San Diego unions miffed at Jerry Brown

The San Diego labor community isn’t happy with state Attorney General and presumed 2010 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown.

Brown last month sat for an interview with conservative radio talk show host Roger Hedgecock in front of the Lincoln Club of San Diego County, which on its Web site describes itself as “the only organized pro-business political action committee in the County that makes an impact on local elections by supporting pro-economic growth policies and candidates.”

“This is a Call to Arms,” says the club’s home page. “With the local, state and national economic crisis and Labor Unions strong-arming public policies at every level of government, NOW – more than ever before – is the time for business and community leaders to get involved!”

Thus, the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council was nonplussed by Brown headlining a Lincoln Club event, even if it was a pitch for bipartisan support.

“Organized labor, in alliance with our local Democratic Party, has worked hard over the past few years to turn our region into one where pro-worker Democrats can get elected at all levels of government,” labor council Secretary-Treasurer Lorena Gonzalez wrote to Brown in a May 27 letter. “Your decision to address a fundraising lunch of the Lincoln Club is an affront to those efforts. For every dollar you helped the Lincoln Club raise, we will now have to raise two.”

“On behalf of the 124 union affiliates and 181,000 union members of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, I hope you will reconsider before helping our opposition raise money in the future,” she concluded.

Intriguingly, I see the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council, while sending most of its political contributions to local candidates and the San Diego Democratic Party, in October 2006 made token contributions of $500 to each of the Democratic candidates for statewide office – except to Jerry Brown for Attorney General. I can’t imagine it’ll be hot to give him money in this cycle, either.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • jerry brown

    The premise of the May 27 letter is false. The lunch was not a fundraiser. I was invited as the first Democrat to the Republican group which wanted to hear other views. I speak to a wide range of groups as part of my work as attorney general–a job that serves all the people. The mess in Sacramento cannot be solved unless people talk to each other.

  • Allan

    I have to agree with Jerry Brown on this one. That is if it was not a fund raiser. He is an elected official who is supposed to represent all Californians so he should try to reach out and talk with all citizens even those who’s opinions suck!

  • Mike

    I also agree with Jerry. What republican would pay money to see him speak? He was there to speak his point of view. We need consensus to break this deadlock.

  • Dan Hom

    As an executive board member of the Lincoln Club I would like to correct the record. First, the Brown event was NOT a fundraiser. The event was free to all members with a minimal cost to the general public. Second, in all due respect to the attorney general, the Lincoln Club is a non-partisan group of individuals trying to address the fiscal disaster affecting all areas of business and government. Seeking input from democrats, republicans and non-partisans seems a prudent approach during this crisis and we all need to work together.

  • I attended the event and it was most certainly not a fundraiser for Jerry Brown since it was free for Lincoln Club members and included lunch.

    Mr. Brown was engaging even if I don’t agree with the majority of his views. He did sidestep a few of the tougher questions, but then, he’s a politician.

    However, if Lorena Gozalez wishes to sow the seeds of discord over this, I say go ahead. It will probably help more moderate to conservative candidates in the long run. Her organization has already helped bankrupt the City of San Diego.