CalMatters is providing a series on public employee pension plans, in conjunction with the Los Angeles Times and Capital Public Radio, that has been laying bare all of the concerns that I’ve been raising for the last fifteen years. For their latest edition, see http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-me-pension-legal/.
For their previous segments, the first chapter can be seen at http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-me-pension-crisis-davis-deal/?789 or http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-me-pension-crisis-davis-deal/. The second at http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-me-pension-unfunded/.
But, my favorite can be found at http://www.capradio.org/82583, titled "When it Comes To Pensions, Illinois is California’s Ghost Of Christmas Yet To Come."
The big question is how did our state and its cities and counties get into this untenable fiscal straight jacket? I provide my answer in the Daily Pilot editorial submittal below.
I could fill pages on the negative consequences of public employee bargaining units contributing to the campaigns of candidates. Sacramento has become a union dominated capital. And Proposition 55 is evidence that this apparatus continues its unsatiated need to be fed with more tax dollars.
With this excellent journalistic series and the current election cycle, I just wanted to remind you that the public employee unions are serious about electing candidates who will then be beholden to them, not the voters. In fact, after they obtain benefit enhancements, they have the temerity to tell us that it was not their doing, but rather that of the elected leaders that you voted for.
The Newport-Mesa Unified School District incumbents are being challenged by teacher union funded candidates. The Mayor of Costa Mesa, Steve Mensinger, and his slate, Alan Mansoor and Lee Ramos, are being opposed by union-backed candidates.
BONUS: For my school board candidate recommendations, see below. The Community College Districts are provided first, followed by the elementary, high school and unified school districts.
DOUBLE BONUS: You are invited to my next fund raiser at the home of Lenda and W. Bailey Smith in Emerald Bay. For more information or to RSVP, call David at david. Also seeMOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — Coastal Views — October 20, 2016 october 20, 2016 john moorlach.
Public employee union donations pose a conflict
By John Moorlach
With California cities like Vallejo, Stockton, and San Bernardino filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, you’ve got to ask yourself, "What is the biggest problem facing local government?"
After more than 20 years of public service, as the Orange County treasurer-tax collector, 2nd District supervisor, and now the state senator for the 37th District, I am convinced that the answer to this question is: "Public employee unions."
When unions can fund the campaigns of their potential bosses, it can only lead to the granting of overly generous and unsustainable compensation packages. Such is the result of this allowable, yet unconscionable, conflict of interest.
There are two major areas that public sector unions focus on. The first is collective bargaining unit contract negotiations. The second is participating in the election process and contributing to candidates that will be favorable to their first priority. This is done by contributing directly to those candidates, or through independent expenditures on their behalf, like mailing magnets in the shape of firefighter helmets with the names of their endorsed slate of candidates to voters.
This strategy makes good business sense for public employee unions. Clearly, if public employee unions are successful in electing candidates friendly to them, they will have a positive impact on their ability to better negotiate salary and benefit increases. Thus, the ultimate conflict of interest.
This activity is apparent in most local elections, from school boards to city and county elections. But right here in my hometown of Costa Mesa, organized labor has taken this inherent conflict of interest to another level.
In Costa Mesa, voters have elected a council majority that has been doing a great job of getting the city’s finances back in order. This means that its unions are not garnering the kind of compensation increases that they had hoped for. So, what are they to do?
Well, in 2012, the unions hired lawyers, who hired private investigators, who in turn harassed these City Council members. In fact, the harassment was so severe, it was criminal!
On Sept. 29, Christopher Joseph Lanzillo, who was hired by the now defunct law firm Lackie, Dammeier, McGill & Ethir, who was hired to represent the Costa Mesa Police Officers Assn., pleaded guilty to conspiracy and false imprisonment stemming from the illegal tracking and filing of a false police report of then-Mayor Jim Righeimer.
The recipients of this treatment fought back. Most elected officials would not have the temerity to sue the accomplices of these helpful union guys. But Righeimer and fellow Councilman Steve Mensinger did. Unheard of, but their cause was righteous.
Now, in another unfathomable move, the Costa Mesa Firefighters Assn. has hired someone from this same law firm to represent them. Why would the firefighters’ association hire a lawyer whose past firm was widely known for publishing a playbook on how to intimidate elected officials into conceding to better bargaining outcomes, if not to continue the same intimidation tactics?
The dirty little secret of funding candidates that give away our hard-earned tax dollars to unions as a repayment for campaign assistance is out. How is a voting citizen to react to this egregious, but ongoing situation?
There are two recommendations that you need to consider. The first is that you not vote for candidates supported by public employee unions.
The second recommendation is more critical. Public employee unions have brought municipalities to their fiscal knees. They now need to be a part of the solution in restructuring and reforming their financially stretched employers.
Either they fix it themselves, or they will watch a federal bankruptcy court judge do it for them. The federal judge who oversaw the city of Detroit’s Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceedings gave its retirees reduced pension benefits.
Public employee unions can either knock off the nonsense of always pursuing more at all costs, or they can start the process of preventing their retirement benefits from imploding in the near future.
Until public employee unions take ownership of the fiscal havoc they have created, we need to avoid voting for their anointed candidates. Or we will dig a hole so deep that our children will resent us for letting it happen in front of our eyes. And with our votes.
State Sen. JOHN MOORLACH (R-Costa Mesa) is running for reelection in the Nov. 8 election.
SCHOOL BOARD RECOMMENDATIONS
Allow me to give you the ground rules for my ballot recommendations. As someone with a long history with the Orange County Republican Central Committee and the California Republican Party State Central Committee, their bylaws only allow me to endorse Republican candidates. Therefore, the candidates identified below are registered Republicans (Rep), unless otherwise noted (Libertarian = Lib, Democrat = Dem, American Independent = AIP, and No Party Preference = NPP).
I can’t endorse every Republican, so I have a grading system. If I have endorsed the candidate, the name will be provided in bold. If there is a good second choice, or a tie (for example, two or more of the candidates are friends), the candidate(s) will be provided in italics (this may mean you’ll have to do more independent research on the candidates). If a Republican candidate is not familiar or not recommended by me, they will be in regular print.
Bold = Endorsement
Italics = Good second choice
Regular = On the ballot
** = Incumbent
|COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICTS|
|NORTH ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT|
|Trustee Area 2||ART MONTEZ||Dem|
|Trustee Area 7||RYAN BENT||Rep|
|COAST COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT|
|Trustee Area 2||JERRY PATTERSON||Dem|
|Trustee Area 2||VONG XAVIER NGUYEN||Rep|
|Trustee Area 3||LORRAINE PRINSKY||Dem|
|Trustee Area 3||VICTOR VALLADARES||Dem|
|Trustee Area 3||ROB FISHEL||NPP|
|Trustee Area 4||MARY HORNBUCKLE||Rep|
|RANCHO SANTIAGO COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT|
|Trustee Area 1||MATTHEW SCHAUER||Rep|
|Trustee Area 3||THOMAS ANTHONY GORDON||Rep|
|Trustee Area 5||STEVEN A. NGUYEN||Rep|
|Trustee Area 5||CECILIA "CECI" AGUINAGA||Dem|
|Trustee Area 7||ARIANNA BARRIOS **||NPP|
|Trustee Area 7||RUDY DIAZ||Rep|
|SOUTH ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT|
|Trustee Area 3||BARBARA "BOBBE" JAY **||Rep|
|Trustee Area 3||KIMBERLY CLARK||Rep|
|Trustee Area 3||GARY V. MILLER||Rep|
|Trustee Area 6||JAMES "JIM" R. WRIGHT||Rep|
|Trustee Area 4, Short||TERRI WHITT **||Rep|
|Trustee Area 4, Short||JOHN ALPAY||Rep|
|Trustee Area 4, Short||JIM LEACH||Rep|
|ELEMENTARY, HIGH SCHOOL AND UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICTS|
|ANAHEIM ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DISTRICT|
|Trustee Area 1||JACKIE FILBECK||Rep|
|BREA OLINDA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT|
|(Vote for 3)||KEVIN J. HOBBY **||NPP|
|(Vote for 3)||GAIL LYONS **||Rep|
|(Vote for 3)||RODNEY "ROD" TODD **||Rep|
|(Vote for 3)||PAUL RUIZ||Rep|
|BUENA PARK SCHOOL DISTRICT|
|Trustee Area 3||MARVIN "ACE" ACEVES||Rep|
|Trustee Area 4||L. CAROLE JENSEN **||Rep|
|CAPISTRANO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT|
|Trustee Area 1||WENDY SHROVE||Rep|
|Trustee Area 2||JIM REARDON||Rep|
|Trustee Area 3||LAURA FERGUSON||Rep|
|Trustee Area 5||JAKE M. VOLLEBREGT||Rep|
|CENTRALIA SCHOOL DISTRICT|
|Trustee Area 3||IRV TRINKLE||Rep|
|CYPRESS SCHOOL DISTRICT|
|Short Term||JIMMY FULLER||Rep|
|Short Term||DONNA MCDOUGALL||Rep|
|FOUNTAIN VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT|
|(Vote for 2)||JEANNE GALINDO||Rep|
|(Vote for 2)||JENNIFER WEIMER||Rep|
|FULLERTON JOINT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT|
|Trustee Area 2||BARBARA R. KILPONEN **||Rep|
|Trustee Area 3||ANDY MONTOYA **||NPP|
|Trustee Area 3||FAITH SARUPA MUKHERJEE|
|FULLERTON SCHOOL DISTRICT|
|Trustee Area 5||JEANETTE VAZQUEZ||Dem|
|Trustee Area 5||LEONEL TALAVERA||Dem|
|GARDEN GROVE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT|
|Trustee Area 1||TERI ROCCO **||Dem|
|Trustee Area 1||NICHOLAS DIBS||NPP|
|Trustee Area 1||JONATHAN BENGCO||Dem|
|Trustee Area 5||LINDA PAULSEN-REED **||Rep|
|Trustee Area 5||DINA NGUYEN||Rep|
|HUNTINGTON BEACH CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT|
|(Vote for 2)||BRIDGET KAUB **||Rep|
|(Vote for 2)||ANN P. SULLIVAN||AIP|
|(Vote for 2)||KARRIE BURROUGHS||Rep|
|HUNTINGTON BEACH UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT|
|(Vote for 2)||MICHAEL H. SIMONS **||Rep|
|(Vote for 2)||SUSAN HENRY **||Rep|
|(Vote for 2)||COLIN MELOTT||Rep|
|IRVINE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT|
|(Vote for 3)||LAUREN BROOKS **||Rep|
|(Vote for 3)||MARK NEWGENT||Rep|
|(Vote for 3)||BETTY CARROLL||NPP|
|LAGUNA BEACH UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT|
|(Vote for 2)||JAN VICKERS **||Dem|
|(Vote for 2)||PEGGY WOLFF||Dem|
|(Vote for 2)||HOWARD HILLS||Rep|
|LA HABRA CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT|
|(Vote for 2)||JOHN A. DOBSON **||Rep|
|(Vote for 2)||ELVIRA MORENO DE GUZMAN||Rep|
|(Vote for 2)||C. MICHELLE BERNIER||NPP|
|(Vote for 2)||SANDRA J. BALTES||Rep|
|LOS ALAMITOS UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT|
|(Vote for 3)||MEG CUTULI **||Rep|
|(Vote for 3)||DAVE BOYER **||Rep|
|(Vote for 3)||ROBERT J. AGUILAR, JR.||Rep|
|(Vote for 3)||CATHY LARSON||Lib|
|NEWPORT-MESA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT|
|Trustee Area 1||VICKI SNELL **||Rep|
|Trustee Area 1||MICHAEL SCHWARZMANN||Rep|
|Trustee Area 3||MARTHA FLUOR **||Rep|
|Trustee Area 3||AMY PETERS||Rep|
|Trustee Area 6||DANA BLACK **||Rep|
|OCEAN VIEW SCHOOL DISTRICT|
|(Vote for 2)||NORM WESTWELL||Rep|
|(Vote for 2)||PATRICIA SINGER||Rep|
|(Vote for 2)||KATHRYN GONZALEZ||Rep|
|ORANGE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT|
|Trustee Area 2||JOHN H. ORTEGA **||Rep|
|Trustee Area 2||DANIEL CORREA||Rep|
|Trustee Area 6||BRENDA LEBSACK||Rep|
|PLACENTIA-YORBA LINDA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT|
|(Vote for 3)||CAROL DOWNEY **||NPP|
|(Vote for 3)||ERIC PADGET **||Rep|
|(Vote for 3)||JUDI CARMONA **||NPP|
|(Vote for 3)||SUSI KHAN||Rep|
|(Vote for 3)||HELEN KINGSBURY||Rep|
|(Vote for 3)||IRENE YEZBAK||Rep|
|SADDLEBACK VALLEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT|
|(Vote for 3)||SUZIE R. SWARTZ **||Rep|
|(Vote for 3)||AMANDA MORRELL **||Rep|
|(Vote for 3)||MARK TETTEMER||Rep|
|(Vote for 3)||DAVID JOHNSON||NPP|
|SANTA ANA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT|
|(Vote for 3)||CECILIA "CECI" IGLESIAS **||Rep|
|(Vote for 3)||RIGO RODRIGUEZ||Dem|
|(Vote for 3)||ALFONSO ALVAREZ||Dem|
|(Vote for 3)||ANGIE CANO||Rep|
|(Vote for 3)||BEATRIZ "BEA" MENDOZA||Dem|
|(Vote for 3)||MARK MCLOUGHLIN||Dem|
|(Vote for 3)||BRUCE THOMAS BAUER||Dem|
|SAVANNA SCHOOL DISTRICT|
|(Vote for 2)||CHRISTINA "TINA" KARANICK||Rep|
|(Vote for 2)||TONY COUSIMANO||Rep|
|TUSTIN UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT|
|(Vote for 3)||JAMES H. LAIRD **||Rep|
|(Vote for 3)||TAMMIE BULLARD **||Rep|
|(Vote for 3)||FRANCINE PACE SCINTO **||Rep|
|WESTMINSTER SCHOOL DISTRICT|
|(Vote for 2)||JAMISON POWER||Dem|
|(Vote for 2)||FRANCES NGUYEN||Rep|
|(Vote for 2)||KARL D. TRUONG||Dem|
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