Unions spend $1 million to defeat candidate for CA county supervisor

Taking on the public employee unions in California can draw massive resistance, as Shawn Nelson,a Fullerton city councilman found out when he ran for County Supervisor.

Steve Greenhut writing in IDB:

The county's two most powerful public employee unions, the Orange County Employees Association and the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs, spent upward of $1 million in independent expenditures on behalf of their candidate, Anaheim Councilman Harry Sidhu, a go-along, get-along Republican who promised to drop a county lawsuit challenging a 2001 retroactive pension increase for deputies.

Most of the union money went toward hit mailers against Shawn Nelson, a Fullerton councilman who played a key role in stopping an egregious pension hike in his city and the conservative choice for the seat.

County supervisor races don't usually generate that level of spending. But the unions - with their nearly bottomless pit of cash from dues-paying members - dropped one mailer after another championing Sidhu and depicting Nelson as a man who wants to free child molesters because his law firm does criminal defense work.

The unions had so much money, they even bought radio spots on Los Angeles talk radio - an astounding use of funds, given that Orange County accounts for only a portion of the L.A. radio market.

But the unions had to make a point. Nick Berardino, president of the OCEA, told the Orange County Register that his union went after Nelson because he doesn't "tell the truth about us being a reform union" and because Nelson "vilifies us to get votes."

Nelson was rewarded with a big victory, despite the massive spending by unions against him. Are the American people waking up to the highway robbery being perpetrated by public employee unions? In one California jurisdiction, the answer is yes.


Hat Tip: Ed Lasky