Thursday, May 22, 2008

A reminder of odd bedfellows (unions and Republicans) created by the pension crisis

Why did unions in San Diego support Republican Brian Maienschein for the City Council? It was a match made when Republican Mayor Dick Murphy made his pact with city unions that unions would be granted extremely generous pension benefits in return for helping cover up the fact that the pension system was underfunded. Today I saw a reminder of the bizarreness of these strange bedfellows:

Voice of San Diego
by Scott Lewis
You might remember my discussion of the potential awkwardness that would come up when Brian Maienschein funded his city attorney campaign.

To refresh, he's going to use the stash of funds left over from his 2004 campaign for City Council. Today the city clerk posted his latest financial disclosures and sure enough, the transfer is complete. Now, all those donors to his 2004 campaign are listed, essentially, as donors to his city attorney campaign...

One of them listed, for example, is attorney Karen Heumann. She, of course, is now one of the most important people in City Attorney Mike Aguirre's administration.

The second name that really stood out was Tony Krvaric -- the head of the Republican Party of San Diego County. It's fair to say Krvaric is not a supporter of Maienschein's bid for city attorney...

Ironic that Krvaric might have helped pay for that mailer.

The list of people who also are now funding Maienschein's city attorney campaign includes Murray Galinson, who is actually counted as a supporter of Scott Peters.

The list itself is a who's who:

Jerry Butkiewicz, who until recently was the Secretary-Treasurer of the San Diego Imperial Counties Labor Council...

Fred Sainz, the mayor's spokesman

Judie Italiano, general manager of the city employees' white collar union

City Councilman Kevin Faulconer

Phil Thalheimer, who's running for City Council District 1

Ronne Froman, the former COO of the city

Joe Craver, the head of the local Red Cross...

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