Campbell (R-Irvine) is a California State Senator representing
the 35th District
in Orange County. He represents the cities of Newport
Laguna Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Seal Beach
and Cypress. He can be reached through his Senate website
and through the website
for his California Senate campaign. [go to Campbell index]
Ado About Nothing
Squawking Sacramento liberals...
[John Campbell] 3/14/05
Much ado about nothing:
I was in a hearing yesterday in which the Democrats on the
committee were pounding on the Schwarzenegger
administration for producing what is called a video news release
which they said was "taxpayer funded propaganda" intended
to persuade people of the efficacy of some of the administration's
proposed labor regulations. Those are regulations related to
a state law requirement that employers provide employees with
a lunch break. The proposed regulations would allow that lunch
break to be taken anytime in the day with the approval of the
employee, rather than mandated in the first 5 working hours.
This enables people to work through their lunch hour, if they
choose to, in order to leave work earlier to attend a child's
soccer game or to be there for family. The video simply pointed
But the committee chair railed that this video cost $1,262 to
produce and that it was advocating the administration's position
rather than presenting a neutral viewpoint. Duh. This was a video
press release and that's what press releases do. Never mind that
we in the legislature do this exact same thing with taxpayer
funds all the time. Never mind that there are two TV studios
and a radio studio in the capitol which exist for the precise
purpose of allowing members of the legislature to make videos
advocating their side of issues. The argument that what the administration
did here is illegal or unethical is absurd. And if it were either,
that standard should be applied equally to the legislature to
prevent us from doing videos to communicate our positions at
So, what is really going on here?
The labor unions hate these new regulations. Under current law,
labor unions can negotiate these flexibilities in their union
contracts. They do not want employees who are not union members
to have the same option. They cannot win their case on the merits.
So, they have dreamed up this sham argument to try and get the
Governor to back off on the proposed regulations. And of course,
Democrats are always available to argue for whatever the labor
union bosses want.
The Governor is doing the right thing for the 85% of workers
in this state who are not required to pay union dues as a condition
of keeping their job. He should not back down because of specious
claims. And he won't.
Other Side of the Coin: I must say, it was unusual to see Democrats here
becoming so worked up over $1,200 when they fail
to mention the $4 million spent on the UC Labor Institute, which
uses taxpayer money to train organized labor on how to advocate
their causes. Perhaps this is a new era of Democrat fiscal conservatism.
But don’t count on it.
Funding: Many parents in Orange County are concerned
about the level of education funding. Some are opposing the Governor's
proposal to increase education funding by 7.1% because they think
we should spend more. Spending more, I have heard from many of
them, will enable schools to keep their art and music and sports
Well, not if the California School Employees Union has their
way. You see, they have proposed legislation (AB 310 - Umberg
(D) - Santa Ana) which would raise their union member's pensions
by 25%. Yes. You read that correctly. At a time when ridiculously
generous pensions are threatening schools and cities and the
entire state, they are proposing a 25% increase in their pensions.
What is the message here? If we get more money, it won't go
to educate your kids. Even your art and music programs are on
the bubble every year because the additional money is channeled
to unions and bureaucrats. That's why more and more money has
resulted in schools having less and less. We don't need more
money to line the pockets of the unions. We need reform so that
the money we have will be educating our kids. CRO