Budget, Costa Mesa Dominate State Party Convention

by Paul Hogarth on May 2, 2011

The California Democratic Party had its annual Convention in Sacramento this weekend, with far less fanfare than recent years. No high-profile endorsements to vote on, while speakers like Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi did not attend (and surgery forced a last-minute cancellation from Jerry Brown.) By far the most popular speaker was Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who roused the audience with his call for economic justice. But filling the lull was anxiety around the budget – and what has happened in Wisconsin. State Democratic politicos promised to stand by public employees in California and not let it happen here, but a group of Orange County delegates helped bring attention to what’s already happened in Costa Mesa. In February, the all-Republican City Council there voted to lay off nearly all city employees – and replace them with private contractors. It’s a deliberate right-wing effort to gut public employee unions – one city at a time – as the Orange County G.O.P. urges other City Councils to follow Costa Mesa’s lead in the “battle against Obama’s union bosses.” Fortunately, a broad coalition has emerged to fight back in Costa Mesa. Progressives should pay attention and get involved in what has been “ground zero” of the Right’s attempt to gut the public sector.

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