Breaking: Labor Corruption…SD Labor Council Seeks to Oust Taxpayer Advocate from Oversight Committee
Turns out it is not just occasional sewage flowing from the Tijuana River that sullies San Diego’s South Bay. San Diego/Imperial County Labor Council’s “Middle Class Taxpayer’s Association” does a fine job of soiling the South Bay as well.
Proposition R passed in fall 2008, thus allowing the Southwestern Community College to issue $389 million in bonds to construct and repair facilities. The language of the promised the bonds would be issued “at legal rates, with required citizen oversight, annual audits and no money for administrators’ salaries.”
Per California’s Proposition 39, one member of a school bond’s required citizen oversight committee shall be “active in a bona fide taxpayer’s association.” There is only one legitimate taxpayers association in San Diego: the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, founded 1945. In 2009, they put forward Rebecca Kelley to serve a two year term on the oversight committee for the bond. The issuance of bonds for Prop R has been nothing short of a scandal ridden morass. Southwestern’s superintendent resigned, as did the vice president of fiscal affairs. A conflict of interest “affair” between Southwestern’s director of operations and a governing board trustee even transpired, for good measure. Conversely, Kelley’s vocal concern for taxpayers, accountability and integrity has been a consistent stream of fresh water–in the otherwise murky swamp. Labor unions are determined deny her re-appointment to the committee and oust her as soon as this Wednesday.
What did Kelley do wrong? Ask questions? Be an opponent of forcing PLAs, project labor agreements, which require the hiring of union-only labor for these lucrative capital projects? For the San Diego/Imperial County Labor Council, the answer is likely both, with emphasis on the latter.
In 2010, the San Diego/Imperial Valley Labor Council founded the “Middle Class Taxpayers Association.” It’s a real labor front group, and a sham taxpayer’s association. It was “founded” a mere 65 years after the bona fide San Diego County Taxpayer’s Association. In any event, the Labor Council has nominated Matt Kriz of “Middle Class Taxpayers Association” to essentially replace bona fide taxpayer advocate Rebecca Kelley. Nevermind that Kriz is Political Director of IUPAT (International Union of Painters and Allied Trades) District Council 36 and Local 831. It is pretty galling to look at the Wednesday July 13, 2011 Southwestern College Governing Board agenda and see Kriz listed as simply : Matt Kriz, Taxpayers Association. Yes, the group that openly lobbies for higher taxes and a lavish social welfare state is being called a “Taxpayer Association.”
If all goes as the Labor Council plans, not only will union shill Kriz be masquerading a “bona fide” taxpayer advocate, but Nicholas Segura (pictured left) will also be appointed as the Community Member at Large. Segura has served as President of the IEBW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) 569. It would be unusual for capital projects such as these to suddenly be required to be PLAs right in the middle of bond issuance, with some projects completed and many started. Unusual or not, with the loss of Kelley and the addition of two union shills to the “oversight committee,” a switch to PLAs would be assured.
Some oversight committee members, such as Rebecca Kelley and David Krogh have been asking tough questions about Prop R expenditures all along. If the Labor Council purges a member such as Kelley, the “oversight committee” becomes nothing more than a protector of corruption through extrademocratic and extralegal means. If we idly watch this union coup on Wednesday, then don’t be surprised when this technique spreads and every “oversight committee” around the county becomes a politburo.
Maybe the San Diego County Taxpayers Association should found its own “Middle Class Labor Council” and have its members pose as bona fide labor advocates and then replace union shills on “oversight committees.”