Dave Regan, president of SEIU-UHW, has committed another embarrassing ballot-initiative blunder.
In February of 2016, soon after his secret partnership with the California Hospital Association (CHA) exploded in flames, Regan filed a ballot initiative in Arizona designed to cap hospital executives’ salaries. Regan hoped the initiative would pressure several large multi-state hospital companies to convince CHA's Duane Dauner to ink another deal with him.
The Arizona initiative, “The Hospital Executive Compensation Act,” is virtually identical to a ballot measure Regan has filed repeatedly and unsuccessfully in California.
Beginning early in 2016, Regan spent massive amounts of SEIU-UHW members’ dues money to hire paid circulators to collect 281,000 signatures from Arizona voters to qualify the measure for the ballot.
However, Regan apparently forgot to make sure the signature-gatherers were actually legally qualified to collect signatures. D’OH!!
Under Arizona law, paid signature-gatherers must register with the Secretary of State’s office and provide an Arizona address.
This summer, when Regan triumphantly filed his 281,000 signatures with state officials, the ballot measure’s opponents quickly noticed that many signature-gatherers had not complied with state law. They sued SEIU-UHW in Maricopa County Superior Court to disqualify the signatures and thereby invalidate the initiative.
In August, just one day before a judge was set to hear the lawsuit, Regan threw in the towel and withdrew his initiative.
In news articles, including this one in the Arizona Capitol Times (“Backers of Hospital Exec Pay Cap Initiative Dropping Effort,” August 15, 2016), opponents celebrated Regan’s formidable f*ck-up. They said SEIU-UHW’s decision to withdraw the initiative “proves that the concerns about the validity of petition signatures were valid.”
This, of course, is not Regan’s first multi-million dollar mistake.
In June, a Sacramento Superior Court Judge ordered Regan to withdraw a nearly identical initiative from next Tuesday’s California ballot because it violated a gag clause that Regan himself secretly signed with the California Hospital Association.
Regan's gag clause -- which he refused to show to SEIU-UHW's Executive Board -- prohibited the union from “raising concerns about… executive compensation in health care” and blocked SEIU-UHW from supporting any legislation, initiative, or regulatory action "adverse to the California hospital industry."
In late June, Regan was forced to dump his California initiative after having spent at least $5 million of SEIU-UHW members’ dues to collect voters’ signatures.
In 2012, Regan was forced to withdraw yet another ballot initiative after the Los Angeles Times discovered that Regan had inserted hidden loopholes in the initiative’s legal language designed to exempt two giant hospital corporations -- which control 25% of California’s hospitals -- from the new requirements.
And earlier this year, Dishonest Dave snatched TV headlines by allegedly assaulting a process server trying to deliver legal records to Regan’s home on behalf of the California Hospital Association.
How does the saying go about the gang that can’t shoot straight?
Maybe SEIU-UHW members should ask Dave to refund all the money he’s pissed down the drain via his f*ck-ups, sell-outs and failures, which now tallies more than $30 million by Tasty’s count.
Here’s another question. Why is Regan still collecting a paycheck? After all, would your boss keep you on the job if you repeatedly screwed up at a cost of millions and millions of dollars?