SEIU scandals: time to limit union politics

The SEIU is corrupt.  It forces workers to pay bribes or they do not get to work.  That is corruption—legal in California.  Now we find, one after the other, SEIU leaders indicted for corruption that even the Democrats can not allow.

“This particular election had received more attention than usual because the winning candidate, Richard Louis Brown, campaigned on an unusual platform. “Take the labor organization out of politics completely,” the Sacramento Bee explained.

The union not only is the largest representative of state-government workers, but provides electoral muscle for the Democratic Party. The SEIU chapter donated $1 million to oppose the recall and its Political Action Committees spent (in cash and other contributions) $17 million over the past decade, according to the Bee report.

So money stolen from workers was used by the SEIU to continue the arrogance and destructive policies of Newsom. The largest SEIU in the State elected a president that wants to get the union out of politics—so a rogue meeting was held and his powers were transferred to those who want to use stolen money to radicalize and collapse the State of California.

SEIU scandals: time to limit union politics

By The Editorial Board, Press-Enterprise,   10/23/21  

While California political observers focused on an unfolding gubernatorial recall election during the spring and summer, another major state election was taking place. Members of the powerful Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1000 were voting for a new president.

This particular election had received more attention than usual because the winning candidate, Richard Louis Brown, campaigned on an unusual platform. “Take the labor organization out of politics completely,” the Sacramento Bee explained.

The union not only is the largest representative of state-government workers, but provides electoral muscle for the Democratic Party. The SEIU chapter donated $1 million to oppose the recall and its Political Action Committees spent (in cash and other contributions) $17 million over the past decade, according to the Bee report.

Brown made the sensible argument that instead of promoting unrelated progressive political priorities (e.g., raising the minimum wage and reducing immigration restrictions), the union could best serve its members by focusing on the traditional aspects of unions, such as improving bargaining agreements. Such arguments were music to our ears.

Despite his grassroots support, other union leaders weren’t willing to put up with this radical change in direction. Last week, its board voted to transfer the president’s leadership authority to a hand-picked chairman. Brown’s foes also pointed to harassment and wrongful-termination allegations as further justification for their move, per the report.

Brown has fought back by comparing the meeting to a lynching and arguing that the power-stripping vote was illegal. That dispute in a local chapter is not the least of SEIU’s problems. Attorney General Rob Bonta filed tax-fraud, embezzlement and other criminal charges against the executive director of SEIU California (who has resigned, but disputes the allegations) following an investigation by the Fair Political Practices Commission.

The unions clearly need to get their houses in order, but the controversies have wide-ranging political importance given the outsized roles these unions play in California politics. We’re not fans of government unions in general, but it’s about time they stay in their lane – and stick to helping members rather than muscling lawmakers.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

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