Union delegation unexpected sight at GOP convention

March 4, 2013

By Mark Stefanos

Leaders of the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of San Diego County, a labor organization representing 2,200 law-enforcement officers, toured the California Republican Convention in Sacramento last weekend, attending sessions and meeting with elected officials.

They were an uncommon sight, given California labor leaders’ historic alliance with Democratic candidates and organizations. It is far too soon to see this as significant. But for a Republican Party looking to widen its umbrella after significant losses in the 2012 election cycle, the union’s overture was a reminder that California’s police and fire unions haven’t been as rigidly predictable or ideological as other public-employee unions.

Matt Clay, president of DSASD, said his delegation was received warmly. “We have felt like we’ve been included in the party,” he said. “I feel that we are on the same sheet as the Republicans on an overwhelming amount of issues.

Union reps have ‘a tall order ahead of them’

FleischmanBut not all were thrilled about DSASD’s presence. Jon Fleischman, veteran GOP official and publisher of the conservative news site Flashreport.org, was skeptical of the labor group’s ability to sync with Republicans’ policy agenda.

“We have 99 percent of our issues in common with law enforcement, but these guys will have a tall order ahead of them if they think they will be able to move our party on the issue of pension reform,” Fleischman said.

Historically, public-safety unions have often walked a fine line between Republican and Democratic affiliation. Firefighters and law enforcement officers tend to be law-and-order conservatives. However, they belong to the public employee unions with the most generous pensions, and those pension systems are more likely to be underfunded at the local and state levels.

On the issue of pension reform, Clay said the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of San Diego County does not face the same challenges seen in other counties.

“In San Diego, the county is in very good shape fiscally,” he said. “Our public employee retirement fund is very well funded — it’s AAA rated and it should be a model for counties across America. By 2018, it will be paid 100 percent by employee contributions.” Clay added that the fund is currently 80 percent funded and said more than 90 percent of the members of his board of directors are registered Republicans.

Public-safety union support for GOP should be ‘natural’

In San Diego, public safety unions maintain strong relationships with some individual Republican lawmakers, though not the highest-profile GOPers like defeated San Diego mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio. The Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of San Diego County contributed approximately $350,000 to Republican candidates in the last two election cycles, making it among the largest single donors. It gave no money to Democratic candidates.

DSASD leadership had an official convention itinerary which included meals with state Sen. Joel Anderson, a Republican whose district is mostly in east and northeast San Diego County, and Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, R-Oceanside, as well as coffee with Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista. The union officials also were given a tour of the Capitol by Assemblyman Brian Jones, R-Santee.

“Five of my 10 delegates are law enforcement from San Diego. The bottom line is Republicans need to find a way to reach out to groups that, on the natural, should be supporting us,” Jones said. “Let’s face it, the Republican Party in California right now is broken. I saw this as an opportunity to begin a dialogue between the party and law enforcement on areas where we can unite and areas where we can work together.”

‘Not all labor groups are created equal’

Clay echoed this message. “We hope our Republican friends can realize that not all labor groups are created equal and some labor groups are a model for working cooperatively with their employer to help make the pension system sustainable for the future. We want to end this pension issue once and for all.”

On whether labor groups like DSASD would be able to maintain permanent alliances with Republicans, Fleischman remained hesitant. “The idea that someone should retire at the age of 50 and have a public retirement until the day they die is so unsustainable that it’s tragic,” he said. “I’m fine with them being here, we agree on so many issues concerning law enforcement. I suspect the only area for which we’ll find disagreement is on appropriate compensation for their jobs.”

14 comments

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  1. Donkey
    Donkey 5 March, 2013, 06:56

    The fact that any group of public funded tax eaters is looked upon as necessary for a political party’s future is scary and a clear indicator that the citizens are bing played by the public employee unions. All public unions should be banned, with government employees prohibited from using their positions to campaign for the politician that will give the best benefits. The involvment of these union thieves, with their inside connections and favors distributed to the connected, has given us our current dishonest batch of crooks running the government. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  2. The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm)
    The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm) 5 March, 2013, 07:01

    The first shall be last and the last shall be first…..soon….you will come around to the thinking of the hordes. The vandals will be drinking the wine collection as the cabal lowers our flag in the tea bag palace……….I need to write a tune——-mmmmmm—–unions———

    Poor Duncey….

    Reply this comment
  3. The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm)
    The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm) 5 March, 2013, 07:05

    Duncey— You want to “ban” public unions? You sound a bit like a 1938 German Reich Munder. What other parts of the Constitution are inconvenient to your fascist view of paradise?

    Reply this comment
  4. eatingdogfood
    eatingdogfood 5 March, 2013, 07:42

    If The Democrats Didn’t Give ” Sweetheart Deals ” To Your Public Service Union.
    Goon Employees To Get Reelected; You Would Have Plenty Of Money and The.
    Taxpayer would have Some Spare Change in His Pockets! Democratic Hustler
    Politicians + Corrupt Union Goons = BANKRUPTCY BABY! Time To Bring.
    RICO Conspiracy Charges Against The Hustler Corrupt Democrats and the.
    Criminal Unions!

    Reply this comment
  5. Reality Check
    Reality Check 5 March, 2013, 08:43

    Dear “The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies,” whatever that is supposed to mean:

    You are absurdly misguided to suggest that being critical of public sector unions is “fascist.” It is public sector unions themselves who are fascist. There is probably nothing in the United States that is moving us closer to fascism more effectively than public sector unions. What on earth do you think happens when government employees take over the government and negotiate, basically, with the business and financial sector to carve up the economy of a nation? That is the definition of fascism. These public sector unions don’t care about private sector workers. They care about themselves. They now make more than twice what private sector workers make, on average when you include the value of their benefits. This is in nobody’s interests except for their own, plus the wealthy elite who have reached this accommodation with them. For you to accuse those of us who recognize the menace of public sector unions to be akin to Nazis and fascists is precisely the opposite of what we are. You are tragically misguided. Wake up.

    Reply this comment
  6. eatingdogfood
    eatingdogfood 5 March, 2013, 10:40

    Isn’t It Time For The Abused Taxpayers Of California To Leave In Masses.
    In Order To End This Unholy Conspiracy Between The Totally Corrupt.
    Democrats And The Equally Corrupt Public Service Unions? It Is Really.
    The Only Way To Finally End This Criminal Activity! Did Anybody Ever.
    Hear Of RICO?

    Reply this comment
  7. Ted Steele, Navigator
    Ted Steele, Navigator 5 March, 2013, 13:19

    Reality check— The TS Methodologies are a series of conceptual abstractions designed to measure the conceivable counterparts therein.

    I mean fascism only in the limited sense that it appears that “Duncey” wants to ban certain labor unions obviously in direct contradiction to the well founded and settled notion that these collectives compromise a distinct expression of the freedom of association clearly enumerated in the Counstitution. Since I assume he means to suggest that this be done by edict rather than by the Counstitutionally authorized method of amendment, I thought fascist was an appropriate discriptor.

    What say you little tea baggy fella?

    Reply this comment
  8. Donkey
    Donkey 5 March, 2013, 14:07

    Ted Steals, the RAGWUS is a coven of thieves and liars, baning them is only the begining, they should be prosecuted for their greed, just as Robert Rizzo is experiencing as we discuss the filthy RAGWUS. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  9. Ponch
    Ponch 5 March, 2013, 19:22

    Keep in mind the beloved members of our armed services have a defined benefit retirement, to include many, many well respected members of our legislature. I have not heard much at all from fellow republicans bashing our servicemen and veterans…of course not. It would be political suicide. So for you that call police officers every name in he book because they belong to an association, just remember these words.

    The path of the Republican Party has been one of utter failure lately. There is no denying that. So just keep alienating every possible group, keeping them from the party, Mexicans, gays, women, and yes police associations, those associations that are comprised of about 85-90% conservatives. Continue down the path of exclusion and you will make the entire country blue forever.

    You must begin to think outside the box if you plan to be relevant in 2014 !

    Reply this comment
  10. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 6 March, 2013, 00:42

    Nice to see that Ted and Ponch have the teanuts well under control here. Carry on.

    Reply this comment
  11. Donkey
    Donkey 6 March, 2013, 06:26

    The srmed services have nothing to do with the theives that inhabit the union RAGWUS Ponch, comparing the two is absurd when you look at the reality of pay and benefits between the two.

    If the Republicans have to become left wing democrats with your formula then the Republicans need to disband and a party of freedom and liberty replace the corrupted GOP.

    The blief that grossly over compensated public employees is a benefit to the people of California is a lie and part of hte propaganda spread by every RAGWUS feeder, but the math will clear the air on their scheme. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  12. Ponch
    Ponch 6 March, 2013, 07:06

    Really Donkey? Where’s my lifetime medical?

    So you hate defined benefit plans? After all you and Fleischman say that’s the only issue right? I’ve squashed the others. You must hate many republican elected officials, republican airline pilots, republican marines, republican firefighters, republican educators…come on, when is enough enough? Working on bridging the gap. You are why the party is an utter failure.

    The average public safety retiree is 56 years of age and has worked more than 20 years for the state of California. To receive the maximum retirement benefits, an officer has to work more than 30 years. The current retirement formula encourages officers to work as long as they possibly can in order to receive the maximum retirement benefit. In reality, only 1% of public safety members actually qualify for this benefit level. Many officers struggle in dealing with their injuries as they get further along in their career.

    Reply this comment
  13. Donkey
    Donkey 6 March, 2013, 09:01

    Come on Ponch, the truth is that every RAGWUS member is under-worked and over compensated!!! It doesn’t matter what the criteria is to reach the maximum amount that has been schemed from the taxpayers, the problem is that it is too much at every level.

    Caps need to be placed on pay, benefits, no perks at all, and pensions. No RAGWUS member no matter the title hels should be making more than $90,000 a year, benefits should be 50/50, and no retiree should be getting over $50,000 a year in pension, regardless of the years worked. If they want to save in a supplemental plan fine, but it comes out of their regular pay and the taxpayers guarantee nothing!!

    No PS worker is worth want they are being compensated!! 🙂

    Reply this comment
  14. Ponch
    Ponch 7 March, 2013, 22:30

    That’s great donkey b/c the avg public employee in California earns a poultry 32,000 / yr and avg police officer tops out at about
    80,000 yr. most share costs with their employer…I don’t know where u get your facts from.

    Cap pilots at 90,000 yr, teachers cap at 60,000 year, elected officials work for free, nurses cap at 75,000 yr. it’s a great plan…..
    And they’d all go to college why????

    Keep hittin the vodka

    Reply this comment

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