Gov.-elect Jerry Brown is speaking at the California Correctional Peace Officers Association convention today. His appearance, announced this morning on the convention floor at the Rio All-Suite Hotel in Las Vegas, was confirmed by Brown spokesman Sterling Clifford a few minutes ago.
Brown has spoken to more than a dozen interest groups so far, according to Clifford, who said, "He's carrying a message of the seriousness of the budget situation."
Despite the grim message, Brown's appearance in Las Vegas signals a turn in management-labor relations for CCPOA. The union has been out of contract since mid-2006 and under terms imposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger since late 2007. Its relationship with the governor has alternated between public recriminations and stone-cold silence, punctuated with furlough lawsuits and several dozen unfair labor practice complaints against Schwarzenegger and his policies.
CCPOA went all-in for Brown during the election campaign, spending big on media buys blasting Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and supporting the Democrat. Union President Mike Jimenez recently told The State Worker that getting a contract with the Brown administration is his top priority next year, but he recognizes that California's shabby economy and state government's serial budget crises are critical factors that will shape any labor deal.
PHOTO: Jerry Brown speaks during a July 20 campaign event. Hector Amezcua, Sacramento Bee