We were so busy covering the state Supreme Court furlough hearing this week that we couldn't get to this tidbit until now: The California Statewide Law Enforcement Association, Bargaining Unit 7, has endorsed Meg Whitman's run for governor. The endorsement marks the first time a state employee union has backed the Republican candidate -- who has called for axing 40,000 state jobs -- and carries a strong whiff of payback to her Democratic rival, former governor and current Attorney General Jerry Brown.
Here's the top of the press release announcing CSLEA's decision:
Calling her talents more suited to the challenges of the times, the representative association for the state employees who pin on badges, put out fires, answer 911 calls, and investigate and inspect the worst of crimes, today endorsed Meg Whitman for governor over Jerry Brown.
Union president Alan Barcelona laid out the payback part in a Sept. 7 open letter to members:
In not endorsing Brown, the CSLEA Board also remembered his near stone silence only last year when the Legislature made noises of cutting $20 million from the Department of Justice's Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, whose Special Agents run all the state's crime-fighting task forces that the federal government and local law enforcement agencies entrust with their own people.
The funding was restored only when the Special Agents themselves, backed by a CSLEA media blitz, had to take time away from fighting drug cartels to walk the halls of the State Capitol to plead their case. Under his command as attorney general, he has also cut elder abuse investigations by two-thirds.
PHOTO: Alan Barcelona / courtesy CSLEA