Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Even Howard Wayne is Getting the Message

I got a call today from a volunteer for the Howard Wayne campaign asking me if I was following the District 6 council election here in San Diego, and if I was supporting Howard Wayne. I said no, I was definitely not. He asked why? My response was that Howard Wayne was prominently endorsed by the San Diego Firefighters and Police unions, and there was no way I would vote for the union endorsed candidate. "Most people would consider that a positive, but I understand you are concerned about the pension problem." (emphasis mine) He further argued that the reason the unions were endorsing Wayne was that he would restore the numbers of public safety personnel in the field. The volunteer also said this, "Howard Wayne is the only candidate who will aggressively negotiate with the unions on the pensions." My rejoinder was that unions don't usually endorse the candidate who is going to reduce their pensions.

The conversation got me thinking. If Howard Wayne knows to train his volunteers to take on the pension issue, then the public must really be catching on. In fact, in today's WSJ opinion section, Steve Malanga comes to the same conclusion, that association with public employees' unions are becoming political poison.
Instead, organized labor— increasingly dominated by public-sector workers—is facing a backlash from taxpayers because of widespread publicity about the rich pay and benefits of some government employees. That's made Mr. Christie's blunt campaign talk about reining in government costs a popular approach among candidates. Even old friends of labor in the Democratic Party have made public workers a target, leaving labor with fewer allies and playing defense.

Back to our race in San Diego, I am concerned about Lorie Zapf's electability. She has not really successfully rebutted issues with mortgage defaults and claims that she has filed numerous lawsuits even while leading a group called Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse. I am not saying these charges show wrongdoing, just that she is not actively campaigning in a way to effectively rebut them. Further, she is losing the lawn sign war. Lawn signs aren't an accurate indicator, but the trend of fewer Lorie Zapf signs and more Howard Wayne signs in the district aren't a good trend. My fear is that we are left with a bad situation in District 6, with Wayne being the handpicked candidate of Big Labor and Zapf the hand picked candidate of Big Business. I endorsed Zapf, because labor problems from pensions are crushing the city right now, and she seemed the most willing to take on the unions. If Zapf loses, we will have the same status quo on the city council, a very pro-labor group. This is another reason to vote against Proposition D, we won't be able to trust this council to enact meaningful reform.

1 comment:

  1. The point you make about Wayne's volunteers is probably the most telling indicator of the coming tsunami I've seen in weeks. Great observation!