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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Mark Bucher

Secret Sheriff Union Negotiations Endanger Orange County’s Financial Future

The Orange County Board of Supervisors has tentatively approved a transparency ordinance, known as COIN (for Civic Openness In Negotiations) that would require negotiations with government employee unions to be open to the public. Boy, do they need it.

The current negotiations between the sheriffs’ union and the Orange County Board of Supervisors are a perfect example of why COIN is needed. On Friday, after two years of secret negotiations with the Sheriffs’ union, the proposed terms of the contract being offered by the union were revealed to the public for the first time. And now the Board proposes to take a final vote this Tuesday!

That’s right, fellow taxpayers. We get one business day to review the complex business deal that will bind our County for years to come, and then our elected officials will vote.

This not nearly enough time for the taxpayers, who are going to be on the hook for these salaries and pensions, to understand the costs of what is being offered or fully weigh in. Which is, of course, the point of keeping the details secret until the last minute. Secret negotiations, followed by sudden and final votes, is how business has always… Read More

Kevin Dayton

Unions Tempt Republicans with “Bipartisanship” Lure: Five Tips for Resistance

Two Republicans in the California State Legislature are now voting for legislation sponsored by the state’s construction unions, following several years of unified, principled caucus resistance to such schemes. One might think that former Republican legislators Brett Granlund, Anthony Pescetti, and Ken Maddox are back from term-limited exile, in disguise.

Union leaders and lobbyists are thrilled! They can now label their costly, self-serving bills as “bipartisan” while labeling their more principled critics as “extremist.”

A Bipartisan Attack on Constitutional Rights, Local Control, and Fiscal Responsibility

Most prominent among the union-backed bills with Republican support is Senate Bill 7. This bill would withhold state funding for any of the state’s 121 charter cities that exercise their right under the state constitution to set their own government-mandated wage rate policies for purely municipal construction.

SB 7 undermines the principle of local control over local funds and the fundamental structure of constitutional federalism. It also punishes fiscally responsible cities that recognize how state-mandated… Read More

Kevin Dayton

Pugnacious Defense of Economic Freedom in Orange County Can Inspire California’s Free-Market Activists

Californians whowant fiscally responsible governments and freedom of choicefor government contractors and their employees have another reason for dismay.

Construction union lobbyists are once again advancing their costlyagenda for local governmentsbeyond the corrupt and mismanaged urban centers of Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.

In their latest move, union officials and their elected sycophantsare nowpushing formonopoly control of almost $1 billion in planned construction at Coast Community College District in Orange County (California).

This is not the firstinfiltration of government-mandatedProject Labor Agreementsinto Orange County. About a dozen years ago, union lobbyists managed to get control of the taxpayer-funded construction programs of three local governments: Orange County, Santa Ana Unified School District, and Rancho Santiago Community College District. In the case of Orange County, three Republican supervisors voted for it andaRepublican state legislatordefended it.

But California’s supporters of economic and personal freedom shouldnot be discouraged! This… Read More