Archive for Public Debt – Local

California Attorney General Opinion Says Frequently-Used School and Community College Bond Deals Are Illegal

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

On January 26, 2016, the California Attorney General issued an opinion on a practice regarding bond measures that has long been questionable but continues to be rampant at California school and college districts: contracting with a firm to provide both pre-election bond measure “financial planning services” and post-election bond measure “financial advisory services.” That firm then typically makes a major contribution to the campaign to pass the bond measure.

The practice is described in Chapter 7 of the July 2015 California Policy Center report For the Kids: California Voters Must Become Wary of Borrowing Billions More from Wealthy Investors for Educational Construction.

Not surprisingly, the practice was determined to be illegal under most circumstances. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association called it “good news” for taxpayers and a “long-overdue slap-down” of “the incestuous behavior of school districts with political consultants and bond salesmen.” See Attorney General Reins In Shady Bond Practices – January 31, 2016.

California Attorney General Opinion

OPINION of  KAMALA D. HARRIS, Attorney General – MANUEL M. MEDEIROS, Deputy Attorney General – No. 13-304 – January 26, 2016 (see the five questions and answers, below)

School and community college districts throughout the state have adopted such contracts. Often these items are listed on board agendas with vague language, probably to disguise the purpose from the public.

Some Examples

Martinez Unified School District approved this contract on September 29, 2015:

Pay to Play San Rafael City Schools Connect the DotsSan Rafael City Schools gave a financial service firms a no-bid contract in June 2015 for $15,000 in pre-election and $65,000 in post-election advisory services for two bond measures. The firm contributed $9500 to the campaign to pass the bond measures.

Solano Community College District: Critic Questions Actions of Measure Q Bond Underwriters – Fairfield Daily Republic – September 13, 2015

News Coverage

California School Bonds Can Be Source of Scandal – commentary by Dan Walters – Sacramento Bee – February 8, 2016

Many other districts have used the same loophole to avoid competitive bidding on contracts and also solicited bond issue campaign funds from financial houses.

State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, and later successor John Chiang, were concerned about the practice, and asked Attorney General Kamala Harris whether it’s legal for those in the bond financing business to get involved in the campaigns. Harris, in an opinion issued last month, declared that it is illegal for firms to provide “pre-election services” in return for a promise to get the underwriting business should the bond measure pass.

…if school districts are cut free from the state’s underwriting of school construction, they need some new ethics standards.

California AG’s Opinion Targets School Bond Practices by Kyle Glazier – The Bond Buyer – January 28, 2016

School and community college districts violate California law if they hire outside firms to campaign for bond ballot measures or purposely incentivize municipal finance professionals to advocate for passage of a bond measure, the state’s attorney general said in a formal legal opinion…

A previous Bond Buyer investigation found a nearly perfect correlation between broker-dealer contributions to California school bond efforts in 2010 and their underwriting of subsequent bond sales, and financial advisors have similarly been accused of using “pay-to-play” tactics. Former California Treasurer Bill Lockyer questioned the legality of the practices…

California Muni Dealers Can’t Fund Bond Campaigns to Get Hired by Darrell Preston – Bloomberg – January 28, 2016

Former Treasurer Bill Lockyer, who sought the opinion in 2013, praised the ruling, and said it could open up school districts and vendors to prosecution.

“It makes it clear that prior practices of this sort are illegal,” Lockyer said in a telephone interview Thursday.

Lockyer sought the opinion after finding school districts in the state entered agreements with underwriting firms in which the districts award the dealers the right to sell the bonds in return for providing services to pass an initiative.

He said at the time the agreements raise “substantive questions” about whether school officials broke the law by using public money to advocate passage.

THE HONORABLE JOHN CHIANG, CALIFORNIA STATE TREASURER, has requested an opinion on the following questions:

1. Does a school or community college district violate California constitutional and statutory prohibitions against using public funds to advocate passage of a bond measure by contracting with a person or entity for services related to a bond election campaign?

2. Does a school or community college district violate California prohibitions against using public funds to advocate passage of a bond measure if the district enters into an agreement with a municipal finance firm under which the district obtains pre- bond-election services in return for guaranteeing the firm an exclusive contract to provide bond-sale services if the election is successful?

3. In the case of an agreement as described in Question 2, does a school or community college district violate California law concerning the use of bond proceeds if the district reimburses the municipal finance firm for the cost of providing the pre- election services from the proceeds raised from the bond sale?

4. In the scenario described in Question 3, does a school or community college district violate California law concerning the use of bond proceeds, even where the reimbursement is not an itemized component of the fees the district pays to the firm in connection with the bond sale?

5. Does an entity providing campaign services to a bond measure campaign in exchange for an exclusive agreement with the district to sell the bonds incur an obligation to report the cost of such services as a contribution to the bond measure campaign in accordance with state law?


1. A school or community college district violates California constitutional and statutory prohibitions against using public funds to advocate passage of a bond measure by contracting with a person or entity for services related to a bond election campaign if the pre-election services may be fairly characterized as campaign activity.

2. A school or community college district violates prohibitions against using public funds to advocate passage of a bond measure if the district enters into an agreement with a municipal finance firm under which the district obtains pre-election services (of any sort) in return for guaranteeing the firm an exclusive contract to provide bond-sale services if the election is successful, under circumstances where (a) the district enters into the agreement for the purpose (sole or partial) of inducing the firm to support the contemplated bond-election campaign or (b) the firm’s fee for the bond-sale services is inflated to account for the firm’s campaign contributions and the district fails to take reasonable steps to ensure the fee was not inflated.

3. In the case of an agreement as described in Question 2, a school or community college district violates California law concerning the use of bond proceeds if the district reimburses the municipal finance firm for the cost of providing pre-election services from the proceeds raised from the bond sale.

4. In the scenario described in Question 3, a school or community college district violates California law concerning the use of bond proceeds if the district reimburses the municipal finance firm for the cost of providing pre-election services from the fees the district pays to the firm in connection with the bond sale, whether or not the reimbursement is evident as a component of the fees the district pays to the firm in connection with the bond sale made on an itemized service-by-service basis.

5. Where an entity provides campaign services to a bond-measure committee in exchange for an exclusive agreement with the district to sell the bonds, the entity has an obligation to report the value of its services as a contribution to the bond-measure campaign in accordance with state law.

Nine Fall 2015 Commentaries on California School and College Bond Measures

San Joaquin-Delta Community College District on Verge of Violating Proposition 39 Requirements for Bond Measures

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

I sent this email (below) on September 14, 2015 to the elected board of trustees, the top administrators, and the independent citizens bond oversight committee for the San Joaquin-Delta Community College District, based in Stockton.

The district wants to use $500,000 to develop a “facilities master plan” as a first step required by state law to ask voters to approve borrowing money via bond sales for facilities construction. That $500,000 would come from proceeds of bond sales authorized by voters in March 2004 as Measure L. Voters would consider the bond measure in 2018 or later.

A board vote on the proposal is scheduled for September 15, 2015. See the staff report: Request to Authorize the Creation and Funding of a “Facilities Master Planning Project” and to Authorize Contract Negotiations for Architectural Services to Develop the Campus & Facilities Master Planning Services

While this scheme sounds like an easy way to get money to hire an architectural firm to develop a plan for future bond measures, it appears to violate 15-year-old state laws (Proposition 39 and Assembly Bill 1908) that impose extra protections on bond measures that win voter approval at a 55 percent threshold.

Considering that the California State Controller and multiple county grand juries have criticized the district for inappropriate or questionable expenditures of bond proceeds authorized by Measure L, the district’s continued practice of using funds for expenditures that are ambiguously legal (at best) may compromise the willingness of voters to approve another bond measure for the district. Has the district taken into consideration the risk of negative public response to this proposed bond expenditure?

In 2016, California voters are likely to decide on a $9 billion statewide school construction bond measure and perhaps 150 or more local school and college construction bond measures. Would this expenditure add to the growing list of abuses of California school construction bond measures and thus contribute to jeopardizing passage of additional bond measures in 2016?

From: Kevin Dayton
Subject: To trustees, administrators, bond oversight committee for San Joaquin-Delta Community College District: Item 9J on 9/15 board meeting agenda may not be legal
Date: September 14, 2015 at 1:41:43 PM PDT
To: xxxx
Cc: xxx

Dear Board of Trustees, administrators, and Measure L Citizens Bond Oversight Committee for the San Joaquin-Delta Community College District:

At its September 15, 2015 meeting, the board will consider Item #9J, a proposal to spend $500,000 of bond proceeds from Measure L (approved by voters on March 2, 2004) for a newly-created “project” to develop a Facilities Master Plan. This plan will prepare the district for a bond measure to bring before voters in 2018 or later. Here is the item:

A. Authorize the creation of a new bond project entitled “Facilities Master Planning (FMP) Project” using Measure L Bond funds with an initial budget of $500,000 from bond program contingency.
B. Authorize negotiations with the top-ranked qualified architectural firm Gensler/LDA to provide the services to develop the campus and facilities master planning and possibly other capital planning and design services, per the Request for Qualification (RFQ) LA-RFQ-51.
C. Authorize the Superintendent/President or authorized designee to execute the final agreement following successful negotiations.
D. Qualify the other two (2) firms that were interviewed to provide services for the District for projects as needed.

Note that Article 13A, Section 1 of the California Constitution restricts how a community college district can spend borrowed money obtained through bond sales authorized through ballot measures approved by 55% of the voters under the criteria of Proposition 39 (2000). Bond proceeds can be used for “construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities, or the acquisition or lease of real property for school facilities.” And voters must be provided with a list of the specific school facilities projects to be funded by the bond measure.

Some questions you need to consider before approving the $500,000 in Measure L funds to be spent on creating a Facilities Master Plan for a future bond measure:

1. A list of specific intended projects to be funded by Measure L was provided to voters in the ballot information for the March 2, 2004 election. In this list of Measure L projects, which project describes the development of a Facilities Master Plan for another bond measure?

2. Is development of a Facilities Master Plan a legitimate “project” that can be funded by bond proceeds authorized by voters under the criteria of Proposition 39?

3. Is it reasonable to assume that voters who approved Measure L expected that the bond proceeds would be used to develop a Facilities Master Plan for another bond measure?

4. Is it fiscally responsible to borrow money from investors and pay them back over many years – with interest – to pay for development of a Facilities Master Plan for another bond measure?

5. Does the use of Measure L funds to develop a Facilities Master Plan for a future bond measure remain justified even if voters end up rejecting the bond measure(s) meant to fund the projects in that Facilities Master Plan?

6. What are the terms of maturity and interest rates for all of the bonds that provide the $500,000 in funding for this contract?

7. What is the total cost of developing the Facilities Master Plan if the district includes the interest that must be paid on the $500,000 in bond proceeds?

8. Has the district consulted with its Citizens Bond Oversight Committee for an assessment of whether this proposed specific expenditure of Measure L bonds complies with Proposition 39 and complies with what was presented to voters as Measure L in 2004?

Regardless of whether the San Joaquin-Delta Community College District is justified in seeking voter approval to borrow more money for construction, the district needs to follow the law when it spends borrowed money authorized by a previous bond measure. This proposal on the board’s September 15, 2015 meeting agenda is possibly illegal and needs thoughtful consideration.

Kevin Dayton
President and CEO
Labor Issues Solutions, LLC

News Coverage: California Voters Must Be Wary of More Borrowing Via Bond Sales for School and Community College Construction

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In July 2015, the California Policy Center released a 361-page report For the Kids: California Voters Must Become Wary of Borrowing Billions More from Wealthy Investors for Educational Construction. (Links to individual sections are below.)

For the Kids - California Voters Must Become Wary of Borrowing Billions More from Wealthy Investors for Educational ConstructionAs of August 26, 2015, the report has received the following news media coverage:

Six California School Districts Will Ask Voters on November 3 to Borrow $1.2 Billion From Bond Investors – commentary by Kevin Dayton – Flash Report – August 17, 2015

Unions Seek Control of Recent California School Bond Measures – commentary by Kevin Dayton – Union Watch – August 11, 2015

School Bonds May Equal Taxpayer BondageVictorville Daily Press – August 8, 2015

California Schools Stick Taxpayers with $149 Billion in Bond Debt – Breitbart News – August 5, 2015

California is in Huge Debt Hole Because of School Bonds – KFBK News Radio 1530 AM/93.1 FM in Sacramento – August 4, 2015

“For the Kids” Borrowing Will Saddle Kids with Debt – opinion piece by Gloria Romero in Orange County Register – August 4, 2015

Tough Education Reform, not More Borrowing and Spending, is What Students Need – commentary by Ed Ring – Union Watch – August 4, 2015

Specter of School Bonds Is Haunting Californians – opinion piece by Ed Ring in Sacramento Bee – August 2, 2015

Statewide Report Criticizes Passage of School Bonds – lead story in California League of Bond Oversight Committees Review – July 29, 2015

Doing the Math, Bond Debt for California Schools May Not Pencil OutModesto Bee – July 28, 2015

First look: Poll finds support for testing — Pell grants for prisoners — Washington state chief: Put more dollars into education – Politico (Morning Education) – July 28, 2015

School Bond Proposal Stirs California DebateThe Bond Buyer – July 27, 2015

Report: Voters Better Start Learning How Construction Bonds WorkLA School Report – July 27, 2015

Deceptive Ballot Language for Solano College Bond Measure Not Unusual – opinion piece by Kevin Dayton in Vacaville Reporter – July 25, 2015

Statewide Report Criticizes Passage of School BondsFresno Bee – July 24, 2015 (reprinted as Report Criticizes Passage of School Bonds in California in Education Week – July 27, 2015)

Here are links to each section of the report:


Proposed New Sacramento Kings Arena: Another California Infrastructure Project Burdened by Visions to Change the World

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

California can’t build a bullet train to transport people in two hours and forty minutes from San Francisco to Los Angeles. That’s too mundane. Instead, California High-Speed Rail is burdened with revitalizing Central Valley cities, employing the homeless, saving the planet from global warming, creating jobs, ending poverty, planting trees, transforming society, etc.

It’s not surprising that the California High-Speed Rail project is about to wither away after five years of visionary leftist nonsense. The project became too much for too many.

As the hyperbole rises to the absurd about the proposed new Sacramento Kings basketball arena, I’m predicting this “Entertainment and Sports Center” will suffer the same fate. See my December 16, 2013 article in entitled Regional Sports and Entertainment Facilities in the Urban Core Attract Costly Political Meddling: Sacramento Kings as a Case Study.


Planning for 2014: Two Recommendations in to California Supporters of Economic Freedom and Fiscal Responsibility

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

It’s too early to predict if Californians will elect more supporters of economic freedom and fiscal responsibility to Congress, statewide office, the state legislature, and local offices in 2014. It’s also too early to know if Californians are getting sick of accumulating yet more public debt through state and local ballot measures.

In the meantime, I’m trying to promote grassroots activities that might encourage Californians to do the following:

1. Consider electing government officials with a different philosophy of government than the tax-and-spend model prevalent in much of the state.

2. Better understand and scrutinize bond measures before approving educational districts to borrow money for construction (and other expenses authorized by Proposition 39, such as iPads).

See my December 6, 2013  article California Supporters of Economic and Personal Freedom Can Plan for 2014 by Thinking Locally in

“He’s Going to Be President One Day” – The Changing Positions of Candidate for San Diego Mayor Nathan Fletcher on Labor Policy Issues

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In the mid-2000s, establishment Republican Party officials would tell me that a young man named Nathan Fletcher was going to be President of the United States one day. He was a good-looking “war hero” – an up-and-coming model candidate whose wife was a top advisor for President George W. Bush and then for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Soon Nathan Fletcher ran for office in an affluent area of San Diego – not for a mere school board or city council, but for the California State Legislature, where political talents often launch their lifelong quest for power, fame, and wealth. He was an undistinguished member of the Republican minority in the California State Assembly for two terms, from 2008 to 2012. He quit the Republican Party in March 2012 after the Republican Party of San Diego County didn’t endorse him among three Republican candidates running for Mayor of San Diego.

Ditching the Republican label transformed Fletcher into an innovative paragon of political enlightenment. His decision even received national attention and praise when New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote about it in A Moderate Conservative Dilemma.

Ordinary voters weren’t impressed. Fletcher came in third in the primary for Mayor of San Diego. He spent a lonely year unaffiliated with a political party, got himself some gigs as a corporate executive and as a “professor” at the University of California at San Diego, then joined the Democratic Party in May 2013. Now he’s running for Mayor of San Diego again, this time as a Democrat backed by power-brokers such as Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, a friend of Fletcher who was the president of the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council in 2012.

No one would identify Fletcher today as a “moderate conservative.” He has remade himself as a Silicon Valley-style liberal Democrat, glorifying a vague concept of “innovation” while endorsing government intervention in commerce and personal behavior to make the world a better place.

Just before the San Diego City Council ended 33 years of autonomy on city construction contracts and voted 5-4 to submit to state prevailing wage law, the San Diego Daily Transcript published an op-ed signed by Fletcher entitled Prevailing Wage: Good for Local Economy, Local Workers. He had opened his mind and decided that charter cities should let the state government set wage rates for city construction contracts based on employer payments indicated in union master labor agreements. I responded with the July 29, 2013 op-ed Did Nathan Fletcher Lose His Mind on Prevailing Wage?

It’s hard to pin down how Fletcher would act on specific issues, as his shtick is portraying himself as a pragmatist who doesn’t stoop to the abstract ideologies and philosophies that bind the thinking of bad people. However, behind the scenes he makes commitments to ensure campaign support from powerful political groups, such as labor unions.

After someone leaked Nathan Fletcher’s September 5, 2013 candidate questionnaire for the San Diego Imperial County Labor Council, Tony Krvaric, executive director of the Republican Party of San Diego County, analyzed the astonishing change in Fletcher’s positions on economic and labor issues in 18 months. Read the analysis and the signed questionnaire here:

Nathan Fletcher’s Labor Council Questionnaire

The October 31, 2013 article Critics Focus on Fletcher’s About-Face on Issues in the UT San Diego notes Fletcher’s conversion (or “evolution”) on high-profile labor issues, including Project Labor Agreements:

Much has been made of Nathan Fletcher’s political evolution from Republican to independent to Democrat, but what truly irks his most vehement critics is the 180-degree turn he’s made on several key issues. Some of those issues — project labor agreements, pension reform and managed competition — have formed the bedrock for the dividing line in San Diego between the two major political parties in recent years…

“I’m very comfortable as a Democrat, a pro-jobs Democrat.”…That’s a far cry from March 2012 when Fletcher sought the local Republican Party’s endorsement in the mayor’s race. He told party leaders he was a lifelong Republican who supported the June 2012 ballot initiative (Proposition B) to replace pensions with 401(k)-style plans for most new city workers, a ban on project labor agreements that call for city contractors pay union-level wages and benefits, and outsourcing city services…

Fletcher filled out a questionnaire in September for the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council that outlined several stark changes. Specifically, he indicated support for project labor agreements and public employee pensions and opposition to putting city services up for competitive bid, a process also known as managed competition…

Fletcher has also said the ballot measure to ban project-labor agreements that voters approved last year is the type of divisive initiative meant to stir up the electorate.

Nathan Fletcher now thinks that simply asking voters to preserve fair and open bid competition on taxpayer-funded construction contracts is “divisive” and “meant to stir up the electorate.” If only we could set aside our differences and come together for the common good under the benevolent leadership of Nathan Fletcher!

It isn’t surprising that occasionally people warn that Nathan Fletcher is “creepy” and “dangerous” because he lacks solid principles and runs for office under a cult of personality based on a distorted portrayal of his background. He seems to be popular among high-tech executives, bicycle advocates, and other who fit the demographic description of “bourgeois and bohemian” (see David Brooks’ excellent 2001 book Bobos in Paradise). Is that enough to win a special election in a city of 1.3 million people? It worked for Gavin Newsom in San Francisco, but San Diego is more diverse and more conservative.

All of this vindicates the warning in my May 7, 2013 commentary Know Thyself, Republican: You Could Be the Next Nathan Fletcher in I concluded that “Even the strongest among us on the Right are always only a few temptations away from second-guessing ourselves and going the same direction as Nathan Fletcher. The rewards of holding fast are few right now, and the relief and rewards of being acceptable are enticing.”

As the Republican Party on the national level, in the State of California, and at the California local level splits into factions based on the degree of willingness to compromise principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility for the sake of the alleged “common good,” I expect more Republicans will follow the path of Nathan Fletcher. Will voters buy it?

California Charter Cities and State Prevailing Wage Mandates in 2013 – A Compilation of More than 150 News Articles

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Attorneys for charter cities and California citizens: you are welcome and encouraged to use this compilation as a resource and exhibit when you sue the State of California to overturn Senate Bill 7.

Capitol Weekly described Senate Bill 7, signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on October 13, 2013, as “arguably the most important bill to emerge this year from the Legislature.” The new law prohibits the State of California from disbursing funds for construction to any of the 121 cities with charters that exercise their “home-rule” right under Article XI of the California Constitution to establish their own government-mandated wage policies for purely municipal construction contracts and for private projects receiving government financial assistance only from the city.

To preserve their ability to get state funding, cities with charters must stop deviating in their construction contracts from state prevailing wage laws defined in the California Labor Code. Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters described SB 7 as “a significant departure from Brown’s oft-voiced support of ‘subsidiarity,‘ the principle that locally elected officials should have maximum discretion to make decisions for their constituents.” The League of California Cities had asked Governor Brown to veto the bill, noting that “using political leverage to punish those exercising rights provided by the Constitution is unjust.”

SB 7 was a significant attack on constitutional rights, local control, and fiscal responsibility. The new acting mayor of the City of El Cajon, whose citizens approved a charter in June 2012, called the bill “a classic overreach of the state government, to the cost of the rights of sovereign cities.”

Surely SB 7 confirmed the assertion of former Murrieta City Councilmember Doug McAllister, in his February 2013 argument for city charters as the best way to improve the lives of citizens, that “the Left believes the power to reach that goal radiates from top to bottom, while the Right reverses that flow.” Construction union leaders and lobbyists at the state and local levels of California government have been intent on derailing the movement for cities to use charters in order to free themselves from the costly mandates imposed by the state legislature and the governor.

The charter city movement is based on the eroding constitutional principle of federalism – a check and balance against the excesses of centralized government. In October 2012, a professor of public administration at Chapman University (in Orange County) described the City of Costa Mesa as the ideological “ground zero for virtually everything taking place in the country” and its proposed (and ultimately defeated) charter as “a political manifesto of how government should be organized in the 21st century.” Some of the recent intellectual backing for California’s charter city movement has come from the limited-government perspective of and the report (soon to be published in its 4th edition) entitled Are Charter Cities Taking Advantage of State-Mandated Construction Wage Rate (“Prevailing Wage”) Exemptions?

Below are more than 150 news articles and opinion pieces from 2013 revealing the nature of the battle over local control and state-mandated prevailing wage. The year starts with a city adopting its own prevailing wage policy, city councils in several general law cities deliberating over charter language to propose to voters in 2014, and three powerful anecdotes showing the practical implications of state prevailing wage mandates: a planned private hotel stopped after the state determined it was a “public work” subject to prevailing wage, a bill introduced to end outrageously high state-mandated wage rates for janitorial work, and a state enforcement action revealing that prevailing wage increased the cost of a private hotel by more than $8 million.

Then the unions strike back, with the 5-4 votes of the San Diego City Council during the summer to enact a high-profile ordinance backed by disgraced Mayor Bob Filner to impose costly state-mandated prevailing wage on city projects. The ordinance ended 25 years of city control over its prevailing wage policies for city contracts. At the same time, union-backed Senate Bill 7 advanced through the California State Legislature despite significant opposition. Governor Brown signed SB 7 on October 13, even as the charter commission for the City of Costa Mesa was developing another charter and the Mountain View City Council imposed state prevailing wage mandates on private affordable housing developments receiving city financial assistance. Union lobbyists are now moving aggressively to suppress the uprising.

News and Opinion Articles on California Charter Cities, State-Mandated Prevailing Wage, and Senate Bill 7 in 2013


Assemblyman Curt Hagman to Introduce Bill on Prevailing Wages for Final Cleanup WorkersSan Bernardino Sun – January 2, 2013


California Bill Would Create a New Construction Trade Classification for Final Cleanup and Janitorial Work – by Kevin Dayton – – January 5, 2013


Prevailing Wage Scams Steal from Taxpayers – – January 11, 2013


Newport Beach to Discuss Dock Fees (and exemption of city contracts from prevailing wage requirements) – Newport Beach/Costa Mesa Daily Pilot – January 19, 2013


Council Closes Book on Dock Fee Increases (In other business…)Newport Beach/Costa Mesa Daily Pilot – January 23, 2013


Newport Triggers Dock-Fee Increases, Cost-Saving Labor ContractsOrange County Register – January 23, 2013


City Eschews Prevailing Wages – Newport Beach/Corona Del Mar Patch – January 24, 2013.


Newport Beach Is Latest California Charter City to Establish Its Own Prevailing Wage Policy: 7-0 Unanimous Vote for Fiscal Responsibility and Common Sense – by Kevin Dayton – – January 24, 2013


Study Under Way to Find Out if Arroyo Grande Should Try to Become a Charter CitySan Luis Obispo Tribune – January 27, 2013


Arroyo Grande Considering City – January 28, 2013


Unions Win Prevailing-Wage Case vs. Turtle BayRedding Record-Searchlight – January 29, 2013


Fate of Hotel at Turtle Bay in Limbo – Ruling: Park Must Pay Workers Prevailing Wage to build Sheraton HotelRedding Record-Searchlight – January 30, 2013


One More Costly Delay on Road to Turtle Bay Hotel – editorial – Redding Record-Searchlight – January 30, 2013


Redding Needs a Charter to End Nonsense Definition of Private Hotel as a “Public Works” Project – by Kevin Dayton – – January 31, 2013


Got It Backward – letter to the editor by Michael Stanton – San Luis Obispo Tribune – January 31, 2013


Redding Needs a City Charter – letter to the editor by Kevin Dayton – Redding Record-Searchlight – February 4, 2013


Turtle Bay Nearing Compromise with Unions Over Hotel ConstructionRedding Record-Searchlight – February 7, 2013


Buellton Continues “Home Rule’ TalkSanta Ynez Valley News – February 7, 2013


Charting Best Path to Buellton’s Future – editorial – Santa Ynez Valley News – February 7, 2013


Prevailing Wage Supports Skilled Workers and Their Families – op-ed by Tom Curato – Redding Record-Searchlight – February 10, 2013


UA Local 228 Rep. Defends the Prevailing Wage for Redding, – February 13, 2013


Unions Rise to Defense of “Prevailing Wage” Rates Jeopardizing Hotel Project in Redding – by Kevin Dayton – – February 15, 2013


Reasons to Consider Becoming a Charter City – op-ed by former Murrieta City Council member Doug McAllister – UT San Diego – February 19, 2013


State May Close Prevailing Wage Gap for Charter CitiesCentral Valley Business Journal – February 19, 2013


Escondido Mayor Touts Urban Renewal, Embracing DiversitySan Diego Union-Tribune – February 20, 2013


Bill Introduced in State Senate to Suppress Authority of California’s Charter Cities to Establish Their Own Policies on Government-Mandated Construction Wage Rates – by Kevin Dayton – – February 20, 2013


Republican Lawmaker Touts Bill Pushed by Labor – February 21, 2013


County Offers $200,000 Tax Rebate to Attract $12 Million Business ExpansionBakersfield Californian – February 24, 2013 (States that “Kern County has not extended an economic incentive package to a prospective employer in about 10 years. Sometimes what stands in the way of making such offers, she said, is California’s requirement that building projects supported by public money pay construction workers prevailing wages.”)


Moreno Valley: Charter City Committee Could Be CreatedRiverside Press-Enterprise – February 25, 2013


Moreno Valley: City to Explore Becoming Charter CityRiverside Press-Enterprise – February 26, 2013


Turtle Bay Says It Can’t Afford Prevailing Wage Rate to Build HotelRedding Record-Searchlight – February 27, 2013


California’s Pro-Prevailing Wage Bill, SB7, Enjoying Broad – February 28, 2013


With Senate Bill 7, California Unions Advance Plot to Neuter City Charters – by Kevin Dayton – – February 28, 2013


Explain Why Moreno Valley Needs a Charter – editorial – Riverside Press-Enterprise – March 2, 2013


Turtle Bay Will Ask Judge for Relief on Hotel Prevailing-Wage RulingRedding Record-Searchlight – March 5, 2013


Turtle Bay to Challenge Prevailing Wage Findings – KNVN-24/KHSL-12 News – March 5, 2013


Unions Determined to Battle Turtle Bay’s Prevailing-Wage Court ChallengeRedding Record-Searchlight – March 6, 2013


Unions Fight Against Slave Labor – op-ed by Greg Beale – Redding Record-Searchlight – March 9, 2013


Buellton at ‘Crossroads’ for Decisions, Mayor SaysSanta Ynez Valley News – March 12, 2013


Senate Industrial Relations Committee Passes Controversial SB 7 – League of California Cities bulletin – March 13, 2013


Prevailing Wage’ Battle Shaping UpStockton Record – March 18, 2013


State Seeks to Hamper City Wage Policies – op-ed by Oceanside City Councilman Jerry Kern – UT San Diego – March 21, 2013


Oceanside Pol to Steinberg: Fix Your Own Mess and Leave Us – March 22, 2013


Modesto Opposes Bill to Require ‘Prevailing Wage’ on ProjectsModesto Bee – March 24, 2013


City of Stockton should listen to their Development Oversight Committee’s Recommendation – ABC NorCal Blog (Northern California Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors) – March 28, 2013 (Recommendation was that “the City Council give direction to City staff and the Commission, as to whether or not they should continue working on the Prevailing Wage Exemption, so that the City Can Declare Itself Exempt from Prevailing Wage Laws on Local Projects.”)


Grover Beach to Again Look at Becoming a Charter CitySan Luis Obispo Tribune – March 29, 2013


Tulare County Board of Supervisors Opposes Wage BillVisalia Times-Delta – April 3, 2013


Senate Bill is Nothing More than a Power Grab – editorial – Porterville Recorder – April 5, 2013


Grass Valley: Prevailing Wage Bill is State ‘Overreach’The Union (Grass Valley) – April 16, 2013


Officials: Prevailing Wage Bill is an Overreach by CaliforniaTahoe Daily Tribune – April 23, 2013


Pair of Assembly Bills to Protect the Prevailing Wage Move Through California – April 26, 2013


SB 7 Will End Loophole to Avoid Paying Prevailing Wage – From the President, State Building and Construction Trades Council of California – May 2013


Labor, Charter Cities Clash Over Prevailing WageCapitol Weekly via – May 7, 2013


Mountain View Council Shifting Stance on Prevailing WageSan Jose Mercury-News – May 8, 2013


City to Review Mayor’s Proposal to Expand Prevailing Wage Requirements on Public Works Projects – KGTV-10 – May 15, 2013


Council Moves to Require Prevailing Wage on ContractsSan Diego Daily Transcript – May 16, 2013


City Council Should Reject ‘Prevailing’ Wage Proposal – op-ed by George Hawkins – San Diego Daily Transcript – May 28, 2013


Truckee, Grass Valley Watching California Prevailing Wage BillTahoe Daily Tribune – June 4, 2013


Prevailing Wages Will Lift San Diego Economy – op-ed by Tom Lemmon – San Diego Daily Transcript – June 5, 2013


Don’t Impose ‘Prevailing” Wage on More Cities – editorial – Riverside Press-Enterprise – June 13, 2013


Labor Commissioner Collects Over $8 Million in Wages for Public Works Job at Hilton Hotel in San Diego – California Department of Industrial Relations press release – June 17, 2013


SB 7 Represents Arrogance of Sacramento’s Local Policy – June 18, 2013


SB 7 Subverts Charter Cities’ – June 19, 2013


Committee OKs Prevailing Wage Ordinance – KGTV-10 News – June 19, 2013


Hilton Bayfront Construction Workers Collect $8M in Wages – San Diego Daily Transcript – June 20, 2013


California Cities Ramp Up Fight Against Union Wage Bill – Sacramento Bee – June 21, 2013


Bill Would Push Prevailing WagesUT San Diego – June 21, 2013


Mayor Says SB 7 Could Strip Public Works Funding for GilroyGilroy Dispatch – June 25, 2013


Senate Bill 7 Limits Charter Cities’ Control – editorial – Modesto Bee – June 24, 2013


Charter Panel Digs into Public-Works ContractingNewport Beach/Costa Mesa Daily Pilot – June 24, 2013


Steinberg’s Bill Would Infringe on Local Control – editorial – Sacramento Bee – June 25, 2013


The Assault on Charter Cities and Taxpayers – editorial – UT San Diego – June 25, 2013


San Diego Takes Next Step Toward Lowering the Threshold for Prevailing Wages to $25, – June 25, 2013 (includes claim that “The prevailing wage issue is gaining momentum across the state of California.”)


Charter Cities: Senate Bill 7 Threatens Voting Rights – op-ed by Chris McKenzie, executive director of the League of California Cities – San Jose Mercury-News – June 26, 2013


Steinberg’s SB 7 Would Tie Charter Cities’ Hands – editorial – Fresno Bee – June 26, 2013


Prevailing Wage Bill for Public Works AdvancesUT San Diego – June 27, 2013


Union Wages Shouldn’t Be Forced on Cities – editorial – Orange County Register – June 27, 2013


Dems Push for Prevailing Wages – KMJ 580 AM News (Fresno) – June 27, 2013


SB 7 Limits Charter City Wage Control – editorial – Merced Sun-Star – June 30, 2013


Prevailing Wage: Moving Forward in California, Backward in Other States – From the President, State Building and Construction Trades Council of California – July 2013


Prevailing Wages Hurt City – column by Joseph Perkins – UT San Diego – July 6, 2013


Prevailing Wage Bill for Charter Cities Inches Closer to GovernorThe Union (Grass Valley) – July 18, 2013


City Officials Say Prevailing Wage Bill Threatens ProjectsBakersfield Californian – July 18, 2013


Union Operatives Infiltrate Office of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner to Push Costly and Burdensome Prevailing Wage Mandate for City Contracts – by Kevin Dayton – – July 25, 2013


Prevailing Wage: Good for Local Economy, Local Workers – op-ed by Nathan Fletcher – San Diego Daily Transcript – July 26, 2013


Did Nathan Fletcher Lose His Mind on Prevailing Wage? – op-ed by Kevin Dayton – San Diego Daily Transcript – July 29, 2013


City Faces Higher Costs Under Wage PlanUT San Diego – July 29, 2013


Vote ‘No’ on Expanding ‘Prevailing Wage’ in San Diego – editorial – UT San Diego – July 29, 2013


Simple List of Official Documents Relevant to July 30 San Diego City Council Vote to Require State Prevailing Wage on City Contracts – by Kevin Dayton – – July 29, 2013


After 33 Years, San Diego Submits to State Prevailing Wage Law – by Kevin Dayton in – July 30, 2013


City Council Approves Prevailing Wage Proposal – City News Service, posted on several news web sites, such as KPBS – July 30, 2013


U-T San Diego Ignores Growing Evidence Of Prevailing Wage Benefits – Media Matters for America – July 30, 2013


City Council Passes Prevailing-Wage OrdinanceSan Diego Daily Transcript – July 30, 2013


Council Approves Higher Wages for Projects: City already pays prevailing wages on big developmentUT San Diego – July 30, 2013


San Diego Passes Prevailing Wage Bill: Council votes 5-4 to expand policy to work contracts, following Filner’s leadUT San Diego – July 31, 2013


Smart Cities Prevail Applauds San Diego – July 31, 2013


Prevailing Wage Will Force Out Small Guy; Prevailing Wage is All About Payback to Unions; Big Labor Dominates City Hall – letters to the editor – UT San Diego – July 31, 2013


A Day to Remember, Not Fondly, at San Diego City Hall – editorial – UT San Diego – August 1, 2013


San Diego Political Celebrity Nathan Fletcher Now Supports Government-Mandated Construction Wage Rates – by Kevin Dayton – – August 1, 2013


Statewide Poll Shows Broad Support for Prevailing Wage – Substantial Opposition to Going – August 1, 2013


The Stories the Scandal Swallowed – Voice of San Diego – August 2, 2013 (San Diego City Council 5-4 vote to submit to state prevailing wage law for city construction contracts.)


Three Recent Polls Show Strong Support for Prevailing Wage – August 8, 2013


Modesto Claims Prevailing Wage Bill Would Punish the CityModesto Bee – August 12, 2013


Central Valley City Officials Publicly Voice Opposition to SB 7 in Stockton – League of California Cities bulletin – August 13, 2013


Charter Panel Tackles Public WorksNewport Beach/Costa Mesa Daily Pilot – August 15, 2013


Merced Mayor, Other Officials Gather in Modesto to Protest Prevailing Wage BillMerced Sun-Star – August 16, 2013


Unions Tempt Republicans with “Bipartisanship” Lure: Five Tips for Resistance – by Kevin Dayton – – August 17, 2013


CEOs and Business Leaders for Prevailing Wage – op-ed by Mark Breslin, executive for a unionized construction company association – Modesto Bee – August 19, 2013


La Mirada Eyes to Become a Charter CityWhittier Daily News – August 19, 2013


Prevailing Wage: Consider Variables – letter to the editor – Modesto Bee – August 21, 2013


CEO Comes Out Swinging in Favor of SB7, Prevailing Wages, and the Race to the – August 22, 2013


Senators Try To Compel Charter Cities to Pay Prevailing Wages – Capitol Public Radio – August 23, 2013


Just What is a ‘Prevailing Wage?’ – op-ed – Pomerado News – August 24, 2013


This Week in the War on Workers: Fending Off the ALEC of the Construction Industry in California – Daily Kos – August 24, 2013


Reject Push to Blackmail Cities on Wage RulesRiverside Press Enterprise – August 25, 2013


Why the Prevailing-Wage Ordinance is a Bad Idea – op-ed by Fred Schnaubelt – San Diego Daily Transcript – August 26, 2013


Something is Bothering California Union Leaders and Lobbyists – by Kevin Dayton in – August 27, 2013


Prevailing Wage Panders to Unions, Costs Taxpayers – op-ed by Michael Saltsman of Employment Policies Institute – Orange County Register – August 30, 2013


Prevailing Wage Standard Empowers Middle Class – op-ed by Dale Howard of www.SmartCitiesPrevail.orgOrange County Register – August 30, 2013


Cities Shouldn’t Ignore Prevailing Wage Economics – op-ed by Tracy Emblem, Democratic candidate for Congress – UT San Diego – August 30, 2013


Costa Mesa Mayor: Charter is Sure to PassOrange County Register – September 5, 2013


Charter Cities Challenge: State Dollars or Prevailing Wage?UT San Diego – September 7, 2013


SB 7: Cities Stand to Lose Home Rule over Municipal – September 9, 2013


Three Bad Bills that Gov. Jerry Brown Should Veto – editorial – Sacramento Bee – September 9, 2013


City Council Reaffirms Prevailing WageSan Diego Daily Transcript – September 10, 2013


Legislative Sampler: 2 to Sign, 2 to Veto – editorial – Riverside Press-Enterprise – September 18, 2013


‘Prevailing Wage’ Fact and Fiction – op-ed by George Hawkins – San Diego Daily Transcript – September 24, 2013


Costa Mesa Charter Committee Takes Up Prevailing WageOrange County Register – September 26, 2013


Prevailing Wage Bill Deserves a Veto – editorial – UT San Diego – October 4, 2013


Has Labor Leader Overreached? – columnist Dan Morain – Sacramento Bee – October 9, 2013


Stifling Unions – editorial – Victorville Daily Press – October 9, 2013


Costa Mesa Charter to Remove ‘Prevailing Wage’Orange County Register – October 10, 2013


Mountain View: City-Funded Affordable Housing Projects to Pay Prevailing WageSan Jose Mercury-News – October 10, 2013


Council OKs Union Wages for Affordable Housing: Policy Will Add about 10 Percent to Cost of New ProjectsMountain View Voice – October 10, 2013


City of Mountain View Expands Prevailing Wage Mandate to Private Affordable Housing Developments Getting City Funds – by Kevin Dayton – – October 10, 2013


Governor Should Veto Wage bill – editorial – Modesto Bee – October 11, 2013


If Gov. Brown Doesn’t Like Intrusion, He Should Veto SB 7 – editorial – Sacramento Bee – October 12, 2013


Jerry Brown Signs Prevailing Wage Bill for Charter CitiesSacramento Bee – October 13, 2013


Governor Brown Signs Union-Backed Senate Bill 7 and Continues Erosion of Constitutional Checks and Balances – by Kevin Dayton in – October 13, 2013


Brown Signs Prevailing Wage Bill – Capitol Weekly – October 14, 2013


Brown Signs Prevailing Wage Bill for CitiesCentral Valley Business Journal – October 14, 2013


Governor Brown Signs Prevailing Wage Bill – A Bubbling Cauldron (blog in Costa Mesa) – October 14, 2013


Governor Signs Prevailing Wage Bill for Charter CitiesSacramento Business Journal – October 14, 2013


Charter Cities to Lose Authority Over Public Works – October 14, 2013


Gov. Brown Signs SB 7 to Neuter Charter – October 14, 2013


New Law Requires Charter Cities to Pay Prevailing Wages – East County Magazine – October 14, 2013


Prevailing Wage Law Could Raise CostsUT San Diego – October 14, 2013


Unions Smile, Cities Frown at Prevailing Wage LawBakersfield Californian – October 14, 2013


Modesto Fears Harm from New Prevailing Wage LawModesto Bee – October 14, 2013


California Construction Unions Get Two Big Wins – columnist Dan Walters – Sacramento Bee – October 15, 2013


Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: Autonomy is good – but only for state? – editorial – Santa Rosa Press-Democrat – October 15, 2013


Charter Could Cost City FundingNewport Beach/Costa Mesa Daily Pilot – October 16, 2013


Governor Signs SB 7: Charter Cities Required to Pay Prevailing Wage – Porterville Recorder – October 16, 2013


Governor Does Disservice to All Charter Cities – editorial – Porterville Recorder – October 20, 2013


Prevailing Wage Now Irrelevant – A Bubbling Cauldron (blog in Costa Mesa) – October 22, 2013


Oppose a Charter with ‘Prevailing Wage’ Exemption – letters to the editor – Newport Beach/Costa Mesa Daily Pilot – October 22, 2013


Groups Accuse Grover Beach of Violating State Open Meeting LawSan Luis Obispo Tribune – October 22, 2013 (One group is


Facts Wrong – letter to the editor by Robbie Hunter, president of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California – Porterville Recorder – October 24, 2013


Wage Law Costs Cities More than Money – op-ed by El Cajon Acting Mayor Bill Wells – UT San Diego – October 25, 2013


Unions “Using Political Leverage to Punish Those Exercising Rights” in California Constitution – by Kevin Dayton in – October 29, 2013


Brown Inconsistent on Local-Control Issues: Is ‘subsidiarity’ little more than a platitude?UT San Diego – October 30, 2013


Project Labor Agreement on Planned New Sacramento Kings Arena Comes Back to Bite: Contractors Fund “Voters for a Fair Arena Deal”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

On October 15, 2013, a new organization called “Voters for a Fair Arena Deal” held a press conference at Sacramento City Hall to announce a new campaign to collect voter signatures on petitions to place a fiscal accountability ordinance on the ballot in the City of Sacramento.

October 15, 2013 press conference at Sacramento City Hall announcing formation of "Voters for a Fair Arena Deal."

October 15, 2013 press conference at Sacramento City Hall announcing formation of “Voters for a Fair Arena Deal.”

The “Voter Approval for Public Funding of Professional Sports Arena Act” states the following:

The City of Sacramento shall not use or redirect, undertake an obligation to pay, or bond or borrow against monies intended for or from the City general fund for the development and/or construction of a professional sports arena without the approval of a simple majority of voters.

Leaders of the organization are making a deliberate attempt to distance themselves from another organization called “Stop Arena Subsidy” (STOP), which qualified the petition but then made some poor strategic decisions about its name, message, and sources of funding.

Contractors opposed to the union deal to impose a Project Labor Agreement on construction of the proposed new Sacramento Kings arena (the “Entertainment and Sports Center”) are funding the signature-gathering efforts of “Voters for a Fair Arena Deal.”

If you are a registered voter within the boundaries of the City of Sacramento, you can obtain a petition and instructions to help place the Voter Approval for Public Funding of Professional Sports Arena Act on the ballot:

On the “Voters for a Fair Arena Deal” web site:

On the “Stop Arena Subsidy” web site:

Documents from “Voters for a Fair Arena Deal”

October 15, 2013 - Voters for a Fair Arena Deal - Lectern Logo

October 15, 2013 – Media Advisory – Voters for a Fair Arena Deal – Sacramento Kings

October 15, 2013 – Press Release – Voters for a Fair Arena Deal – Sacramento Kings

October 15, 2013 – Ten Principles – Voters for a Fair Arena Deal – Sacramento Kings

October 15, 2013 – Campaign Code of Conduct – Voters for a Fair Arena Deal – Sacramento Kings

Opposition Response – Supporting the Arena Is Sponsored by Region Builders, Inc.“Lipstick on a Pig” – October 15, 2013

News Coverage

New Group Forms to Combat Kings Arena Subsidy – Sacramento Bee – October 15, 2013

New Kings Arena Draws Fan Attention – and New Opponent – Sacramento Bee – October 16, 2013

Sacramento’s Arena Deal Has a New – October 16, 2013

Voters for a Fair Arena Deal Forms Today to Gather Initiative Signatures, Change Tone of Arena Discourse – Sacramento News & Review – October 15, 2013

New Group Emerges in Campaign for Public Vote on Arena Deal – Fox News 40 (KTXL) – October 15, 2013

New Sacramento Arena Group to Help Force Public Vote: Group Will Help STOP Gather Signatures – CBS News 3 (KCRA) – October 15, 2013

New Sacramento Kings Arena Coalition “Voters for a Fair Arena Deal” to Hold Press Conference at 3:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

I received this news advisory from “Voters for a Fair Arena Deal” via an email.



October 15, 2013

CONTACT: Isaac Gonzalez


WHEN: Tuesday, October 15
3:00 pm

WHERE: Sacramento City Hall
915 I Street

WHO: Voters for a Fair Arena Deal –
A coalition of Neighborhood Leaders, Taxpayer Advocates,
Businesses, Good Government Watchdogs and Concerned
Sacramento Citizens.

Our City, Our Vote – Voters for a Fair Arena Deal ID# TBA
5714 Folsom Blvd. #111 Sacramento, CA 95819