Some public employees are more equal than others

Jan. 1, 2013

By Chris Reed7-commandments

Happy New Year’s, everybody. I am sure that 2013 is the year that California turns the corner. OK, maybe not. But I am confident there will be 12 months this year, the Mayan crisis having passed.

The balance of power in California is so tilted in favor of public employee unions that I’ve often compared it hyperbolically to another one-party state, the one based in Pyongyang. But a story in the San Jose Mercury-News brings to mind another allegory for California: George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” an amazingly durable fable about how power corrupts, the failed promise of collectivism and the disaster that was Stalinism for the socialist cause.

When the animals in Orwell’s novella take over Mr. Jones’ farm, they adopt the Seven Commandments of Animalism, in which the most important of the seven is the guarantee that all animals are equal. By novel’s end, the pigs have taken over, and the Seven Commandments have been boiled down to one: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

In California, the Legislature kills legislation that would allow school districts to quickly fire teachers who are actual sexual predators. But what about public employees who watch depravity but don’t actually do things like feeding semen to schoolkids? If they’re not teachers, typically they’re out of luck and soon out of a job. This is from Monday’s Merc-News:

“The head of San Mateo County’s probation department retired Monday under the cloud of an investigation by federal authorities into whether he had child pornography, officials said.

“A family member of Stuart J. Forrest filed paperwork with the county’s public worker retirement system that made his departure effective immediately, county spokesman Marshall Wilson said.

“He had been on paid administrative leave from his $140,000 a year salary position since Dec. 21, when news broke of the investigation. …. Forrest began working for the probation department in November 1977 and was named its chief in April 2009. …

“If Forrest is charged and convicted of a crime, it could mean forfeiting rights to a county pension. Under a broadening of state law to take effect in January, public workers convicted of a job-related felony will lose their retirement benefits, according to Government Code section 7522.70.”

Yes, I get the point that all public employees in California are subject to loss of pension for a job-related felony, including teachers. But the story of Mark Berndt and how the Los Angeles Unified School District had to pay him $40,000 to get rid of him remains sickening.

You don’t see most white-collar unions putting up obstacles to removal of perverts from their jobs, much less succeeding with this tactic.

Yet in California Teachers Association-occupied Sacramento, that’s exactly what happened. The Seven Commandments of Unionism no longer hold sway. Instead, all public employees are equal, but some public employees are more equal than others.

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