First Cuppa Coffee – February 15th, 2012 : The Pension Poison Pill Edition

by on February 15, 2012 · 1 comment

in Environment, First Cuppa, Health, Labor, San Diego

A little background… The quest by San Diego’s top politicians to “resolve the pension crisis” ran into a small bump in the road this week when the State of California’s Public Employee Relations Board said it will seek a court injunction to keep the city of San Diego’s 401(k) initiative off the June ballot until it makes a final determination on whether Mayor Jerry Sanders violated labor law by crafting and advocating for the measure as a private citizen to avoid negotiations with employee unions.

In plain English….   A quasi-judicial government agency said it will file suit to get a judicial review of the circumstances surrounding the “private-citizen” aspect of the Comprehensive Petition Reform signature gathering drive. That might involve postponing its appearance on the ballot until November. If the agency finds in favor of the City employees’ union complaint then it is possible that one remedy could be that the drive would be declared invalid because it was based on a false premise.  One other note: this case would mark labor’s first ‘victory’ in over two years with the PERB, so the assertion that the agency is simply a front for unionism doesn’t hold water. Not that any media will actually fact check DeMaio’s claims….

Let my people vote!…  So tweeted Carl DeMaio as he raced around San Diego’s TV newsrooms posing as the victim of yet another egregious scam by union goons.  What he didn’t apparently know (he’s never agreed to participate in any forum where his viewpoints might be challenged before) was that Fox 5 had lined up local AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Lorena Gonzalez to provide counter-point to his claims. The video of that encounter is simply amazing—when cornered, DeMaio simply shook his head and claimed he’d ‘lost the signal and couldn’t hear the question’.  And then he continued onwards as if nothing happened.

Maybe this explains his proclivity to ignore inconvenient facts… This TV encounter came on the same week as DeMaio’s former Council-mate and occasional collaborator Donna Frye declared him to be a ‘political sociopath’ during her stint as guest host over at VOSD Radio.  Commenter Marc added this explanation (and today’s money quote): “People with antisocial personality disorder perceive the world differently than most people do and may not have the range of feelings that others have. Because they cannot relate to others, they have no trouble lying or violating the rights of other people in order to achieve their goals. Some of these people are very charming and adept at manipulating others, while others may use violence or intimidation to get what they want.”

 Oh, ye of little faith…. Occupy actions directed at disrupting Port traffic in San Diego and other cities along the West Coast certainly had a large part of traditional organized labor groups and their allies on the Port Commission squirming last fall. There was conscious effort to re-direct the impact of the protests in the context of having a negative effect on the local economy and labor relations in general.

Now, as local 21 of the International Longshoreman and Warehouse Union based in Washington State is celebrating its recent victory at the negotiating table, the Union is pointing to the Occupy actions as a crucial element in that long and difficult struggle, which appeared to be at an impasse, despite the intervention of Washington State Gov. Christine Gregoire.

“Labor can no longer win victories against the employers without the community,” said ILWU delegate Clarence Thomas,”It must include a broad-based movement. The strategy and tactics employed by the Occupy Movement in conjunction with rank and file ILWU members confirm that the past militant traditions of the ILWU are still effective against the employers today.”  H/T to Monty for this nugget.

 “Millionaire” Tax measure supporters launch campaign…   The local signature gathering campaign for the California Millionaires Tax starts today. Go here for more info about today’s events, which are sponsored by Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), California Calls, California Federation of Teachers, Equality Alliance, California Nurses Association and many others.

Virgil for the Death of Prop 215…. Medical Marijuana supporters will be gathering at San Diego City Hall today at 4 pm to call  attention to the fact that all of San Diego’s  Pot Cooperatives will most likely be closed by the end of February.

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