How Public Sector Unions Control Politicians

Former LA Police Chief Bernard Parks is currently representing LA Council District 8, where he’s currently being opposed by a union-cultivated candidate Forescee Hogan-Rowles. From the LA Weekly:

Parks has been targeted for removal by the DWP’s union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18, and its affiliate IBEW 11, as well as the city’s police union and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and SEIU Local 721.

The cash-rich unions representing thousands of city workers have organized a massive independent expenditure campaign, pouring more than $650,000 in contributions into electing Hogan-Rowles.

Parks, as head of the City Council Finance and Budget Committee, has infuriated IBEW Local 18’s outspoken and powerful business manager, Brian D’Arcy, and L.A. Police Protective League president Paul Weber, by seeking more control over DWP pensions and benefits, challenging the public utility’s rationale for rate hikes, voting against a costly police contract and backing layoffs and furlough days for city workers.

The County Federation spent more than $8.5 million to defeat Parks when he ran in 2008 for the 2nd District Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors seat, which he lost to Mark Ridley-Thomas.

This is what the capture of the state and local political process by public-sector unions who are primarily interested in their own interests looks like, and this is why it’s critical not only that we deal with the fiscal consequences of the last 25 years’ control of the political process, but with the mechanism that brought us there.