Friday, January 15, 2016

Ballot Initiative Backlash: SEIU-UHW's Dave Regan Tried to Snatch Billions from California's Schoolchildren

In a fit of anger, Dave Regan recently sued the California Hospital Association and penned an angry attack against SEIU officials (entitled "The Shame of SEIU") after his erstwhile pals joined hands to introduce a statewide ballot initiative that competes head-to-head with Regan's own initiative.

Regan's initiative is designed to deposit billions of dollars a year into the hospital industry's pocket, a massive payoff he must deliver before industry bosses will allow SEIU-UHW to put tens of thousands of non-non-union hospital workers into cheap, pre-negotiated labor contracts that ban them from striking.

Why did SEIU officials team up with the CHA to undermine Regan's initiative?

It turns out that Regan's ballot initiative was horribly designed. According to one knowledgeable source, "It would have blown a multi-billion-dollar hole in the state budget" by re-directing billions of state tax revenues -- currently used to fund public schools -- into hospital bosses' pockets.

By cutting school funding, Regan also would have destabilized funding for other government services as budget-makers shift budget dollars to make up for lost revenues.

That's why the California Teachers Association teamed up with the SEIU California State Council, headed by Laphonza Butler, to introduce a competing ballot initiative ("School Funding and Budget Stability Act") to preserve funding for public schools.

SEIU represents approximately 95,000 California state employees through its Local 1000. Other locals, such as SEIU Local 99, SEIU Local 521 and SEIU Local 1021, represent tens of thousands of teacher assistants, cafeteria workers, and other public education workers. California's students have suffered devastating budget cuts during the Great Recession that forced massive teacher layoffs and skyrocketing classroom sizes.

So, umm,... who was the genius at SEIU-UHW who wrote a ballot initiative to strip money from schoolchildren and from SEIU's own public-sector members?

Dave Kieffer: ballot initiative genius
Sources say it was Dave Kieffer. 

Kieffer, who was involved in trying to cover up the Tyrone Freeman corruption scandal, was pushed out of his job at the SEIU California State Council in 2013 and now serves as "Director of Governmental Relations" at SEIU-UHW.

He was the architect of an earlier money-for-members scheme by which SEIU officials tried to trade billions in taxpayer-funded Medicaid dollars for tens of thousands of workers at nursing homes.

Way to go, Dave.

All of this helps explain why analysts are penning articles like this one, entitled "Shrinking Political World of UHW President Dave Regan," which begins:

We've been chronicling the ever-shrinking political world of union President Dave Regan, see here, here and here, for a while now, and recent news highlights his dwindling power.