Public Employee Unions — why thuggery in Costa Mesa, CA, matters to you [Darleen Click]
Because, really, do you believe this is anything new?
California city officials typically spare police officers even modest reductions in the pay and pension packages that are a main source of local budget problems, even when the other alternatives are cuts in public services or even municipal bankruptcy.
The common explanation is politicians are afraid of the cop unions’ political muscle come election time. That is true, but disturbing behavior by operatives associated with the Costa Mesa police union paints a much darker picture of the fear such unions instill in local officials. The incident has statewide and even national implications.
Costa Mesa Councilman Jim Righeimer had finished speaking at a community meeting last Wednesday, and then headed to a pub owned by fellow councilman Gary Monahan. Righeimer drank two sodas and drove home. After arriving home, a Costa Mesa cop showed up at his door and asked him to step outside and take a sobriety test, which he passed. [...]
A private eye with connections to the law firm Lackie, Dammeier & McGill of Upland, Calif., which represents the Costa Mesa Police Officers Association and many others across the state, called 911 and reported Righeimer as a possible DUI, representing himself as a concerned citizen. The caller said Righeimer stumbled out of the bar even though surveillance cameras show no such thing. “He’s just swerving all over the road,” the caller stated. [...]
“What you have here is police associations and their law firms hiring private detectives to dig up dirt on elected officials that they can then use to extort them, embarrass them or worse in order to get the elected official to vote against the best interests of the city to protect themselves,” Righeimer told me. “That’s the definition of extortion.”
This is why we see such heated, unhinged rhetoric from public employee union leaders against people like WI Gov. Scott Walker or right-to-work states — their power to control the people who decide their paychecks & benefits, even to the ruin of the taxpayers, is not to be interfered with.
Rarely does the public get a look behind the curtain during police pay negotiations. But a website for Upland law firm Lackie, Dammeier & McGill features their play book for twisting arms during impasse negotiations.
Lackie, Dammeier & McGill represent more than 120 police unions in California and 19 in Orange County, including Placentia. Its primer for police negotiations is part swagger, part braggadocio and all insult in its portrayal of the public and the budget-conscious officials elected to represent them.
“The association should be like a quiet giant in the position of ‘do as I ask and don’t (expletive) me off,”‘ says the playbook.
(It should be noted the law firm is made up of former police officers.)
The lawyers advise union leaders to cozy up to decision-makers long before negotiations begin. Once impasse is reached, “now is the time when the political endorsements, favors and friendships come into play.”
Once at impasse, storm the city council, chastising members for their lack of concern for public safety.
Next, picket and make appearances at public functions, making sure everyone knows the association is upset.
If crime is up, use that to send the message that the city council could care less about public safety.
Send members to job fairs, having them apply at a large local agency. This will cause an influx of personnel file checks by background investigators. (Apparently, city hall will panic at the large number of police seeking outside work.)
Stage a work slowdown. “Do thorough investigations, such as canvassing an entire neighborhood when doing 459 (burglary) reports.” Ask for a back-up unit on most calls. And “of course exercising officer discretion in not issuing citations and making arrests is also encouraged.”
Make sure the public knows of “blunders” or wasteful spending by the city manager, mayor or city council members.
Create mailers with the emphasis on public safety and encourage residents to telephone council members, preferably at home.
If any council members are up for re-election, campaign against them, again for their lack of concern for public safety.
And, here’s a page right from Alinsky’s own playbook:
Focus on one public official and “keep the pressure up until that person assures you his loyalty and then move on to the next victim.”
It can be noted, with snickers and smirks, that the lawfirm has removed the playbook from its website.
California is a perfect example of Leftwing dogma in practice. If this is happening in bucolic, suburban Costa Mesa (and being begrudingly underplayed by the Los Angeles Times) … what is happening in your community?
Tags: costa mesa, police unions, public employee unions, Righeimer, thuggery