This e-mail was forwarded to me today and thought I should share it, take it for what it’s worth. Author remains anonymous unless he allows me to publish his name.
As background information, before the merger in early 2007, the Local 660 Committee On Political Education Committee discussed and voted on nearly every expenditure of COPE dollars collected. Sometimes, because of expediency (that’s what we were told) and other time constraints, money was forwarded without our pre-approved consent. More often then not, discussions were had which included having to present justification and making the case for each request for an expenditure.
Although the LA County COPE committee continues to meet monthly, since the merger, rarely are any expenditures voted upon by the committee members. The only time we are now made aware of the members money being spent is to see the political expenditures listed in the Executive Board Meetings minutes. Who is making the decisions, now, is only known to the insiders and if you don’t know then at least, now, you know where you stand, in this Local. Is there anyone reading this that still thinks this is a democratically run Local, transparent and totally accountable to its members? If you do, someone will soon be reporting on how the Local has been or will be soon compensating/paying you, from other members collected dues money, for your loyalty.
Not so well known is that this Local pays dues to the LA County Federation of Labor. They often times co-opt our political expenditures and redirect them or even more often are the source of the requests for political contributions. This Local has almost always cooperated with the County Fed’s wishes. You may remember that this is the same organization that previously cooperated with Alejandro Stephens, former long-time President of Local 660 and whose cooperation resulted in Mr. Stephens being sentenced to serve time in a Federal penitentiary.
Another entity that directs our members political expenditures is the SEIU California State Council. Their executive board directs their activities. The number of Council staff members is always floating as are the position titles and salaries. My very good guess is that, currently, Bob Schoonover and John Tanner are members of this executive board.
They may be our only representatives on this executive board. Guess who pays for these Council’s members operating budget? Come on down! Yeah you’re right! WE DO! A portion of each California SEIU members dues money, each month, is forwarded to this State Council. Unlike most other executive boards within labor, and I’m not sure how or why this is, but, at least, according to the annual LM-2 reports that this organization is required to file, the executive board members of this Council do not receive additional monetary compensation. If executive board minutes of these meetings exist, they don’t seem to be available to any of us members. The right question is WHY NOT!
It is my wish that some among you, reading this background, will further research these entities and further share their findings with all of us.
Good luck and good hunting!