Tag Archive for Yes on Measure V – Costa Mesa

My Report on www.UnionWatch.org: Tracking California’s November 2012 Elections Related to Labor Issues

See my article posted this morning (November 5, 2012) on www.UnionWatch.org called Tracking California’s November 2012 Elections Related to Labor Issues.

If you are a regular reader of the Dayton Public Policy Institute blog (a project of Labor Issues Solutions, LLC), you know a lot about the following races in California:

  • Proposition 32 – Stop Special Interests state ballot measure (includes “paycheck protection”)
  • Measure V – proposed charter in Costa Mesa
  • Proposition P – proposed charter in Escondido
  • Measure I-12 – proposed charter in Grover Beach
  • Measures Q and R – authorization to borrow $414 million through bond sales for construction at Sacramento City Unified School District (which imposes Project Labor Agreements)
  • Measure Q – authorization to borrow $348 million through bond sales for construction at Solano Community College District  (which imposes Project Labor Agreements)
  • Measure E – authorization to borrow $360 million through bond sales for construction at West Contra Costa Unified School District (which imposes Project Labor Agreements)
  • Proposition Z – authorization to borrow $2.8 billion through bond sales for construction at San Diego Unified School District (which imposes Project Labor Agreements)

There are also some elections for local government offices in California that have significance for people interested in labor policy issues.

City of San Diego

If Republican Ray Ellis defeats Democrat Councilwoman Sherri Lightner for the one undecided city council race (in La Jolla), Republicans will have a 5-4 majority on the city council. What a change from ten years ago, when Republicans almost disappeared from a city council they had long controlled. (I credit the Republican Party of San Diego County for this transformation: see my www.FlashReport.org article The Untold Story: Years of Challenging, Unglamorous Work Led to Big Republican Election Night in San Diego on June 5.

Republican Councilman Carl DeMaio stands a good chance of defeating Democrat Congressman Bob Filner and getting elected as Mayor of San Diego. A few weeks ago I wrote an article comparing DeMaio’s campaign to the 2010 campaign of Rob Ford, a libertarian-oriented city council member who unexpectedly won election as Mayor of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (See Carl DeMaio’s Campaign for Mayor of San Diego Echoes Rob Ford’s Successful Campaign for Mayor of Toronto.) Chris Reed wrote the following in a November 1, 2012 article for The American Spectator (Anger Mismanagement on the Ballot; linked at www.CalWatchdog.com as Will San Diego Elect a Gay Libertarian or a Snarling Misanthrope as Mayor?):

All this is remarkably good news for DeMaio and for libertarians who have long wondered what a government run by a Reason-blessed true believer would be like…If Filner has this [negative] effect on enough people, in five weeks time, America’s eighth-largest city will inaugurate as mayor a brash reformer bent on transforming the government status quo. Thanks to a June initiative primarily authored by DeMaio, San Diego is by far the largest U.S. city to have ended costly defined-benefit pensions for nearly all its new hires. As mayor, DeMaio would ramp up San Diego’s already-aggressive attempts to bid out a wide array of government services. He also wants to end automatic “step” pay increases given to public employees just for years on the job and to finally bring to government the productivity revolution that has fueled U.S. private-sector growth for two decades. The goal, DeMaio told me in April, is to set up a national model for downsized, efficient government. If elected, DeMaio appears likely to have a GOP majority on the City Council. If these more conventional Republicans back him up, San Diego could become Ground Zero for government experimentation – of a sort that many will call radical but that libertarians will call long-overdue.

City of Costa Mesa (Orange County)

In the City of Costa Mesa, three of the four city councilmembers (the 3Ms, Gary Monahan, Steve Mensinger, and Colin McCarthy) who voted in 2011 with Councilman Jim Righeimer to “outsource” government services and put the Measure V charter on the ballot in 2012 are running as a slate. They are challenged by a slate of three candidates associated with a group called Costa Mesans for Responsible Government who oppose outsourcing and the charter. Obviously this a battle based largely on labor issues.

City of Brentwood (San Francisco Bay Area, in Contra Costa County)

In the City of Brentwood, unions are trying to keep Mayor Bob Taylor in office. Taylor voted in 2009 and 2010 to require contractors to sign a Project Labor Agreement to build the city’s civic center and associated parking garage. I wrote about this race in Electrical Workers Union Tries to Salvage Political Career of City of Brentwood Mayor Robert Taylor (Bob Taylor) and Contra Costa Times Recognizes Fiscally Responsible Candidates for Brentwood City Council: Endorsements EXCLUDE Project Labor Agreement Supporters.

Gee, Do You Think a Charter Is a Meaningful Way for California Cities to Pursue Fiscal Responsibility? $500,000 of Union Opposition Confirms It.

Obviously a 4-1 majority on the Costa Mesa City Council has discovered a truly effective way in California to use taxpayer money wisely and responsibly. The evidence: labor unions and their allied organizations have raised almost $500,000 to convince Costa Mesa voters to reject Measure V, which would enact a city charter.

Charters currently give 121 California cities the authority to determine their own policies concerning their purely municipal affairs. It is a right given to cities in the California Constitution.

Unions hate charters because they give power to cities to circumvent costly union-backed state mandates imposed by the California State Legislature, such as government-mandated construction wage rates (so-called “prevailing wages”). See Are Charter Cities Taking Advantage of State-Mandated Construction Wage Rate (“Prevailing Wage”) Exemptions?

So how much money have groups reported raising and spending against Measure V as of October 20, 2012?

1. $359,634.74 (including $18,834.74 of non-monetary contributions) has been collected by “Taxpayers for Open and Accountable Government, No on Measure V, sponsored by the Orange County Employees Association.” This includes the following contributions from labor unions:

  • $274,634.74 from the Orange County Employees Association
  • $20,000 from the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association
  • $10,000 from the California Federation of Teachers
  • $5,000 from the Orange County Labor Federation AFL-CIO
  • $5,000 from the United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals

It has spent $278,411.32 against Measure V as of October 20, 2012.

2. $110,000.00 (including $10,000.00 of non-monetary contributions) has been collected by “Committee for Costa Mesa’s Future – No on V – Sponsored by Labor and Management Organizations.” All of this money came from the California Construction Industry Labor-Management Cooperation Committee. (See my article Union Slush Fund Sends Mailers to Costa Mesa Residents Attacking Measure V, the Proposed Charter.) It has spent $56,291.23 as of October 20, 2012.

3. $8,229.30 has been SPENT by “Costa Mesans 4 Responsible Government (CM4RG)” against Measure V. This back-to-Big Labor-as-usual organization has collected a total of $39,439.67. Besides opposing Measure V, this group is trying to get a slate of three pro-union, anti-charter candidates elected to replace three fiscally responsible, pro-charter incumbent city council members. Note that these candidates are also expressing opposition to Measure V in the context of their own campaigns.