Union-backed California gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown or an associate can be heard on tape calling opponent Meg Whitman a “whore” over a union endorsement deal that did not go in Brown’s favor. Guess what voters are not hearing?
Did Union Reps Pair Gloria Allred with Meg Whitman’s Nanny?
Nanny-gate – the allegation that Meg Whitman employed an illegal alien as a nanny and only fired her after the latter admitted to committing identity theft – once again placed attorney Gloria Allred in front of the cameras.
The outspoken Whitman critic — who relied on a letter with the candidate’s husband’s handwriting as sole proof that Whitman should have known about the nanny’s status — turned surprisingly circumspect when asked about her involvement with labor union representatives currently involved with the Jerry Brown campaign.
Her reason? “I’m not going to play any kind of guessing game,” the attorney is quoted as saying to the AP.
Fury over Lost Union Endorsement Has Brown Camp Calling Whitman a ‘Whore’
The Los Angeles Police Protective League has been heavily courted by both Whitman and Brown for their endorsement. Now the Los Angeles police union released an audio tape to the Los Angeles Times that has Brown (or one of his associates) discussing an ad with the tenor, “What about saying she’s a whore?”
The reason for Brown’s malcontent is obvious: Whitman agreed to make her pension reform plan favorable to public safety officials. Not surprisingly, this union chose to back Meg Whitman while not bothering with Jerry Brown.
Who ‘Owns’ Jerry Brown?
To fully understand the vitriolic reaction from the Brown campaign, it pays to look at the latter’s endorsements and political donors. As outlined previously, Brown is heavily bankrolled by labor unions.
The California Secretary of State shows that some of his supporters include the Los Angeles School Police Association ($1,000), United Firefighters of Los Angeles City Local 112 ($25,900), Sacramento County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association ($25,900), Western States Council of Sheet Metal Workers ($13,900), Laborers Union Local 652 ($23,000), Local 802 ($1,500), Local 777 ($10,000) and Sheet Metal Workers Local 105 Political Education Fund ($25,900).
California’s unions are the premier special interests that exert heavy influence on lawmakers and other officials. Vociferous, fiscally well-heeled and courted for endorsements by candidates from both parties, unions frequently engage in hands-on electioneering. Most recent case in point was a $1 million donation to fight California’s Proposition 8. The donor was none other than the California Teachers’ Association.
What Voters Aren’t Hearing
Lost in the shuffle that surrounds Gloria Allred’s latest media stunt, Meg Whitman’s backroom union deal and the Jerry Brown campaign’s slur against the opponent is the elephant in the room: Another union uses its increasing influence to “buy” political favors in return for an endorsement. The other part of the story is just as obvious but also lost in the mud-wrestling match between the candidates: Governmental effort is now primarily a representation of special interests, rather than public service to benefit all those not union members.
Pot, meet kettle. Kettle, meet pot.
Associated Press: “Lawyer in Whitman flap mum on details, party ties” by Michael R. Blood
Los Angeles Times: “An associate of Jerry Brown calls Meg Whitman a “whore” over pension reform (AUDIO)” by Seema Mehta
Associated Content: “Impact of Campaign Finances on California Election Results” by Sylvia Cochran
California Secretary of State: “Campaign Finance: Brown for Governor 2010”
Associated Content: “California Proposition 8 Debate Heats Up as Teachers Union Contributes $1 Million” by Sylvia Cochran