When I first spoke to Jennifer Tierney, the firefighters political consultant, in the post below, she had mentioned that “other unions” would be helping fund anti-Proposition C ad blitz that was coming from the committee Police and Firefighters Against Prop C.
I called back to clarify. What other unions would be funding the measure?
Was this a way, after all, for unions other than the police and firefighters to use the public safety banner when they spend money to kill Proposition C?
One of the unions made most anxious by Proposition C is the Local 127 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME. This union is run by a bright and engaging woman (and former journalist!) named Joan Raymond.
As the city fell into the crisis of alleged corruption, AFSCME was able to keep its hands clean. It is the smaller of the city’s two general employee unions and it never had a representative on the runaway retirement system board.
I asked Tierney if AFSCME was going to be supporting Police and Fire Against Prop C. Tierney said “a number of unions” were considering what kind of support to give Prop. C but no one had committed. She rejected the notion that the committee was set up just to provide a public safety cover for AFSCME to spend money against Prop C.
“Several unions are planning to support us. I expect AFSCME to be one of them,” Tierney said.
So I called AFSCME’s Raymond. She said that the local union hadn’t decided whether to financially support the new anti-Proposition C committee. But she said her counterparts in the national organization might.
I called Adam Acosta, who is the chief lobbyist in Southern California for the national AFSCME.
Acosta said AFSCME was “absolutely” considering spending a “significant” amount of money to help defeat Proposition C. He said, however, that they would not decide on an exact figure until the weekend.
Acosta said they had other things to consider in the national arena.
“We’re pretty busy and we have a lot of things we need to consider supporting. We’re trying to win back the House of Representatives, after all,” Acosta said.
I asked him why the national union, with so many other things on its plate, would consider spending significantly on the local race.
He said what’s happening in San Diego has consequences for public employees across the country.
“If San Diego successfully implements managed competition it revitalizes that concept for the country after it died 10 to 15 years ago. These concepts have all been flushed out and rejected in the past. We don’t want to see them reenergized,” Acosta said.
OK, I’ll keep going on this.
But first, here are the two major commercials produced so far.
Mayor Jerry Sanders and the Yes on Prop C ad:
The firefighters’ No on Prop C ad:
Look at that, and we didn’t charge either of the groups a dime.