Will San Diegans stand up to Sacramento bullies? We’ll find out Tuesday

Two ballot measures on the San Diego ballot Tuesday haven’t just stirred up the ire of local unions. They’ve gotten the attention of union puppet masters in Sacramento, who have used the Legislature and a state agency to make clear that San Diego can’t be allowed to have local control of how local government functions. Will San Diegans stand up to the bullies? We’ll see.

The issues are laid out in this U-T San Diego editorial:

Proposition A would ban the city from requiring project labor agreements be used on construction projects, except when such bans would lead to the forfeiture of state or federal funding. PLAs dictate that governments follow costly, unnecessary union compensation practices and job rules.

To try to intimidate voters in San Diego and elsewhere into voting against bans on PLAs, the union bullies who control Sacramento got a law passed that potentially could cost the city millions of dollars in state construction funds if Proposition A passes. The law, however, is legally suspect. But beyond that, enough is enough. It’s time someone stood up to Sacramento and illustrated that majority Democrats in the Legislature amount to puppets manipulated by their union masters. It’s disgraceful that Gov. Jerry Brown, who sometimes takes on unions, signed their bill into law.

Proposition B would give all newly hired city workers but police officers 401(k)-style retirement plans instead of defined-benefit pensions. It would also direct elected city leaders to seek a five-year freeze on pensionable pay of city employees to keep down the long-term costs of retirement benefits for those with vested pension rights.

Once again, the union bullies who control Sacramento are trying to keep San Diego voters from exercising local control of their government. The union allies who control the state Public Employment Relations Board have made clear they will try to block the measure by any means necessary.

When will the insane excesses of California unions get the in-depth focus they deserve from the media?

I’ve lived in Hawaii, a state where unions are nearly as powerful as in California, and I have seen how they operate. What happens in Sacramento just isn’t the norm. It’s grossly over the top. But we rarely see the media frame union power plays in a way that provides this context.

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