New SEIU TV ad urges ‘common sense’ on budget

A state workers’ union today launched a new television ad urging “balance, cooperation, common sense” in solving the state’s $24 billion budget deficit, rather than making massive cuts to schools, health care for children, home care for seniors and people with disabilities and other services. The Service Employees International Union says it’s a seven-figure ad buy on broadcast and cable television covering the Bay Area, Los Angeles and the Inland Empire, San Diego, Sacramento, and Fresno.

“The governor’s proposed cuts only budget will destroy the California that we know,” SEIU Executive Vice President Eliseo Medina told reporters on a conference call a short while ago; he said the cuts will deprive millions of children, senior citizens, disabled people, workers and poor people of vital services, causing a ripple effect which will drive us deeper into recession.

Medina said it’s “unconscionable to let corporate special interests avoid their fair share of taxes” while this occurs; California’s corporate taxes have decreased substantially in recent decades, and saw another $2.5 billion cut in February’s budget deal. The governor has proposed no new taxes on oil drilling, tobacco or alcohol despite polling that shows Californians would prefer them to these massive cuts. Chevron’s record $24 billion profit in 2008 roughly equals the state’s budget deficit, but Medina claimed that company pays only about 3.3 percent in corporate taxes, a lesser rate than most Californians pay.

“It’s not right, it’s not fair and it’s disastrous for the people of California,” Medina said, disputing Schwarzenegger’s oft-repeated meme that last month’s special-election results represented an overwhelming anti-tax sentiment – it wasn’t a vote on victimizing California’s most vulnerable, he said, but rather a rejection of flawed proposals in favor of a more balanced approach.”

Read a transcript of the ad, after the jump…

In Sacramento…a budget crisis.
To solve it, we need balance…cooperation…common sense.
The politicians propose cuts that hit families…with no sacrifice from the special interests.
It means a million kids lose health care.
Hundreds of thousands denied college.
Seniors forced into nursing homes.
All while keeping huge tax breaks for Big Oil.
And no tax hikes on tobacco or liquor.
Tell Sacramento to balance spending cuts and taxes.
It’s just common sense.

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.

  • Elwood

    “cuts will deprive millions of children, senior citizens, disabled people, workers and poor people of vital services”

    Why don’t they just cut to the chase and say “more importantly, these cuts could lead to lower salaries and layoffs for SEIU members?”

  • Josh Richman

    Because that wouldn’t evoke as much sympathy, of course — enlightened self-interest is the mother’s milk of politics, no?

  • RR

    The SEIU is the last union left standing. The others are pitiably weak, irrelevant in politics. Eventually the SEIU will wither away as the economy changes and the only organized workers left will be the pencil pushers in government. Of course, the Bay Area will be the last stronghold of (Dis)organized labor in America, now that Detroit has fallen.

  • The governor wants to cut the homecare program, which costs the state $10,000 per person per year. By doing this, he will force thousands of people into nursing homes, which will cost taxpayers at least $60,000 a year per person. And thousands of people will lose their jobs, which means taxpayers will have to spend more. It makes no economic sense and it’s morally wrong. But Elwood and RR don’t care.

  • Elwood

    “morally wrong”

    Thank you for the lecture.

    How may I contact you so that you can help me conduct myself morally in the future?