Friday, June 1, 2012

Josie Mooney: Midwife to Secret SEIU Political Deal?

Josie Mooney
SEIU members and journalists have begun to speak out about the secret political deal between SEIU Local 1021 and SEIU-UHW... which Tasty revealed on Wednesday.

Yesterday, the editor of the San Francisco Bay Guardian published an article entitled “SEIU Deal Could Undermine Progressive Coalition.” According to the newspaper: “…it’s really happening -- and it could be a total trainwreck for progressive politics in San Francisco.”

Here’s an excerpt from the article, which includes quotes from a well known rank-and-file leader at Local 1021:
It would be a radical change -- for the first time, the members of Local 1021 would cede final control of their endorsements to the international.

Ed Kinchley, a co-chair of Local 1021's political action committee, told me he finds the proposal troubling. "I'm not at all interested in having the international have a say in who we endorse," he said. "Decisions about endorsements should be in the hands of our members."

He said he's all in favor of trying to find areas of agreement between the two SEIU locals -- "but do I want to have something enforced on us if we can't agree? No."
Elsewhere, the article describes how SEIU-UHW “has been taken over by the international… has attacked the hotel workers union and split with most of the rest of labor around California Pacific Medical Center… Forcing a joint endorsement with a union that is distinctly not part of the progressive coalition can only undermine Local 1021's historical role.”

So… who persuaded Local 1021’s Roxanne Sanchez to ink this knuckleheaded deal with SEIU’s Dave Regan and Mary Kay Henry? Sources say it was Josie Mooney, a longtime SEIU official who’s a close ally of Andy Stern. In fact, Mooney frequently accompanied Stern on his many SEIU-paid trips to China.

In 2008, Stern directed Mooney and SEIU Vice President Tom Debruin to create a secret group of SEIU officials called the "Skunk Team" to wage a smear campaign against Sal Rosselli and other former leaders of UHW. Why? Because these former leaders had criticized Stern and introduced a series of initiatives to democratize SEIU at its 2008 convention. Fortunately, Josie Mooney’s cloak-and-dagger campaign was outed by a disgusted SEIU staffer, whose sworn statement is pasted below.

Later, Josie Mooney left SEIU and took a job as the Executive Director of the California School Employees... until she was dumped by that union’s board.

She then signed on as a lobbyist for a San Francisco-based firm called Barnes Mosher Whitehurst Lauter, which lobbies on behalf of corporations like McDonalds and AT&T. Back in 2008, this same firm was the infamous “silent partner” in the Skunk’s Team’s attempt to carry out a hit job on Sal Rosselli and other reformers (see statement below). 

In recent months, say sources, Mooney was inserted inside Local 1021 as a high-paid consultant... thanks to the assistance of officials from the Purple Palace. Sources says she's now using her perch inside the local union to try to exert growing influence on the union's leaders... including the local's recent secret political deal with Dave Regan and Mary Kay Henry.