The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

December 18, 2008
Column extra: Recently retired CO on Perata, CCPOA and fear

ccpoa-thumb-200x200.gifFor today's State Worker column about reaction to CCPOA's $600,000 defacto donation to Don Perata's legal defense fund, we reached out to a number of correctional officers, hoping for an on-the-record take from someone who hadn't been quoted before.

One person we contacted, Dave Freeman, is a recently retired CO and union supporter.

We asked Freeman, "How do you feel about what Perata did?" He responded, although his e-mail landed too late for us to make room in today's column. Fortunately, we can offer it here as a column extra for faithful users of this blog:

So.....Don Perata took our $600K? How do I feel about it? Good for him. That's how things get done in politics Jon, in California, in the Federal Government, and everywhere else.

Men are corrupt Jon. And you know that. Bureaucracies are just groups of corrupt men. The state prison is rife with corruption, as is most of California Government. So we have unions in state government for the same reason we have unions in the private sector. To protect workers from corrupt employers, they are a necessary evil. That's all there is to it.

I never promoted within the California System. The perception among many of us is that management promotes, for the most part, their friends and relatives. The current disciplinary matrix is being used as a management tool to run rough shod over line staff, who are seen as a threat by an incompetent, corrupt, prison management in the California system. Unions protect the workers Jon. And it takes money to promote their agenda.

Since I retired from California, I no longer fear repercussions from management like I used to. Prison employees fear their leadership Jon ... another reason we need strong unions.

I don't know where this country and the state of California are headed. As the bureaucracies get larger, the corruption and incompetence seem to increase. It's easy perhaps, to scapegoat unions or state employees, but unions are a reaction to the problem, not the problem itself.

Take care, Jon. This has probably reached you too late to be of any use to your column tomorrow, but feel free to contact me in the future if you like.

Merry Christmas, and may God bless you and your family.

Dave Freeman

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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