negotiation process.  Ming also wants to solicit private-sector bids for services that are not core government functions.

Bartlett claims to be concerned with government spending, but her campaign website is short on any specifics about crushing salary and pension debt.  Maybe that is why the Orange County Register recently endorsed Ming over Bartlett, stating “we found many of [Bartlett’s] responses to our questions more vague.”

The Register feels that Ming’s knowledge of fiscal management makes him the best-suited to the Board, and I would encourage the readers to vote for Ming in November.

Posted in 5th Supervisorial District, Orange County Board of Supervisors | Tagged: , , , , , , | 39 Comments »

Did San Diego Public Officials Conspire With Unions To Enter A Labor Friendly Contract For The San Diego Convention Center Expansion, In Violation Of A Local Proposition? The Secret Email Accounts May Tell The Story.

Posted by Greg Woodard on July 3, 2013

San Diego, our neighbor to the south, has had its share of political intrigue over the years.  The most recent iteration is an incestuous mix of Republican, Democrat, union, and big business involving the $520 million expansion of the San Diego Convention Center.  In the 1950s, California adopted open government laws to protect the integrity of the political system and guarantee transparency in the political process.  These protections have been eroded over the last few years as open government laws have failed to keep up with technology like emails and texts.  The cloak of secrecy thrown by San Diego public officials regarding the Convention Center expansion project is the most recent example of an attempt to return California government business to the days of backroom deals negotiated far from the public’s view.

Our story begins in June 2012, when the San Diego voters passed Proposition A, a ballot initiative known as the “Fair and Open Competition in Construction Ordinance.”  Prop. A amended the City Municipal Code to prohibit the City from requiring a contractor to enter into a Project Labor Agreement (“PLA”) on City construction projects, except where required by state or federal law, or as a condition of the receipt of state or federal funds.  A PLA is a collective bargaining or similar labor agreement, entered into with one or more labor organizations that establishes the terms and conditions of employment on a City construction project.  A PLA can often result in higher labor costs for the City when a project could otherwise be negotiated with private, non-unions contractors.

The Convention Center expansion project proposes adding approximately 200,000 – 225,000 square feet of exhibit space, 100,000 square feet of meeting space, and an 80,000 square foot ballroom.  In addition, the proposal would add a new hotel, as well as a waterfront park, open space, retail space, and a pedestrian promenade.  During 2012, the City sought proposals for a company to act as project manager for the expansion of the Convention Center.  In October 2012, the City selected Clark/Hunt as the project manager.

Throughout 2012, various labor unions and environmental groups filed a series of lawsuits challenging aspects of the Convention Center expansion project.  On November 8, 2012, the City entered into a settlement agreement with the unions and environmental groups that resolved all of the outstanding lawsuits.  In exchange for the groups’ support of the expansion project, the City agreed to pay $30,000 in legal fees purportedly incurred by the labor plaintiffs in the different lawsuits.  At the same time the City was entering the settlement agreement, Clark/Hunt announced that it had signed a PLA with local unions in connection with the expansion project.  Also on November 8, 2012, former Republican Mayor Jerry Sanders held a press conference to announce the settlement with several union representatives, including Lorena Gonzalez, then head of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Central Labor Council.  Gonzalez is now representing the 80th District in the California Assembly.  Gonzalez has previously expressed her opposition to Prop. A.

Public records on file with the San Diego Superior Court show that, beginning in January 2013, a local watchdog group submitted a request to the City under the Public Records Act, the state’s open government law, seeking copies of the PLA as well as other documents related to the expansion project.  The City stonewalled the group, and in April 2013, the group filed a lawsuit in San Diego Superior Court.  After the lawsuit was filed, the City produced some documents they claimed were responsive to the group’s request.  On June 3, 2013, Thomas Zeleny, San Diego’s Chief Deputy City Attorney, sent a letter to the group’s attorney enclosing two emails that Zeleny claimed had recently been brought to his attention as responsive documents.  One of those emails, dated September 21, 2012 (included with attachment below), was from Julie Dubick, then Chief of Staff for Mayor Sanders.  The email, which appears to be from her San Diego public email address, was sent to Gonzalez at her union email address.  The email included an attachment of apparent talking points for the settlement that had been reached between the City and union groups.  Included among the points are: (1) the Mayor would schedule a meeting with Marriott (the potential hotel on the expansion project) and support labor’s position; (2) the Mayor would attempt to effect an agreement between the general contractor and labor to effect an agreement “similar to the PetCo Park agreement” (PetCo Park was built with a PLA with unions); (3) the Mayor would appoint a labor-friendly member on the Convention Center Board (which he subsequently did); (4) the unions would dismiss their lawsuits and not further challenge the expansion project; (5) the unions would write a letter to the Coastal Commission supporting the expansion project; and (6) the unions would attend the October 1, 2012 City Council meeting and support the expansion project.

The most interesting part about Dubick’s email is that it simply says, “Here is suggested language.  Please confirm receipt to jpdubick@gmail.com.  See you at 2pm today.”  The gmail account Dubick instructed Gonzalez to send a response to was not her official public email address.  That raises an interesting question as to why Dubick would instruct Gonzalez to contact her through her private email account, rather than her public email address.  Unfortunately, we do not know if or how Gonzalez responded because the City has not produced any further documents from either Dubick’s public or private email accounts.  When asked by the group’s counsel if there was a widespread practice for City employees and elected officials to conduct official City business through private email accounts, Zeleny responded, “for all I know, all of the City business was run through Julie Dubick’s private email account . . . [pause] just joking.”

The irony is that the two September 21, 2012 emails were only discovered by the City Attorney because they were later attached to another email sent through the official City email network.  Had the emails not been forwarded as attachments through the official network, they would never have become public even though they clearly reflected the City’s public business.  The brevity and tone of the email also suggest prior discussions between Dubick and Gonzalez about the attached talking points.

As a result of the City Attorney’s discovery of the two emails, the City Attorney is investigating whether the PLA for the expansion project violates Prop. A, saying that the emails “raise questions that need further examination.”  The group has discovered several other private email accounts that it believes have been used to conduct extensive City business, but the City has not produced any other responsive emails from private accounts to date.  The group also has turned over all of the issues discussed in the lawsuit to law enforcement officials.

The City also produced the Mayor’s calendar as part of the group’s Public Records Act request.  The calendar indicates that the Mayor had several meetings and phone calls relating to the expansion project in September and October 2012.  One meeting was scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on September 21, 2012, the same day Dubick sent the email to Gonzalez.  Dubick’s email stated that she would see Gonzalez at 2 p.m.  I reached out to Assemblywoman Gonzalez for comment on whether she responded to the email (and if she would provide me a copy of any response), to what account she responded, and whether she attended that meeting or any other meeting regarding the expansion project.  Gonzalez’s Chief of Staff, Evan McLaughlin, responded that Gonzalez does not recall responding to the September 21, 2012 e-mail, and finds the storyline of the group’s lawsuit hard to believe.  He stated, “[a]s head of the Labor Council, Ms. Gonzalez always attended meetings to advocate for better wages for local workers, but she did not negotiate contracts – that’s the job of individual unions, not the Labor Council.  This sounds like another act of desperation by the same handful of anti-worker companies who are doing everything they can to drive down wages for local workers.”  McLaughlin did not confirm whether Gonzalez did respond to the email or whether she attended the September 21, 2012 meeting with the Mayor and Dubick.

Other documents produced by the City prove that, rather than ask that Clark/Hunt provide the City with public documents held by Clark/Hunt for the benefit of the City (as required by the Public Records Act), the City instead sent copies of responsive documents to Clark/Hunt for “review and approval” prior to releasing them to the group.  This practice is specifically prohibited by the Public Records Act which prohibits the City from allowing a third-party to control the disclosure of information otherwise subject to disclosure under the Act.

In sum, it does not look good for the City regarding meeting its obligations under the Public Records Act.  More troubling is the appearance of a widespread conspiracy by public officials, unions, and the general contractor for the circumventing of Prop. A by agreeing to a PLA in exchange for the unions dropping their legal challenges against the expansion project.  This conspiracy may have been aided by undisclosed communications between the Mayor’s staff and union representatives, including Assemblywoman Gonzalez.

Given the recent flap over the state Democrats’ attempt to gut the Public Records Act (Gonzalez initially voted for the gutting of the Act), as well as prior revelations that the former head of the federal EPA created a fake person and used “his” private email account to contact environmental groups and others to avoid requests for public documents similar to the request made by the group here, the City’s less than candid response to the group’s Public Records Act request should give pause to all San Diego residents.  In addition, a local public official’s use of private email accounts raises troubling questions of accountability and transparency.  The City Attorney himself has admitted to using a private email address to conduct City business.  He claims to review those emails and send the ones that relate to City business to his public account and respond through that account.  Can we be sure that other local and state officials are as thorough and conscientious as the City Attorney?

Many questions with respect to the documents requested by the group will be answered at the July 12, 2013 hearing on the lawsuit it filed.  Other questions will undoubtedly linger for some time after.

Dubick email (San Diego Convention Center Story)_001Dubick email (San Diego Convention Center Story)_002

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Special-Interest Spitzer Uses $17,000 in Union Money to Attack Pauly

Posted by The Rock of OC on June 1, 2012

The Chrises told me to back off of the Third Supervisorial District, and they’d get HBK to back off.  Since HBK broke that agreement, I’m coming back in.

Before Chuck DeVore left the Supervisor’s race, leaving Deborah Pauly to fill the conservative void, DeVore produced this commercial revealing Todd Spitzer’s $54,000 in union money from the AFL-CIO, Teamsters, and CTA.  Special-Interest Spitzer put all that union money in Spitzer for Central Committee.

Spitzer then used the $17,000 from Spitzer for Central Committee to create a hit piece attacking Pauly and her husband.  It’s clear Spitzer used union money to attack Pauly.

Here’s the video from DeVore revealing Spitzer’s $54,000 in union money.  The “slush fund” DeVore referenced is Spitzer for Central Committee.

Posted in 3rd Supervisorial District, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Tuesday’s Most Important Election

Posted by Chris Nguyen on May 30, 2012

Wisconsin State CapitolSix days from now is Tuesday, June 5, Election Day.

What is the most important election that day?  Is it the CD-47 contest between Alan Lowenthal, Gary DeLong, and Steve Kuykendall?  Is it the Troy EdgarLong PhamTravis Allen fight in AD-72?  Is it AD-69’s Tom Daly vs. Michele Martinez vs. Jose Moreno vs. Julio Perez vs. Paco Barragan battle?  Is it the Third Supervisorial District brawl between Todd Spitzer and Deborah Pauly?

No, the most important election on Tuesday lies 2,000 miles northeast of Orange County.

In Wisconsin, June 5 is Election Day in the recall of Republican Governor Scott Walker.

Labor unions launched the recall after Walker gained the passage of legislation that restricted (but did not eliminate) collective bargaining (requiring annual re-certification of unions via annual member elections, limitations of collective bargaining to salaries rather than benefits) and increased public employee contributions to benefits and pensions, among other things.

This recall election marks a watershed moment in which the power of public employee unions faces off against those who seek to curb the legal prerogatives of those unions.

Wisconsin has an interesting recall procedure.  In California, the question of whether we should remove someone from office is one item on the ballot, with voters casting a “Yes” or “No” vote, and then a separate item on the ballot are all the recall replacement candidates, with the incumbent ineligible to run in the replacement vote.  In Wisconsin, there is no separate question of whether someone is removed: there is a single item in which candidates (including the incumbent) run against each other.  Effectively, when you initiate a recall in Wisconsin, you’re simply calling for an early election for the office, much like a parliamentary by-election or snap election; whereas in California, we vote whether or not to keep the incumbent and separately vote on a replacement.

There was a recall primary on May 8, with Walker winning 97% of the votes in the Republican primary and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett winning 58% of the votes in the Democratic primary (this is a rematch of the 2010 election, as Walker defeated Barrett in that election); the recall general election is this coming Tuesday, June 5.

Both the Real Clear Politics average of polls and the Huffington Post average of polls show Walker leading Barrett by a few percentage points.

A Walker victory will embolden politicians across the country seeking to curb the power of labor unions while a Barrett victory will be a warning from the labor unions that politicians should be wary of trying to reduce the legal prerogatives of public employee unions and trying to reduce the benefits enjoyed by public employees.

Posted in National | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »