City Retirement Funds; More Jerry Brown vs. Newsom; More SEIU Fresno; Obama and DOMA …

by on June 29, 2009

To the Editor:

The retirement fund for city employees is also being hit hard because of the high retirement benefits incurred by Police and Fire. Years ago, when we were trying to get a little more for SEIU members, Josie Mooney told us that the “boys” always get theirs first, we follow. Well, we never got ours.

The “boys” were supposed to be brought back to the table to renegotiate if the retirement fund was being depleted, but they never were. They were supposed to pay more into the fund, since they were taking the majority out of the fund. SEIU is the largest union in city government and yet, Police and Fire take most of the funds. The 90% of salary retirement is ridiculous. SEIU management let them get away with this. All they care about is collecting union dues.

Maggie Carmody


To the Editor:

Well, Randy it is very clear for whom you’re whoring. Not only can’t Gavy “if I only had a brain” Newsom win the gubernatorial election, he’ll never make it past the primary. You state that Newsom need only defeat Jerry Brown — a very tall order. While no fan of Jerry’s, I’ll move heaven and earth to make sure that an adult is our next Governor, not some snot-nosed boob of a kid.

And since we are a green state, and kid Newsom is this shade too — read inexperienced — it is clear that Jerry will be the next CEO of CA. After all, Californians do recycle, and we’ll do the same with the once and future Governor of this fair state. You may want to start talking to somebody other than the reflection in the mirror.

Mark Weinberger


To the Editor:

I am one of the SEIU staff who was mandated to work in Fresno for this campaign, and I’m so happy to finally see someone with the exact same assessment of this fight that I had going into it. Prior to the last 2 weeks of the blitz, Dave Regan told us privately that this was SEIU’s “Gettysburg,” in his interpretation pitting “brother against brother.” I, however, immediately saw the parallels to Vietnam instead, for all the excellent reasons you pointed out in your article.

I have always been one of SEIU’s strongest supporters. I drank the “purple koolaid” early and have been with the organization for almost 20 years. This campaign broke me. The violent overtones of Regan, the lies they wanted us to tell workers, and the unprecedented waste of resources and people poured into essentially fighting ourselves at first shocked and demoralized me, then radicalized me into actively helping the other side during the campaign.

It’s hard still working for SEIU, especially when so many good people are resigning. But I am staying on for now hoping for either a change of heart by Andy Stern, or barring that, an internal rebellion against him that I can participate in. I am angry at what he has done to our union, and don’t feel I should have to resign because of his stupidity and arrogance. I have just as much invested in the success of our union as anyone, and we did so much good work here in California until Stern decided we were getting too powerful and needed to cut us down to size. We don’t work for him, we work for our members, and I for one will continue to do just
that.

Fresno SEIU Staffer


To the Editor:

As an older lady I was appalled that so many “young” folks were sporting Obama stickers on their car along with marriage equality stickers. I asked many people “What are you thinking,” and when I raised concerns I was blown off as not really understanding. We were stung badly by Bill Clinton & apparently we have not learned that main-stream politicos will say anything to get elected. There were good 3rd party choices on both the left & right. I am afraid that believing Obama will fight for us is a case of too soon old, too late smart.

Willa Grant


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