To paraphrase Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s famous words from World War II:…. “Never have so few, donated So Much, for So Little.”
Public records kept by the San Diego Registrar of Voters disclose that “the Few” numbered just TWO total donors who gave “so much” ($250,000) to help finance a petition drive to limit terms of San Diego County Supervisors.
And surprise, both donors are Labor union entities! The group still had $85,660 cash-on-hand left in their latest disclosure report.
All 5 current San Diego county Supervisors are registered Republicans.[The petitions’ signatures are now being examined for validity by the San Diego Registrar of Voters’ staff. Results of their study may be a month away].
Just a year ago, the same “California State Council of Service Employees” [State ID # 960895] group donated $ 2,200,000 to back Proposition 93 on the Feb. 2008 state ballot, per records of the Calif. Secretary of State.
The LA Times of Jan. 20, 2008, reported that if Proposition 93 passed, both CA Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, and CA Senate president Don Perata, could seek NEW terms in office. Without Prop. 93 they would be term-limited. The Times added: “The measure was submitted ….by a political consultant who works for Nunez. She is heading the campaign, and the speaker has been a leading fundraiser for the effort.”
The California Secretary of State’s website reports this same committee (State ID # 960895, “California State Council of Service Employees” ) which now backs term limits for SD County Supes with a $100,000 donation, gave a total $2.2 MILLION to support a Yes on Proposition 93!
California voters, including a majority in San Diego county, defeated Prop. 93, and Nunez and Perata left legislative office by the end of 2008.
SO, HOW CAN WE UNDERSTAND THESE APPARENTLY CONFLICTING ACTIONS ?
WHY would anyone want to partially ease State Assembly term limits in 2008, but then desire tough Term limits in San Diego a year later?
One Possible answer: Fabian Nunez and Don Perata are Democrats and usually friendly to public employee unions. All 5 San Diego County Supervisors are REPUBLICAN and generally defend taxpayers from what they characterize as excessive salary/benefit demands by some County employee groups.
Legal experts say that even should the SD County term limit petition qualify and be approved, it would allow all 5 current incumbents to seek 2 more terms.
And the measure has not qualified yet. A year ago, $2.2 million in donations did not assure victory for Proposition 93. Will the Labor chiefs do better in San Diego County during 2010? Stay tuned, sports fans!
Source for SD County Term limit donations: a Form 460 filed by a committee with State ID # 1319597. That 460 describes the group itself as “a committee sponsored by the Service Employees Union International, Local 221”. It is on file at the San Diego Registrar of Voters office. This is the only group to file a disclosure report on the San Diego county term limit petition, per the SD Registrar of Voters.