This has been a subject I’ve visited on more than a few occasions, especially how it relates to independent expenditures. The IBEW played a huge role in the Essel campaign and lost. However, the union’s money paid dividends when Greuel won and undoubtedly was a major factor in influencing the Council’s quick approval of the very generous contract recently approved by a 10-0 vote. After all, what Council Member wants to derail the money train? I hope Paul Krekorian remembers just how hard D’Arcy’s crew tried to bury him.
This is an e-mail I received from Vic Viereck, a CPA who serves as Treasurer for the Greater Valley Glen NC and is on the executive board of VANC.
|December 31, 2009 CONFLICT OF INTERESTAmongst the political practices creating fiscal problems for local and state (federal too) government agencies throughout our country, a particular Conflict of Interest is at the foundation of those practices. Los Angeles City officials have been pushing ethics standards on neighborhood councils to supposedly prevent Conflict of Interest situations. But it’s elected city officials who are generally amongst those who have a very serious Conflict of Interest.
When government officials negotiate and approve contracts with organizations that are key to the candidates’ political fund raising, they are guilty of a most critical Conflict of Interest. If a candidate for political office, or reelection thereto, receives political campaign funding from a public employee union, he or she should be prohibited from negotiating or voting upon contracts with that union. To fully protect the employees’ right to free speech, they should be allowed to individually make direct donations to candidates of their own choice, without any such prohibitions. Such contributions would naturally be subject to contribution limits to which all others are subject.
In the private sector, unions have succeeded at pricing their members out of jobs. Public employee unions are well on their way to bankrupting the government agencies they work for. It would be best to stop that process before bankruptcy. Considering the particular Conflict of Interest, it would be unrealistic to expect the same officials to invoke the needed prohibitions. It will need a very strong showing of the public to accomplish, if possible.
Such limiting of public employee union influence would be a great New Year’s Resolution.