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The Public Forum . . . El Foro Público

Chula Vista council members makes hasty appointment

 Acting with unprecedented speed, the Chula Vista City Council led by members Pamela Bensoussan and Rudy Ramirez, hastily appointed long time political allies Mitch Thompson and former Mayor Steven Padilla to the Council and Port seats respectively.

 The selection and appointments of Thompson and Padilla culminate several weeks worth of behind the scenes efforts by special interest local partisan politics and big union labor bosses to ensure that the decks are stacked for any future political decisions most favorable to their causes. Labor, certainly wants favorable contract status for future projects along the bay front in the form of Project Labor Agreements (PLA).

 Ms. Bensoussan was clearly acting throughout this process to pay back big labor for their overwhelming support of her recent Council campaign. Mr. Ramirez who is seeking re-election to his seat desperately wants partisan support and the support of big labor. Clearly, it was well known that both of the aforementioned Councilmembers were lobbied heavily behind the scenes to ramrod the selection of Thompson (for the guaranteed vote to select Padilla) and Padilla. Mr. Thompson admitted to several members of the community that he had been heavily lobbied behind the scenes by Ms. Bensoussan and labor to support the selection of Padilla.

 What is most concerning to the Chula Vista Civic Association’s Committee on Ethics is the disdain that Councilmembers Bensoussan, Ramirez and Castaneda have displayed towards a democratic process that was recently used in Sunnyvale to select a temporary replacement to a vacant Council seat due to military deployment. Instead, they chose the same process to fill seats that both Benssousan and Ramirez vehemently and publicly complained about in 2005 when a vacant Council seat was filled with Padilla ally Patty Chavez. The hypocrisy of Bensoussan and Ramirez ruins their credibility throughout this process. Neither, Bensoussan or Ramirez have suitable explanations for their contrary actions in 2009 that square with their actions in 2005. It is clear to everyone that this current City Council is guided by political spoils and paybacks in their recent decisions. They have offered no reasonable nor honest explanations for their actions.

 Furthermore, we conclude that there are no members of the current City Council that truly support the budget reform measures needed to get the fiscal health of the city back in order given the tax and spend philosophy of all the current members. We note that none of the current Councilmembers opposed the recent tax grab in Proposition A. And with the appointment of tax hike spokesperson Mitch Thompson, the 67% of working class voters that opposed Proposition A continue to have no voice in their city government at this time.

Ed Herrera
President & CEO
Chula Vista Civic Association

One comment on “The Public Forum . . . El Foro Público

John Chavez

There is an unholy alliance between organized labor and candidates for office (and elected office holders – IF they win).

Many labor organizations (not all) have long ago outlived and forsaken their holy mission of protecting the worker and have degenerated into organizations fleecing the taxpayers for excessive benefits and inflated wages for a favored few – their members – not to mention protecting and rewarding marginally (or less) performers among their membership.

Somehow, living on past glories, labor has managed to convince candidates that an endorsement from labor is essential to win an election. MOST labor members do not even live in the jursidiction where they work, and the few who do often are not registered voters and/or are not eligible to register or vote. Labor DOES, however, contribute sizeable sums of money to candidates.

Check the public record for donations from labor to local candidates, and you will find that Mary Salas, Pam Bensousan, Rudy Ramirez among others are favored recipients of labor beneficence – as well as endorsements from labor.

The county labor council (Jerry Butkiewicz et al), the fire and police unions, AFSCME, etc. etc. (and their ally, the Environmental Health Coalition) have managed to exert undue and excessive influence on candidates and office holders while the voters, citizens an residents get under-representation or even ignored.

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