The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

September 12, 2013
Column Extra: More info about Knox v. SEIU Local 1000

130912-US-Supreme-Court.jpgThis week's State Worker column looks at how much and to whom SEIU Local 1000 is making repayment for special assessments it wrongly took from nonmembers, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, to fund political activities in 2005 and 2006.

While Local 1000 wouldn't talk about it, the attorney on the other side did. The column lays out what James Young said about how many people will get some money back and how much.

Here are a few links and documents that informed the column:

SEIU Local 1000's Information and FAQs: Knox Judgment Refunds

Bloomberg Law's SCOTUS Blog's page for Knox v. SEIU International Union, Local 1000

The petition to the U.S. Supreme Court by Diane Knox and other SEIU nonmembers

The response by SEIU Local 1000

The U.S. Supreme Court's Knox majority ruling and dissent

With just 400 to 450 words for our weekly State Worker column, much of what we learn each week never sees print. Column Extras give you some of the notes, the quotes, the documents and the observations that inform what's published.

PHOTO: U.S. Supreme Court building. The Associated Press/Pat Benic

January 4, 2013
State scientists' contributions to No on 32 equal $40 per member

The California Association of Professional Scientists' spent half of its political money last year on defeating Proposition 32, the failed campaign finance ballot measure.

With about 2,500 members, CAPS is one of the smallest state employee unions. Still, the $100,000 it gave to the anti-32 effort amounted to $40 per member.

By comparison, SEIU Local 1000, the state's largest employee labor group, sent about $15 per represented employee (both fair-share and full members) to the anti-Proposition 32 campaign. The 13,000-member Professional Engineers in California Government, gave about $46 per member to defeat Proposition 32.

The scientists total political spending for the year came to $200,000, with about 1 percent, $2,400, going non-campaign contribution expenses such as legal and consulting services, Internet costs, meetings and appearances.

As you look through the CAPS PAC data that follows, tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheets open pages with the information parsed and totalled a few different ways.

Remember that expenditures show everything a union PAC spent on political activities, including operating costs. Contributions break out donations given to political campaigns and causes.

January 3, 2013
SEIU Local 1000 member demands more access to union records

Mariam Noujaim, the SEIU Local 1000 gadfly on a quest to publicize the union's staff expense records, says that her recent inspection of documents was so restricted that she is demanding another, longer look.

In a Dec. 28 letter to Paul Harris, Local 1000's chief counsel, Noujaim recounts the limits placed on her November examination of staff expense records:

During our recent audit attempt, you limited us to four (4) hours to inspect the records we were given. You also made certain that we had no skilled help to analyze what was given. We were not allowed to have a lawyer (much less a tax lawyer) or, an accountant, present (just SEIU members). Moreover, when we found something of interest, we could not make a copy or tell anyone what we found.

A Sacramento Superior Court judge signed off some limitations, such as how many people could review the records. Others conditions, however, were open to interpretation or left unspecified in court, such as the time allotted for the review.

December 31, 2012
Engineers put Prop. 32 defeat at top of 2012 political priority list

California's state engineers union gave top priority to defeating Proposition 32, contributing $600,000 to efforts that turned back the campaign finance measure at the November polls.

Professional Engineers in California Government's PECG PAC's contributions to the No on 32 campaign accounted for more than one-third of the $1.7 million the engineers gave to campaigns, parties and causes, according to the 13,000-member union's political contribution filings.

Total political spending by PECG came to $2.2 million this year. Professional services ranked a distant second on the union's expense list, with the money going to a pair of well-known Sacramento-based consulting firms, Blanning & Baker Associates ($56,000) and Aaron Read & Associates ($28,000).

Blanning & Baker is the consulting/lobbying/labor relations firm co-founded by Bruce Blanning, PECG's executive director. (Click here for a piece ithat profiles Blanning as one of The Bee's Californians to Watch in 2013.)

As you look through the data below, tabs at the bottom of the table open other worksheets that parse the numbers in a few different ways.

Expenditures show everything a union PAC spent on political activities, including operating costs such as fees paid to political consultants and attorneys. Contributions pages break out donations given to political campaigns and causes.

For groups that are not independently organized, such as SEIU, AFSCME, IUOE and others, the data don't reflect spending by their umbrella organizations.

December 18, 2012
California firefighters' political spending reflects grudge

Among the hundreds of campaign expenses incurred by the state firefighters' union political action committees this year, two relatively small line items reflect a grudge the organization has held for years.

The California Department of Forestry Firefighters Small Contributor PAC made 147 contributions to state and local candidate campaigns in 2012. It also made two independent expenditures totaling $10,500 to oppose Curt Stracener's bid to keep his El Dorado County Superior Court judgeship.

Before former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed him to the bench in 2010, Stracener worked as a senior litigator for the administration who helped shape furlough strategy.

December 7, 2012
Law officer union gave $630,000 to initiative, Democratic Party

The California Statewide Law Enforcement Association's largest political expenses this year have been contributions to Proposition 32 and the state Democratic Party, according to the union's most recent campaign filings.

CSLEA gave a total $350,000 to efforts backing Gov. Jerry Brown's successful tax proposal and another $280,000 to the party. The union also spent $292,000 on printing expenses.

The union focused its independent expenditure resources on a handful of legislative races. It spent $114,000 to support Riverside Democrat Richard Roth's successful run for the Senate and another $102,000 for Santa Rosa Democrat Michael Allen's unsuccessful bid for re-election to the Assembly.

CSLEA also divvied up a little more than a quarter-million dollars among 80 campaign committees controlled by politicians, an average of $3,145 per committee.

As you look through the tables below, tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheets open worksheets with more detailed information.

Remember that expenditures show everything a union PAC spent on political activities, including operating costs such as political consultants and attorneys. Contributions pages break out donations given to political campaigns and causes. Late contributions are money that came in after the regular filing deadline.

For groups that are not independently organized, such as SEIU, AFSCME, IUOE and others, the data don't reflect contributions from their umbrella organizations.

December 5, 2012
State attorneys union's top expenses: No on 32, consultants

The state lawyers' union political action committee is one of the most ... frugal? ... of any state employees PAC.

The 3,700-member California Attorneys, Administrative Law Judges and Hearing Officers in State Employment (which goes by the economized acronym, CASE), filed just $516,000 of political expenses with the Secretary of State's office -- for both 2011 and 2012.

It's top expenditure: $100,000 to the No on Proposition 32 campaign. It's No. 2 expense: $55,000 to Ellison Wilson Advocates for campaign consulting.

Like we said, frugal. To be fair, the union is one of the smallest bargaining units . Its members are widely agreed to be among the lowest paid professionals in state government, particularly when compared with their counterparts in local government and the private sector.

And CASE dues are among the lowest among rank-and-file state employees, a flat $45 per month, of which $10 goes to the union's PAC.

As you look through the tables below, tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheets open worksheets with more detailed information.

Remember that expenditures show everything a union PAC spent on political activities, including operating costs. Contributions pages break out donations given to political campaigns and causes. Late contributions are money that came in after the regular filing deadline.

Political spending via larger umbrella organizations, such as SEIU California, is not reflected in the data.

December 4, 2012
Highway Patrol Officers' union spends on Proposition 32, fundraisers

In an unusually detailed filing, the California Association of Highway Patrolmen's political action committee has reported some $405,000 in expenses for this year, much of it on political fundraising events such golf outings and dinners.

Two of the union's three biggest political expenses went to fundraisers: $50,000 for Darrell Steinberg's Pro Tem's Cup in March and another $50,000 for Assemblyman John A. Pérez's Speaker's Cup in May.

CAHP also gave a total $50,000 to successful efforts to defeat Propostion 32 and $10,000 to support Gov. Jerry Brown's successful tax measure, Proposition 30.

Many of the remaining 140 or so entries in the CAHP report read like a roster of Sacramento's social and dining hotspots for political grip-and-grin fundraisers:

• $5,000 at Mulvaney's (Attorney General Kamala Harris)
• $5,000 at the Sterling Hotel (Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsome)
• $2,500 at the Citizen Hotel (Treasurer Bill Lockyer)
• $2.000 for a Kings game (Sen. Bob Huff)
• $1,500 at Mikuni (Assemblywoman Beth Gaines)

There's no doubt that other state employee unions spend similarly, but none detail their expenses to the degree CAHP does.

As you look through the tables below, tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheets open worksheets with more detailed information.

Remember that expenditures show everything a union PAC spent on political activities, including operating costs. Contributions pages break out donations given to political campaigns and causes. Late contributions are money that came in after the regular filing deadline.

For groups that are not independently organized, such as SEIU, AFSCME, IUOE and others, the data don't reflect contributions from their umbrella organizations.

December 3, 2012
SEIU critic plans to press for more Local 1000 financial records

121202 Noujaim.JPGMariam Noujaim, an SEIU Local 1000 member who contends her union lacks transparency, plans to continue her efforts to see more of its financial records.

In a summary of what she found during her recent inspection of the local's records, Noujaim says she doesn't believe she was given access to all of the documents she requested. She also contends she was shorted an hour of inspection time and that the exercise itself, conducted in a Sacramento hotel meeting room, symbolized the wastefulness of the union.

"This inspection is not to our satisfaction," Noujaim wrote. "We will be conferring with our lawyer on how to proceed to have full transparency of our dues."

This blog offered to forward Noujaim's summary, posted below in its unedited form, to Local 1000 for comment. The union did not respond to our messages, but in the past has said that Noujaim is a self-promoter and noted, correctly, that she supported Republican Meg Whitman's 2010 gubernatorial run.

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Disgruntled union members say SEIU documents show waste
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PHOTO: Mariam Noujaim / Sacramento Bee 2012 file, Randall Benton

November 29, 2012
CCPOA's spending focus: Beat Prop. 32, support Prop. 30

Political spending by the California Correctional Peace Officers Association reflects how public employee unions faced a divided political battle on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The 30,000-member prison and parole officer union's Truth in American Government Fund split $700,000 of the $1 million it spent between two efforts: $350,000 went to Gov. Jerry Brown's Yes on Proposition 30 campaign and another $350,000 to Joe Slade White & Co.

The union independently tapped the New York-based communications firm to to work up an ad campaign against Proposition 32, the money-in-politics measure that voters rejected on Nov. 6.

Another CCPOA PAC gave $110,000 to the California Democratic Party and $15,400 to the Calfornia Republican Party.

As we noted in an earlier report, the union didn't spend anything to defeat two ballot measures that sought to curtail California's "three-strikes" law (it passed) and repeal the death penalty (it lost).

As you look through the tables below, tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheets open worksheets with more detailed information.

Remember that expenditures show everything a union PAC spent on political activities, including operating costs. Contributions pages break out donations given to political campaigns and causes. Late contributions are money that came in after the regular filing deadline.

Political spending via larger umbrella organizations, such as SEIU California, is not reflected in the data.

November 27, 2012
See what SEIU Local 1000 spent on politics this year

SEIU Local 1000's political action committee has reported some $4.3 million in expenses this year, with more than $1 of every $3 spent on defeating Proposition 32, the campaign reform measure that voters rejected on Nov. 6.

The local's PAC also gave $1 million to Gov. Jerry Brown's tax measure, Proposition 30, which won with organized labor's get-out-the-vote efforts and the governor's barnstorming in the crucial final weeks of the campaign season.

As you look through the tables below, tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheets open worksheets with more detailed information.

Remember that expenditures show everything a union PAC spent on political activities, including operating costs. Contributions pages break out donations given to political campaigns and causes. Late contributions are money that came in after the regular filing deadline.

Political spending via larger umbrella organizations, such as SEIU California, is not reflected in the data.

November 21, 2012
Blog back: Jerry Brown's furlough battle with unions

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 080811 Jerry Brown.JPGBlog backs review your thoughtful and provocative online comments, amplify points, answer questions, correct our mistakes and humbly accept your warranted criticism.

Our report on the latest development in the furlough fight between Gov. Jerry Brown and unions representing state engineers and scientists became an opportunity for blog users to toss in their thoughts about the governor's relationship with labor, the value of unions and whether furloughs save money at all.

Nov. 19, 2012 Jerry Brown administration files furlough appeal

HAHAAAHAAHAA Ha... Now litigation will spend any dollar saved over the past decade.... California will now enjoy the costs of fraud right in their own pockets... LOL... And whats new?

There's a common misperception that furlough litigation costs have offset state payroll savings from furloughs. That's clearly not the case. Not even close.

October 10, 2012
California teachers' union donations surpass $20 million to fight Prop. 32

The California Teachers' Association has given another $2 million to the No on Proposition 32 campaign over the last 10 days, bringing the union's total spending to fight the measure to more than $20 million.

That's 40 percent of the $50 million the No on 32 campaign has raised so far.

Tuesday's filings with the Secretary of State also show that several firefighter unions contributed about $140,000. The San Diego Firefighters Local 145 gave a little over half the total, $73,260.

September 24, 2012
Unions contribute $3.48 million to anti-Proposition 32 campaign

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 100806 ballot-box.jpgThe American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees contributed $1.5 million to defeat Proposition 32, part of $3.48 million given by labor unions and politicians within the last week.

The campaign supporting the campaign finance-reform initiative raised about one-tenth over the same period.

August 14, 2012
Union chips in $2.5 million to fight Proposition 32

Service Employees International Union has put another $2.5 million into defeating Proposition 32 , a November ballot measure that would alter how political campaigns are financed in California.

The donation came from SEIU's California State Council of Service Employees Issues Committee, according to state records filed on Monday, bringing the total contributions to the No on 32 campaign to about $19.5 million.

Between contributions from its issues committee and from SEIU Local 1000, the union has now kicked in about $3.5 million to defeat the Nov. 6 ballot proposal.

The Yes on 32 campaign has taken in about $4 million so far.

The measure would ban unions and corporations from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. It also bans direct campaign contributions by either interest group. Both sides could continue funding independent expenditure campaigns.

Labor unions have made defeating the initiative their top priority because they rely on payroll-deducted member dues to build their political war chests, including money for independent expenditure efforts. Corporations use contributions from executives and funds from their company treasuries to play in politics, so the measure wouldn't hit them as hard.
Aug. 13, 2012 Late Contribution Report -- Proposition 32

August 10, 2012
Unions kick in another $1.1 million to defeat Proposition 32

Service Employees International Union and labor organizations representing firefighters and pipe trades workers have given a combined $1.1 million to the campaign to defeat Proposition 32, according to state records.

SEIU's California State Council of Service Employees Issues Committee gave $500,000. California Professional Firefighters Ballot Issues Committee donated $350,000 and California State Pipe Trades Council of the United Association contributed $250,000. The contributions were reported Thursday.

The Nov. 6 ballot measure would ban unions and corporations from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. It would also ban direct campaign contributions by either interest group. Both sides would be able to continue funding independent expenditure campaigns as they do now.

Defeating Prop. 32 is the top priority for labor unions, which rely heavily on payroll-deducted member dues to build their campaign war chests. Corporations use other means, such as contributions from executives and funds from their company treasuries to play in politics.

120809 Union Contributions

August 3, 2012
California Teachers Association gives $7.5 million to No on 32

The California Teachers Association has ponied up $7.5 million to fight Proposition 32.

The November ballot measure prohibits the use of payroll-deducted funds for political purposes, eliminating labor unions' primary way of raising money for campaigns and other political spending. It also bans direct campaign contributions by corporations and unions.

The contribution, reported Friday in a campaign finance filing on the secretary of state's website, brings the total raised by the opposition campaign this year to more than $16 million. The No on 32 committee reported having $6.5 million in the bank as of June 30, though that balance doesn't count this check or other contributions received in the last month.

Supporters of the measure, who say it will take special interest money out of politics, have raised more than $2.2 million to date. They ended June with a little more than $1 million in the bank.

July 30, 2012
California Democratic Party takes 'no' stance on union dues measure

The California Democratic Party formalized its position on Proposition 32, voting at a weekend executive board meeting to oppose the November initiative.

The measure bans unions and corporations from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. It also bans direct campaign contributions by either interest group.

Defeating the measure on the general election ballot is seen as the top priority for labor unions, which rely heavily on payroll-deducted member dues to build their campaign war chests, and their Democratic allies.

"We have a real fight on our hands in California this year but Democrats are prepared to dig deep and work hard to win," California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton said in a statement. "If Prop 32 were to pass, it would effectively silence the voice of working families at the ballot box while giving corporate interests and billionaire businessmen free rein to exert even more influence on our political system. We're not going to let that happen."

See where the California Democratic Party stands on the other ten measures slated for the November ballot over at our sister blog Capitol Alert.

July 24, 2012
California Legislative Analyst releases Prop. 32 explainer

LAO logo.jpgThe Legislative Analyst's Office has issued the explanations that voters will read in their November ballot pamphlets for all of California's propositions, including the breakdown of Proposition 32.

The measure would change campaign finance rules by banning corporations and unions from contributing to candidates. It also would ban spending for "political purposes" any money received from payroll deductions.

That would hit unions harder than business interests, since payroll-deducted dues are organized labor's main vehicle for raising political cash. Corporations fill their political war chests with money from company resources or individual executive donations.

Here's the LAO's breakdown of the measure:

July 23, 2012
Proposition 32 opponents blast measure as flawed, unfair

Leaders and activists representing good government advocates and labor organizations today officially lauched their fight against a campaign finance reform measure on the November ballot, depicting it as unfair and fatally flawed.

The measure, Proposition 32, eliminates payroll-deducted monies from use for political purposes by unions and corporations. It also bans campaign contributions by either interest group, although both could continue spending unlimited sums on independent expenditure efforts.

July 20, 2012
SEIU Local 1000 gives $500,000 to fight Proposition 32

SEIU Local 1000 has contributed $500,000 more to fight Proposition 32, the campaign-funding initiative, according to records filed Thursday with the state.

Local 1000's latest donation nearly doubled the $503,000 it previously donated to the cause, pushing its total contribution so far to just over $1 million.

Unions so far have given nearly $9 million to defeat the measure, which would ban money obtained via payroll deductions from being used for political purposes. The ban would extend to both unions and corporations, but it would clearly hurt labor interests more, since they receive nearly all of their political operating money from payroll deductions of their members' dues.

Corporations, on the other hand, draw most of their political funds from executive donations and company resources. Those kinds of business sources have donated a little over $4 million to support the measure, which goes before voters on Nov. 6.

Prop. 32 also bans both groups from donating directly to political campaigns, although it leaves room for unlimited spending on independent expenditure efforts to support or oppose politicians or political causes.

SEIU Local 1000 Contribution to No on 32 Campaign

June 21, 2012
SEIU Local 1000 reacts to U.S. Supreme Court decision

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 100602 yolo county gavel.jpgSEIU Local 1000 spokesman Jim Zamora emailed this statement to The State Worker in response to this morning's U.S. Supreme Court decision against the union in Knox v. SEIU Local 1000:

Unfortunately this decision continues the attack on the right of public sector workers to act collectively to impact their workplace on important issues However, we can make the narrow adjustments the court requires on our dues system.

It should be noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed the right of corporations to put millions of dollars into the political system. Yet shareholders currently have no right to object to the spending of that money against their political or ideological beliefs.

The high court ruled that the union should have given nonmembers an immediate chance to object when it unexpectedly increased fees in 2005 to fight two ballot initiatives backed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and to raise money for the upcoming 2006 election campaigns. The union said that the yearly opportunity workers have to opt out was sufficient.

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U.S. Supreme Court rules against SEIU Local 1000 in fee case
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IMAGE: www.yolocourts.ca.gov

June 21, 2012
U.S. Supreme Court rules against SEIU Local 1000 in fee case

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that SEIU Local 1000 didn't appropriately notify members and fair-share payers when it temporarily raised fees in 2005 and 2006.

The 7-2 decision released by the high court this morning in Knox v. SEIU Local 1000 means that unions must give nonmembers an immediate chance to opt out of unexpected fee increases or special assessments required of workers in closed-shop workplaces, such at California's state government.

The court said that Dianne Knox and other nonmembers represented by Local 1000 didn't receive the legally required notice in advance of a $12 million assessment the 93,000-state employee union charged them to raise money for the union's political fund.

In 2007, a district court ruled against the union and ordered refunds of the money with interest. San Francisco's 9th Circuit Court reversed that decision as "practically unworkable."

The high court said today that union opt-out fee policies "approach, if they do not cross, the limit of what the First Amendment can tolerate." Then this summary passage:

June 11, 2012
Unions fire Internet blast at California ballot measure

The organized labor coalition fighting a November ballot measure that would end payroll-deducted money for political spending -- the channel through which unions raise funds to play in politics -- has launched a new video blasting the proposal.

The unions' message attacks the measure as an unfair idea that would put new limits on the influence of organizations that speak up for working people while exempting self-interested elites.

As we mentioned in our Sunday story on the battle ahead over the proposition, look for labor to continue connecting the words like "exempt" and "Wall Street" to tar the measure. Backers, meanwhile, will continue to insist that it's an even-handed proposal that would limit influence by both unions and corporations because it bans both sides from making direct contributions to candidates.

The measure does nothing to limit independent expenditure spending. Since unions raise political money through payroll deductions of their members and corporations spend money donated by executives or taken from company funds, the proposition would hit organized labor harder.

April 27, 2012
Firefighters, SEIU Local 1000 give $500,000 to fight ballot measure

California Professional Firefighters and SEIU Local 1000 recently donated a combined half-million dollars to the group combating a Nov. 6 ballot measure aimed at curbing unions' political power and banning direct contributions to candidates from corporations and unions.

The California Professional Firefighters Independent Expenditures PAC donated $250,000 on April 11 and Local 1000 kicked in $252,762 a couple days later, according to a report filed this week with the state.

Local 1000 and the state council with which it's affiliated have given nearly $1.1 million since last summer. Professional Firefighters, between its independent expenditure committee and its ballot issues committee, has donated $800,000 over the past nine months. Contributions to defeat the measure now total $5.7 million.

Supporters raised about $2.9 million so far.

The proposal would stop unions and businesses from donating money directly to political candidates, although both groups could continue spending freely on independent expenditure campaigns.

Labor groups would have a harder time raising money for those independent campaigns, however, because the measure also eliminates payroll-deducted contributions, unions' primary means of raising money. Corporations couldn't use payroll deductions either, but they raise the bulk of their campaign money from checks written by top executives and shareholders.

April 19, 2012
Column Extra: Union gives $500,000 to fight 'paycheck' ballot measure

With just 400 to 450 words for our weekly State Worker column, most of what we learn each week never sees print. Column Extras give you some of the notes, the quotes and the observations that inform what's published.

Today's State Worker column mentions the latest donation tallies in the campaign arms race over the Stop Special Interest Money Act, dubbed "paycheck deception" by its opponents in labor.

The biggest donation to either side since we last reported the numbers: a $500,000 contribution from the California Council of Service Employees Issues Committee, which like other labor groups, opposed the measure. The council is affiliated with the Service Employees International Union.

CALIFORNIA STATE COUNCIL OF SERVICE EMPLOYEES ISSUES COMMITTEE APRIL 4 DONATIONion

April 3, 2012
SEIU Local 1000, business interests prep for ballot initiative battle

Cash is beginning to flow into campaign war chests as labor and business interests prepare for an all-out brawl over a ballot measure that will ask Californians whether employee payroll deductions should fund political action committees.

Stop Special Interest Money Now has recieved $460,000 in donations since Jan. 1 to support the measure, according to California Secretary of State filings (embedded after the jump). Of that, $200,000 came from Californians Against Special Interests. That group, in turn, is backed with money from Charles T. Munger Jr. and others. Munger is a son of Charles Munger, the billionaire vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.

Meawhile, SEIU Local 1000 gave a quarter-million dollars to the anti-initiative Alliance for a Better California 2012, No on Paycheck Deception on Mar. 20, state records (also embedded below) show.

The two sides are piling up money for a looming multimillion-dollar battle over the "Stop Special Interest Money Now Act."

While the measure would ban both unions and corporations from contributing directly to candidates, both could still fund independent expenditure campaigns to support candidates.

But the measure is seen as especially hard on unions, because it eliminates their primary method of raising money -- payroll deductions. Corporations, by contrast, raise the bulk of their campaign money from top executives and shareholders.

March 30, 2012
Check out what IUOE Local 501 spent on political activities

This is the latest installment in a series of posts detailing political spending by California state workers' unions. The records are downloaded from the California Secretary of State's office and reflect activity filed as of today, March 30, 2012.

The 12,000 or so skilled craftsmen, maintenance staff and equipment operators in Bargaining Unit 12 are represented by the International Union of Operating Engineers, Craft Maintenance Division, California locals 3, 12, 39 and 501. Another 900 or so building maintenance and operations employees in Bargaining Unit 13 are represented by IUOE locals 39 and 501.

IUOE Local 501 reported about $30,000 cash in its PAC's bank as of this month. Since January 2011, it has spent $11,219 with roughly half that going to political contributions. The PAC reported no contributions in the 15-month period.

State employees in Units 12 and 13 make up a small part of the IUOE membership. Collectively, the four locals represent some 250 city, county, special districts, and schools bargaining units, according to the Unit 12 website, many of them outside of California. State workers are assigned to a local based on job class and geography.

As you look through the tables that follow, remember that expenditures show everything a union PAC spent on political activities, including operating costs. Contributions pages break out donations received (usually from members) and donations made to political campaigns and causes. In some cases, tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheets open tables with more detailed information on the union's political spending.

To get a sense of similar spending in California by other interest groups, check out Maplight.org. The California data on that site run through December 2010.


March 27, 2012
See what IUOE Local 39 spent on politics in 2011

This is the latest installment in a series of posts detailing the 2011 political spending by California state workers' unions. The records are downloaded from the California Secretary of State's office and reflect activity filed as of Jan. 31, 2012.

The 12,000 or so skilled craftsmen, maintenance staff and equipment operators in Bargaining Unit 12 are represented by the International Union of Operating Engineers, Craft Maintenance Division, California locals 3, 12, 39 and 501.

Last year IUOE Local 39 reported no donations received, but spent about $46,000 and ended the year with close to $254,000 in the bank. It spent roughly $34,000on political campaigns and causes, including $10,000 to the Asian Small Business PAC.

State employees in Unit 12 make up a small part of the total IUOE membership. Collectively, the four locals represent some 250 city, county, special districts, and schools bargaining units, according to the Unit 12 website, some outside of California. State workers are assigned to a local based on job class and geography.

As you look through the tables that follow, remember that expenditures show everything a union PAC spent on political activities, including operating costs. Contributions pages break out donations received (usually from members) and donations made to political campaigns and causes. In some cases, tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheets open tables with more detailed information on the union's political spending.

To get a sense of similar spending in California by other interest groups, check out Maplight.org. The California data on that site run through December 2010.

March 26, 2012
Report says unions have big money advantage in politics

Here's one side of the argument you'll be hearing for the next seven months over the so-called "Stop Special Interest Money Now Act" the political-committee funding measure on the Nov. 7 ballot in California.

"DUES AND DEEP POCKETS: Public-Sector Unions' Money Machine," published by the conservative Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, argues that dues withheld by payroll deduction and paid directly to unions, along with rules that force employees to pay for representation even if they aren't members, gives labor "an abundant and reliable source of money, sparing unions the need to spend resources on recruitment, retention, and fund-raising."

Author Daniel DiSalvo says that means civil service unions have a serious advantage over other groups throwing elbows for government resources.

The Stop Special Interest Money Now Act would, among other things, prohibit use of payroll-deducted funds for political purposes by unions, corporations or government contractors. Employees could still contribute to employer or union committees, but they'd have to do it annually and in writing. (Click here to read the measure.)

California unions' will take a big revenue hit if voters approve the as-yet-to-be-numbered proposition, since labor relies on members' payroll deductions to raise money for political spending. Business interests don't.
DUES AND DEEP POCKETS: Public-Sector Unions' Money Machine

March 16, 2012
See what IUOE Local 12 spent on political activities in 2011

This is the latest installment in a series of posts detailing the 2011 political spending by California state workers' unions. The records are downloaded from the California Secretary of State's office and reflect activity filed as of Jan. 31, 2012.

The 12,000 or so skilled craftsmen, maintenance staff and equipment operators in Bargaining Unit 12 are represented by the International Union of Operating Engineers, Craft Maintenance Division, California locals 3, 12, 39 and 501.

Last year IUOE Local 12 received a half-million dollars in donations and spent about $213,000, state records show. Of that, $186,000 went to political campaigns and causes. The union's PAC ended the year with $1.35 million in the bank.

The single largest payee, Nationwide Printing Services Inc., did $26,540 worth of printing work for candidates the local supported, but the payments were in-kind contributions, not cash, according to state filings. The California Democratic Party received $25,000, Local 12's largest cash expense last year.

State employees in Unit 12 make up a small part of the IUOE membership. Collectively, the four locals represent some 250 city, county, special districts, and schools bargaining units, according to the Unit 12 website, some outside of California. State workers are assigned to a local based on job class and geography.

As you look through the tables that follow, remember that expenditures show everything a union PAC spent on political activities, including operating costs. Contributions pages break out donations received (usually from members) and donations made to political campaigns and causes. In some cases, tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheets open tables with more detailed information on the union's political spending.

To get a sense of similar spending in California by other interest groups, check out Maplight.org. The California data on that site run through December 2010.

March 5, 2012
California's state operating engineers local spent more than $470,000 on political activities last year

This is the latest installment in a series of posts detailing the 2011 political spending by California state workers' unions. The records are downloaded from the California Secretary of State's office and reflect activity filed as of Jan. 31, 2012.

Editor's note, 12:25 p.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated the total of IUOE Local 3's 2011 spending.

The 12,000 or so skilled craftsmen, maintenance staff and equipment operators in Bargaining Unit 12 are represented by the International Union of Operating Engineers, Craft Maintenance Division, California locals 3, 12, 39 and 501.

This post focuses on IUOE Local 3, which spent $473,000 on political activities last year through 10 accounts reported to the Secretary of State. The largest account paid the local and the Operating Engineers General Fund a combined $176,000 for "reimbursement of salaries." Another $100,000 went to the California Democratic Party.

As you look through the tables that follow, remember that expenditures show everything a union PAC spent on political activities, including operating costs. Contributions pages break out donations received (usually from members) and donations made to political campaigns and causes. In some cases, tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheets open tables with more detailed information of the union's political spending.

Most of Local 3's accounts showed expenditures and political donations that matched exactly. For the few accounts that reported significant overhead, we totaled the expenditures and posted those figures on the first page of of the appropriate spreadsheets. We also totaled up contributions to recipients when the number of line items merited it.

The first sheet tallies each of the Local 3 accounts' expenses. Detailed spreadsheets for each account follow, starting with the largest, filer number 981697. (We've included a staff/spouse travel tab that shows the union paid $7,300 for airfare, lodging and meals.)

We'll soon post the data for the other three locals representing Unit 12.

To get a sense of similar spending in California by other interest groups, check out Maplight.org. The California data on that site run through December 2010.

March 2, 2012
Gasp! California state workers' PAC spends zip on lobbyists, lawyers, consultants in 2011

This is the latest installment in a series of posts detailing the 2011 political spending by California state workers' unions. The records are downloaded from the California Secretary of State's office and reflect activity filed as of Jan. 31, 2012.

California Association of Professional Scientists, which represents approximately 2,500 state employees, gave a nearly $160,000 to its political action committee last year, which spent about $41,000 -- none of it on the lobbyists, attorneys or political consultants that usually rank high union expenditure lists.

(The union did spend about $172,000 on lobbying to Blanning and Baker Associates Inc. and Aaron Read & Associates LLC, but the money didn't come from the union's PAC account.)

The biggest CAPS PAC checks, $10,000 each, went to the California Democratic Party and to Californians for Health and Retirement Security (the pro-pension labor coalition now known as Californians for Retirement Security). 

As you look through the data below, remember that expenditures show everything a union PAC spent on political activities, including operating costs. Contributions pages break out donations received (usually from members) and donations given to political campaigns and causes. Tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet open tables with more detailed information of the union's political spending

To get a sense of similar spending in California by other interest groups, check out Maplight.org. The California data on that site run through December 2010.

February 28, 2012
See what money Professional Engineers in California Government's PAC received and spent in 2011

This is the latest installment in a series of posts detailing the 2011 political spending by California state workers' unions. The records are downloaded from the California Secretary of State's office and reflect activity filed as of Jan. 31, 2012.

Professional Engineers in California Government's political action committee took in $1.3 million in contributions last year and spent $534,000. Of that, about $468,000 went to political campaigns and causes, including a total $180,000 to the California Democratic Party. Blanning Baker & Baker Associates, the union's principal consulting firm, received $34,500 with consultants Aaron Read & Associates representing the PAC's third-largest expense, $17,500.

PECG represents about 13,000 engineering professionals who design and inspect state highways, bridges and other construction projects.

As you look through the table below, remember that expenditures show everything a union PAC spent on political activities, including operating costs. Contributions pages break out donations received (usually from members) and donations given to political campaigns and causes. Tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet open tables with more detailed information of the union's political spending.

To get a sense of similar spending in California by other interest groups, check out Maplight.org. The California data on that site run through December 2010.

February 13, 2012
CA prison officers spent more than $1 million on political advice

This is the fourth installment in a series of posts detailing the 2011 political spending by California state workers' unions. The records are downloaded from the California Secretary of State's office and reflect activity filed as of Jan. 31, 2012.

The California Correctional Peace Officers Association paid a total $1.1 million to four political consultants and a political lawyer last year, according to documents the union filed with the state.

Media strategy firm The Battin Group (formerly Voter Strategies Inc. and run by former Republican lawmaker Jim Battin) topped the list with $342,000 from CCPOA., followed by $220,000 to J. S. Peace & Associates, which is headed by former state lawmaker and "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" producer Steve Peace.

Other CCPOA expenditures in 2011 included $200,000 to former Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata's firm, Perata Consulting LLC, about $200,000 more to attorney Wayne Ordos and $157,000 to McNally Temple Associates Inc., another consulting firm.

The union also gave $100,000 to the California Independent Voter Project, a non-profit organization that offers to pay the expenses of state lawmakers who attend an annual Hawaii conference. Peace is one of the non profit's principals.

CCPOA, like many players in the political arena gave money to both sides of the aisle. Last year it wrote checks totaling $110,000 to the California Democratic Party and $25,000 to the California Republican Party.

By our count, the union controlled or wholly subsidized at least nine PACs, although not all of them took in or paid out money last year. Click here for a list that includes the committees.

We focused on the six most active PACS and subtotaled individual expenditures and contributions of the biggest accounts. Access those figures by clicking the "expend totals" or "contrib totals" at the bottom of some tables.

Expenditures pages show everything the association spent on political action, including operating costs. Contributions pages break out donations to campaigns and political causes.To get a sense of political spending in California by other interest groups, check out Maplight.org. The California data on that site run through December 2010.

Here are the CCPOA numbers:

February 9, 2012
See how the California Association of Highway Patrolmen spent its money in 2011

This is the third in a series of posts that will detail the 2011 political spending by California state workers' unions. The records are downloaded from the California Secretary of State's office and reflect activity filed as of Jan. 31, 2012.

The California Association of Highway Patrolmen took in nearly twice as much in contributions as it spent on political activities in 2011. Contributors gave the union $465,947, according to reports filed with the state. Only one contribution, $300 returned from Democratic Sen. Ron Calderon, exceeded the $100 threshold for itemized reporting, according to CAHP's filings.

Meanwhile, the association wrote checks for $223,415 to cover political activities. All but about $10,000 went to poltical campaigns, mostly via fundraisers. The largest expenses listed on the union's report were $50,000 for the Speaker's Cup golf tournament at Pebble Beach and $50,000 to the Pro Tem's Cup golf event at Torrey Pines.

We've embedded a spreadsheet below with pages that detail what CAHP spent on political activities last year and other pages that total up the money. You can access each page by clicking the tabs at the bottom of the table.

Expenditures page show everything the association spent on poltical action, including operating costs. Contributions pages break out donations to campaigns and political causes.To get a sense of political spending in California by other interest groups, check out Maplight.org. The California data on that site run through December 2010.

February 8, 2012
See California state attorneys union's political spending in 2011

This is the second in a series of posts that will detail the 2011 political spending by California state workers' unions. The records are downloaded from the California Secretary of State's office and reflect activity filed as of Jan. 31, 2012.

California Attorneys, Administrative Law Judges and Hearing Officers in State Employment reported political contributions of $154,200 and political expenditures of $206,443, according to records published by the state.

The expense report tallies all political spending, including the contributions figures that break out money that went to politicians and issues campaigning.

The California Democratic Central Committee received the most money, $37,700. Rank-and-file members contributed a little over $41,000 to the CASE PAC. Nearly all of that came in $10 donations. CASE represents roughly 3,400 employees.

We've embedded a spreadsheet below with pages that detail what CASE received and gave last year and other pages that total up the money. To get a sense of political spending in California by other interest groups, check out Maplight.org. The California data on the site run through December 2010.

February 7, 2012
See SEIU Local 1000 political action committees' 2011 spending

This is the first in a series of posts that will detail the 2011 political spending by California state workers' unions. The records are downloaded from the California Secretary of State's office and reflect activity filed as of Jan. 31, 2012.

A political action committees operated by SEIU Local 1000 gave $380,000 to campaigns and organizations last year, including nearly $195,000 to the Democratic State Central Committee of California, according to records filed with the state.

The union also donated a total of $21,000 to help retire 2010 campaign debts for Democrats such as Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara; Assemblyman Sandré Swanson, D-Alameda; and Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, among others.

One of the union's PACs donated several hundred dollars of staff time to politicians, including Controller John Chiang.

For a list of the union's political entities, click here. The union's reports to the state duplicated some expenditures. Note: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1991 that public sector employees may not be compelled to subsidize political or ideological activities of public employee unions.

We've embedded a spreadsheet below that details how the union's various political entities received and gave last year. To get a sense of political spending in California by other interest groups, check out Maplight.org (the California data on the site run through December 2010).

Editor's note, 2:29 p.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that unions could not use members' dues to fund PACs.


September 23, 2011
Details behind controversial SEIU pay proposal emerge

Specific details have surfaced about the research that went into a now-tabled proposal to increase the pay of SEIU Local 1000 officers.

According to a 13-page rough draft of a PowerPoint presentation that was going to be given at the local's Sept. 16-19 council meeting in Oakland, the researchers looked at wages paid for comparable positions and checked IRS rules before proposing to pay Local 1000's president $150,000 per year and $125,000 per year to each of its three vice presidents.

(Our first report on the proposal referenced the research and legal vetting the plan received, but the PowerPoint goes into great detail.)

The plan riled up rank-and-file members once it became widely known, however, and Local 1000 President Yvonne Walker asked to have it pulled from the Oakland agenda. The presentation, acquired by The State Worker and confirmed as authentic by the union, was never brought to the council.
SEIU Local 1000 Officers' Pay Proposal PPt

September 17, 2011
SEIU Local 1000 executive pay increase proposal killed

SEIU Local 1000 President Yvonne Walker this morning pulled back a proposal that would have tripled her income and significantly boosted the pay for the local's three vice presidents.

Walker said this morning at the local's 64-member council meeting in Oakland that she had asked the author of the controversial pay proposal to pull it from the council's weekend agenda.

According to union spokesman Jim Zamora and members present at the meeting, the room of about 230 union officers and rank-and-file members--some attending specifically to talk about the pay plan--burst into applause at the announcement.

The plan would have set the total annual pay for the local's president at $150,000 and $125,000 for its three vice presidents by adding a union stipend to the state wages that the union reimburses the government. Walker stood to receive $103,000 above her state wage of $47,000 as a Department of Justice legal secretary.

Proponents of the plan said that the jobs' responsibilities and the size of the 95,000-member organization justified the increases. Opponents blasted the proposal as a tone-deaf, self-serving perk that is out of step with the union's leadership values.

Walker also said this morning that the local would continue to study the issue.

September 13, 2011
Union leaders urge SEIU council to reject executive pay raise

A letter criticizing an SEIU Local 1000 proposal to increase executive pay is making the rounds among rank-and-file members, just days before union officials will convene in Oakland and consider the idea.

The letter, written by Paul Smilanick, former president and current vice president and chief steward of SEIU Local 1000 District Labor Council 768 in Sacramento and former Local 1000 Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer Cathy Hackett to Local 1000's council members, says that adding stipends to the state pay that the union's president and three vice presidents receive "is just plain wrong."

The council will consider whether to adopt the pay plan during a four-day meeting in Oakland that starts Friday. The proposal would set the president's pay at $150,000 per year and the three vice presidents' yearly pay at $125,000. The union would add a stipend to each officer's state pay to get them up to the new compensation level.

Currently, those officers receive their government pay and benefits while working full time on union business. Local 1000 then reimburses the state.

Proponents say that's not nearly enough, given the 95,000-member union's size, budget and the long work hours put in by those four elected officials.

More than a dozen people forwarded the e-mail to The State Worker. We contacted Smilanick and Hackett to verify their authorship. Both gave permission to post their joint e-mail here, unedited:

September 8, 2011
SEIU Local 1000 to consider six-figure salaries for officers

Yvonne_Walker_small.jpgEditor's note, Sept. 9, 11:59 a.m.: This post has been corrected from an earlier version that listed the incorrect dates for the Local 1000 council meeting in Oakland.

SEIU Local 1000 President Yvonne Walker would receive three times her current wages under a new executive pay proposal that the union's statewide council will consider at its Sept. 16-19 meeting in Oakland.

The plan calls for members serving in Local 1000's top job to earn a total compensation package of $150,000 per year. In Walker's case, the union would tack on $103,000 to the $47,000 gross pay she receives as a legal secretary with the Department of Justice.
Because Walker is on full-time union paid leave, SEIU already reimburses the state for her salary plus 35 percent to cover her benefits. So in reality, the entire $150,000 would come from union resources.

July 1, 2011
Video spoof warns of raising law enforcement's retirement age

Alliance4Safety, which is a new effort by the California Correctional Peace Officers Association to unite law enforcement groups around common interests, has posted the video above on You Tube (CCPOA has also posted it on the union's website.)

The piece uses scenes from a California prison riot and splices an older "correctional officer" using a walker into the frame. He enters the scene from the right.

"Knock it off! You're in trouble now!" the hunched-over officer mutters. "You keep riotin'. I'll be there in a second."

The video ends with the on-screen message: "Raise the retirement age for cops? They're kidding, right?"

March 28, 2011
Food at union meetings: Perk, bribe or legit accommodation?

The single-sentence email from a frustrated state worker hit our inbox this morning:

"This is what SEIU does to attract attendees, and my fees go to this!"

It came with a scan of this flier promoting a series of 30-minute Local 1000 meetings at CDCR headquarters this Wednesday promising, "$5 Subway Cards will be given to all who attend." All employees represented by the union are welcomed and, presumably, will get a Subway card.

The flier reminded us of an SEIU protest at the Capitol a few years ago that offered free lunch to participants. At the time we thought it was a legitimate accommodation for state workers who were taking their lunch time to show up at a rally, sort of like when a reporter turns in a receipt for a business lunch with a source.

SEIU Local 1000 spokesman Jim Zamora said that the union often offers food at events where it's asking folks to sacrifice their break time to participate. It's also an effective recruiting tool, he said. Former SEIU president Andy Stern once said he joined the union because "they were serving pizza."

What do you think about food and union business? Is free food mostly a perk for activists, a bribe for the apathetic or a reasonable gesture to compensate people who take time to tend union affairs?

February 9, 2011
Union: Cut private contracts, 'develop revenue opportunities'

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees says that California should find new "revenue opportunities" and could save more than $34 billion per year by dumping private contractors who do jobs that government employees could do for less.

"That's the amount that Sacramento spends every year paying private contractors to do jobs that civil servants can perform for roughly half the cost," says AFSCME's press release, which was issued this morning.

AFSCME says it culled those ideas and others from surveying the 180,000 workers it represents in various levels of California government. The union now wants to form "workplace-level, labor-management efficiency teams" to find and capture ways for government to save money.

Besides raising revenues and curtailing outside contracts, AFSCME says government should do more of the following:

November 12, 2010
PECG-sponsored documentary airs Sunday in Sacramento area


If you live around Sacramento, pull yourself away from the football game on Sunday afternoon and check out a documentary on News10 at 12:30 p.m. that was sponsored by Professional Engineers in California Government.

"The Next Frontier: Engineering the Golden Age of Green," features green energy technologies around the world, and how America can apply them. (Click the embedded viewer above for a two-minute trailer.)

We watched an advance copy of the show. Our favorite part featured a Lancaster thermal solar farm that uses thousands mirrors to focus sunlight on a boiler to produce steam that drives turbine generators. Computers move the mirrors 12,000 times each day to keep them angled between the sun and the boiler. The precision required is roughly equal to free throwing a pea into a soda straw from 10 feet away, according to the plant's engineer.

Click here to read PECG's press release about the show. The release doesn't include the union's sponsorship cost.

We called and e-mailed PECG this afternoon to ask, but we haven't heard back.

November 10, 2010
SEIU hires former Assembly speaker's chief for top union post

Editor's note: An earlier version of this post included a Scribd display of the SEIU Local 1000 announcement. For purposes of easier readability, this version links directly to the announcement on the local's website.

SEIU Local 1000 has hired Nolice Edwards as its new chief of staff. Union President Yvonne Walker announced the decision in the following memo.

The memo, which you can read here, doesn't disclose what the union is paying Edwards, who earned $190,000 in 2009 as Assembly Speaker Karen Bass' chief of staff.

We've asked the local how much Edwards will make in her new post, but it's not a government job, so SEIU isn't obligated to disclose the information. Still, union spokesman Jim Zamora said he would check. If he comes back with an answer, we'll update this post.

November 2, 2010
AFSCME local, affiliate spent $18,500 on campaigns in October

We're wrapping up our survey of October political spending by state employee unions with American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2620. State records show that the local spent $500 in October on political efforts, although the 1.3 million-member national is a political heavy hitter.

Union of American Physicians & Dentists, which is affiliated with AFSCME, spent $18,000 on political candidates and causes in October.

November 2, 2010
Operating engineers locals gave to Democrats, local campaigns

In October, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 39 gave money to candidates in five city council races and the Sacramento County sheriff's race, plus $50,000 to the California Democratic Party.

IUOE Local 501 gave $1,500 to two campaigns, including $500 to Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who lost the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor

November 2, 2010
State scientists' union gave $250,000 to state Democratic Party

California Association of Professional Scientists put $285,000 into political campaigns and causes last month, nearly all of it going to the California Democratic Party. The State Worker has been reviewing and posting the October political spending of the 12 unions that represent roughly 200,000 state workers in 21 bargaining units.

Here's the information that CAPS reported to the Secretary of State's office:

November 1, 2010
Psychiatric technicians put October money on Brown

The California Association of Psychiatric Technicians put $10,450 into an independent expenditure supporting Democrat Jerry Brown's gubernatorial run, the most money that the union spent on politics in October.

CAPT's campaign contributions and independent expenditures for the month are detailed below.

This post is the latest in a series that The State Worker has run on union political spending leading up to Tuesday's elections.

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November 1, 2010
Firefighters supported Brown, majority vote on budget

In response to suggestions from blog users, we've been looking at October political spending by state employee unions. Next up: CDF Firefighters.

According to the secretary of state's office, the union's Small Contributors PAC gave just over $45,000 to various campaigns so far this month, including $25,000 to "100,000 Frontline Firefighters and Law Enforcement JERRY BROWN FOR GOVERNOR 2010."

Its Issues Committee has contributed $55,000 for the month. Of that, $25,000 went to oppose a ballot measure that would make it harder for lawmakers to increase fees. Another $25,000 went to support a proposition that would allow the Legislature to pass a budget with a simple majority.

November 1, 2010
See what state legal professionals' union spent on politics

Our look at state employee union political spending continues, this time focusing on California Attorneys, Administrative Law Judges and Hearing Officers in State Employment.

Our earlier posts have focused on union campaign contributions and independent expenditures in October. In CASE's case, however, the Secretary of State's database didn't include dates for the spending. In the absence of that information, we decided to err on the side of providing more information.

October 29, 2010
Blog back: Is posting union spending a 'smear'?

Blog backs review your thoughtful and provocative online comments, amplify points, answer questions, correct our mistakes and humbly accept your warranted criticism.

Some blog users have taken issue with our series of posts on what unions have spent on political activities in October. Here are some of the more critical comments:

October 28, 2010
Democratic Party gets majority of Patrol union's October cash

We're continuing our look at state employee unions' political spending this month. This installment: the California Association of Highway Patrolmen. The 8,500-member union spent a total of $163,000 so far, with $100,000 going to the state Democratic Party. The union didn't report any independent expenditures.



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 jortiz@sacbee.com.

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