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A push for votes at Labor Day breakfast in Santa Rosa

By GLENDA ANDERSON

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Politicians and union leaders rallied Monday at the annual Labor Day breakfast in Santa Rosa, emphatically urging the crowd to vote for Democratic and labor candidates and issues.

“This is the most important election of our lives,” said Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena. “If we don’t win this election, our middle class is going to be in jeopardy.”

See more photos from the event here

Several hundred people attended the pancake and politics breakfast at the Carpenters’ Labor Center on Corby Avenue. It was

Bob Pascal and his wife, Olga Farias-Pascal, attend the Labor Day pancake breakfast hosted by the North Bay Labor Council and AFL-CIO at the Carpenters' Labor Center in Santa Rosa on Monday, Sept. 3, 2012. (BETH SCHLANKER/ PD)

sponsored by the North Bay Labor Council and the AFL-CIO.

“I’m here to eat and hear political speeches,” said Lington Gordon, an electrician from Rohnert Park.

He brought his family so they could learn about the issues on the November ballot.

The speakers lobbied for Democratic candidates and Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax increase on the November ballot. They opposed a ballot measure that could cut the amount of money unions have to spend on political campaigns.

“Labor is under attack everywhere,” said state Sen. Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa.

She urged a no vote on Proposition 32, which requires unions to obtain annual permission from members to collect the part of dues used for political purposes.

The restriction would diminish unions’ clout by reducing the amount of money they have to spend on campaigns, opponents said. Proposition 32 is widely viewed as anti-labor.

Evans and others urged a yes vote on Proposition 30, which would raise the state’s sales tax for everyone and income tax for those who earn more than $250,000 a year. Without it, public education would decline in quality and cost more, the speakers warned.

Speaker after speaker predicted a doomsday scenario for the middle class if Republicans take the White House in November’s election.

“Brothers and sisters, we’ve got a fight on our hands,” said Assemblyman Michael Allen, D-Santa Rosa.

The crowd booed when the name of Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan was raised as an example of anti-labor stands.

It’s workers and unions that make the country strong yet they’re under assault, the speakers said.

“We are losing our middle class because we’re losing labor,” said Sonoma County Supervisor Shirley Zane. “We need to make sure we elect labor candidates.”

You can reach Staff Writer Glenda Anderson at 462-6473 or glenda.anderson@pressdemocrat.com





24 Responses to “A push for votes at Labor Day breakfast in Santa Rosa”

  1. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Skippy, I have attended many union actions and I can say that not one of my fellow union members has ever indicated, even with words, doing something illegal like vandalism and violence. Yes, we are angry because we are struggling like everyone else trying to pay our bills and making ends meet. Yes, there have been incidences, but they are rare. I’ll be at an action today at the BOS.

    You can find just as much violence perpetrated by corporate thugs against union members if you look hard enough.

    Hey, whatever happened to Hoffa? Is he buried in some corporate backyard? All those miners who lost their lives fighting for decent wages, benefits and a safe environment were targeted with violence from the mine owners. YOU benefitted from their fight.

    Unions set the standards for all work environments. You people out there who don’t understand that YOU benefit from union activities need to look at history and the current environment of Republican lunacy to understand that they intend to take more from the middleclass if you vote them into office.

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  2. Skippy says:

    The tide has turned re: unions in general and public employee unions in particular.
    Replaying the gains in worker rights won by early unions rings hollow given the massive unfunded liabilities that delusional politicians have granted them, and the immoral UAW takeover of GM and Chrysler engineered by Obama.
    Unions are shrinking and will continue to do so, until they sober up and realize the truth about their benefits that exist solely due to business profits.
    Hating Big Biz is a primary tactic of the collectivist unions.
    If they succeed in demonizing the source of their paychecks, they can celebrate their victory in the soup line.

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  3. Juvenal says:

    @skippy

    So the best you can do is come up with an allegation of picket line “violence,” vandalism, that’s a year and a half old and from out of state. Yet, you tar all union members, here an elsewhere, with the same brush.

    By your unsound logic, all bookkeepers would be embezzlers, all drivers drunk drivers, all husbands wife beaters–the list goes on.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  4. Skippy says:

    “I grant you that the Washington state situation is a bad one.”
    Stapling your Union sign to a baseball bat is a clear indicator of your intent.

    “Emotions can run high.”
    Especially when you are breaking the law and vandalizing private property.

    “Union members have been the recipient of violence more often than they have been violent.”
    So they are therefore justified in committing crimes.

    Jimmy Hoffa would be proud of you, if his Union brothers hadn’t already murdered him.

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  5. Juvenal says:

    Skippy,

    Looked at your links. Funny the one had to dress actors up with SEIU tee shirts and baseball bats to provide “evidence.” Another is just speech being met with speech. Another shows a man trying to block a little punk from shoving a cell phone in his face. A video is promised in another, but is “unavailable.”

    And giving up in a recall race is just giving up. Where is the violence.

    I grant you that the Washington state situation is a bad one. Emotions can run high. Union members have been the recipient of violence more often than they have been violent.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  6. Juvenal says:

    @Skippy

    “Real names in the paper get real union thugs outside your real house to harass your real family.”

    You must have had a TERRIBLE experience. Please tell us all about it… .

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

  7. John says:

    @Skippy….
    “Real names in the paper get real union thugs outside your real house to harass your real family.”

    HA! You are way to much into the Sopranos. Let me guess, you look for guys with tommy-guns outside your house?

    Hell, I’d be more scared of “No on prop 8″ supporters.

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7

  8. Jim Bennett says:

    Olga, John, Skippy, at least I’m fourth on your list, MOCKINGBIRD.
    I figure this is a Sonoma County political blog.
    Sonoma County is a leading ‘Pilot’ Charter for Agenda 21 oppression.
    It IS the most dominant force in our political dynamic.
    I do feel compelled to do what I can to protect our well being; economy, freedoms, health.

    To talk about the other polarizing propaganda is to not understand what’s really goin’ on right now.

    That is if you want to, you know… understand.

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  9. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Jim Bennett-you mention agenda 21 and iclea in every one of your posts. I hope your head doesn’t explode with the anger you have over nothing to get angry about. There isn’t really a conspiracy unless it’s the Republicans trying to take away AMERICAN CITIZENS’ right to vote. Now that’s a conspiracy with facts, action, and is REALLY happening. I’m not hearing a word from you about how unconstitutional this is and your outrage isn’t showing. Why not?

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  10. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Skippy, it’s EMPHASIS. Picking out parts of a sentence to EMPHASIZE. I like to do that. Too bad you don’t like it but it’s more you don’t like PROGRESSIVES LIKE ME.

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  11. Skippy says:

    “I make it a policy to only argue with those who are willing to stand behind their comments with their real name.”

    Sorry, we won’t play that game Lisa.
    Real names in the paper get real union thugs outside your real house to harass your real family.
    Then you have to meet their real violence and vandalism in kind.
    When “stand your ground” and “castle” laws come to Cal., I will publish my real name and address.
    And M’bird?
    POSTING IN ALL CAPS DOES NOT MAKE YOUR COMMENTS LOUDER OR MORE IMPORTANT!!!!
    Just easier to ridicule.

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  12. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    John Galt, if you think that corporations deduct political contribution from their employees you are mistaken. THIS LAW IS AIMED SQUARELY AT THE UNIONS. Proposition 32 is deceptively written to make the public think that it will do something about corporations’ big money donations to candidates which are hidden from the public. The public is being taken for a ride by big business AGAIN. As a union member I WANT MY DUES TAKEN OUT OF MY PAYCHECK. I’ve already signed that I VOLUNTARILY want my political contributions to the union taken out of my paycheck. I don’t want to sign anymore paperwork than I have to.

    This law is not “paycheck protection” it is a UNION BUSTING LAW. It’s full of loopholes for corporations and will do NOTHING TO CURB THEIR MULTIMILLION DOLLAR CONTRIBUTIONS. NOTHING. NOTHING. They only stuck the corporations in there to make it deceptive to people who REALLY WANT SOMETHING DONE about corporations.
    Unions and corporations are two distinct entities. Unions are its members. Corporations are businesses with EMPLOYEES not members. Unions are the workers. Corporations are the bloated CEOs throwing BILLIONS IN BUYING AND CONTROLLING OUR ELECTIONS. They are financing union busting laws and taking away citizens’ voting rights all over the country.
    People BE AWARE AND DON’T ACCEPT THESE DECEPTIONS. Protect yourselves and your fellow workers, please.

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  13. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Olga, the lady in the picture, her job has been contracted out by the county. She is really competent at what she does and is one of the assets of the county. Shame on the county. Shame of the BOS. Shame on Shirley Zane who first ran on no contracting out and now is the one of the initiators of contracting out.

    There are others (rank and file) as well who have received their notices of layoff due to contracting out. Meanwhile the departments they work in are keeping ALL their high cost managers who are the ones really ripping off the public and THEY AREN’T UNION.

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  14. Juvenal says:

    @John Galt

    “(b) This section shall not prohibit an employee from making voluntary contributions to a
    sponsored committee of his or her employer, labor union, or public employee labor union in any
    manner, other than that which is prohibited by subdivision (a), so long as all such contributions
    are given with that employee’s written consent, and that consent shall be effective for no more
    than one (1) year.”

    Galt:

    Read your own quotation to the end. Prop 32 puts a time limit on the voluntary contributions of union members. There would be hell to pay if anyone proposed to place a one-year limit on voluntary membership in, say, the National Rifle Association, which is 100% political advocacy.

    Prop 32 place no limitation on corporate contributions to Super-pacs, and without asking permission of stockholders, who might like to see that money paid as dividends.

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  15. Juvenal says:

    @4G

    “The public unions have even gone so far as to fund and get out the votes for the puppets they put in office.”

    Working people participating in the democratic process. What an outrage!!!!!

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  16. David Stubblebine says:

    @John Galt. I’m sorry, but it is you who “failed to mention portions of what it does, or you are mischaracterizing it.” You say, “Prop 32 would make it illegal for both corporations AND unions as well as any government contractors AND any government employer to use payroll deductions for political purposes.” This is very true, but it is only unions who use payroll deductions for political purposes to any significant degree. Suppose there was a law that said people of California and Kansas could not park their ocean liners next to their property. It would be equally illegal in both states but in actuality would only apply in one. Prop 32 works the same way by prohibiting corporations, contractors, and gov’t employers from doing something they don’t do in the first place while prohibiting only the entities who do use it. This is not equal; this is carefully targeted.

    This is no one’s business but the employee’s and his union’s. Prop 32 meddles in internal employee-union business; no more, no less. If we have become a state that favors corporations and management, then vote yes; if we are still a state that believes the road to prosperity must involve work, then we must Vote NO.

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  17. Ken S. says:

    “…the unions called the tune the democrats dance”

    “These unions spends millions to get their cronies in office and out of office if they dare get out of line.”

    Really? Unions got Arnold into office? Unions are behind the (many) Dems push to basically privatize education? If the unions had all the power you seem to think they have, we wouldn’t be facing Prop. 32, the DNC wouldn’t be in a right-to-work state, etc….

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 9

  18. Lisa Maldonado says:

    John Galt. Please. Enough with the disingenuousnes. The bill disallows BOTH corporations and unions from using payroll deductions. However, corporations DON’T USE PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS to fund their PACs. They use shareholders. This type of “evenhandedness” reminds me of the famous French saying “the law in its majesty forbids both the rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges”

    I make it a policy to only argue with those who are willing to stand behind their comments with their real name.

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  19. John Galt says:

    Ms. Maldonado-

    I appreciate your commitment to accuracy, but I believe you are incorrect in your interpretation (which sounds very much like the official talking points of the No on 32 Campaign).

    You say “There is nothing in it about getting workers permission for deductions.”

    May I refer you to the following section of the actual initiative:

    (b) This section shall not prohibit an employee from making voluntary contributions to a
    sponsored committee of his or her employer, labor union, or public employee labor union in any
    manner, other than that which is prohibited by subdivision (a), so long as all such contributions
    are given with that employee’s written consent, and that consent shall be effective for no more
    than one (1) year.

    Which specifically makes a specific exception for voluntary contributions.

    You also claim “Prop 32 would make it illegal for unions to use voluntary payroll deductions from their members while creating special exemptions for Corporate PACS, Special interests and the Super Rich.”

    Your description is not entirely accurate… either you failed to mention portions of what it does, or you are mischaracterizing it.

    Prop 32 would make it illegal for both corporations AND unions as well as any government contractors AND any government employer to use payroll deductions for political purposes.

    Members of unions and employees of corporations are still free to contribute individually to any political campaigns, and unions and corporations are both free to contribute to committees and other political organizations not directly controlled by candidates.

    The other portions of the initiative also apply equally to corporations and unions.

    So please help me understand where the “special exemptions” are that are being created…. cause it’s a straightforward piece of legislation, that applies equally to both corporations and unions.

    One last thing- you mentioned “Special Interests” as if unions aren’t included in that…. how exactly do you define politically active unions as anything other than a special interest group?

    Wait, I get it- when it’s something you agree with, it’s an “advocacy group”… and when you disagree with or don’t like it it’s a “Special Interest”, right?

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  20. Michael A Donegan says:

    The Internet is great 2 of the 3prior posters have nothing to do with the Unions physically but people forget that we are all members of one of the largest Unions in the world. We practice the same voice tat Unions do and we vote the same way.
    Especially now, presidential candidates and future elected officials are calling our homes, arching our Districts and emailing us asking for money. Unions are doing the same thing. We want in office the same good people who will support, Project Labor Agreements. The workers in your neighbor building that School or Department Store s a local Union Hire.
    Unions train their workers, they have real apprentices, real Testing and real State Certifications for every worker, not just one Certified worker with 12 cronies.
    Those who say that the Unions are old, forget that the unions fought for do many things Americans take advantage of but have no idea where those work rellated enemies come from, like mandatory Lunches and Breaks, 8 hour and work day, 40 hour work week.

    Unions made America and it’s big business and Government who won&t tell you the truth of why tey support Prop 32. Why they don’t want Americans to join Unions and how much profit they get by under paying their employees.

    Thumb up 8 Thumb down 20

  21. Jim Bennett says:

    Listening to doomsday indoctrination/ propaganda/threats from change agents complicit in globalist implementation and directive.

    Nice.

    Unions over reached their usefulness decades ago in large part. Now, they have been hijacked to deliberately crash business (Agenda 21) and to socially engineer socialist principals.

    Thumb up 22 Thumb down 13

  22. 4G says:

    The family, the unions and the democrats, broke bread yesterday morning. They are one in the same, the unions called the tune the democrats dance.

    Long ago the democrats were bought off. The public unions have even gone so far as to fund and get out the votes for the puppets they put in office.

    The democrats in Sacramento and in local government in California have found a real cash cow with SEIU and the teachers unions. These unions spends millions to get their cronies in office and out of office if they dare get out of line.

    Such is the unhappy state of affairs with the shell of what was the democrat party in California and America.

    Thumb up 21 Thumb down 9

  23. Lisa Maldonado says:

    While I appreciate the coverage of our Labor Day Pancake breakfast I need to make to important clarifications. The first an most important is that the reporter is factually incorrect about what Prop 32 does. Prop 32 would make it illegal for unions to use voluntary payroll deductions from their members while creating special exemptions for Corporate PACS, Special interests and the Super Rich. There is nothing in it about getting workers permission for deductions.
    Secondly, the breakfast had a great mix of community members, workers, retirees, families and candidates for office. By reporting that “politicians and union leaders” attended the breakfast, the reporter relies on the same tired biases the Press Democrat seems to have about who Labor is. We are your teachers, your bus drivers, your grocery store clerks, your mail carriers and your fire fighters. We are your neighbors. We deserve to have a voice in the political arena just like business and real estate and winery owners. Vote No on Prop 32.

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