The Orange Field Office Political Task Force created four teams to lobby the Orange County delegation of ten legislators in Sacramento on March 2, 2009. Those teams were as follows:
Team “A”: Carolyn Everett, AD; Janelle Cranch PACE Chair; Jim Vinion, Retiree Unit; A. Alan Aldrich, SLRR
Team “B”: Rod Lusch, RR 22; Terry Burke, RR 62; Kathy Heard, RPAC 62; Stanley Spearman, RPAC 49
Team “C”: Ronnie Mayer, LEG Com; Rick Meyer, RR 49; Allyson Holt, RPAC 22; Marianne Monfils, LRR
Team “D”: Joe Ahlert, PACE Com; John Ortiz, RR 12; John Miller, RR 94; Jim Houghton, RPAC 12; Kenny Wilson, LRR
The teams all addressed CSEA’s disappointment and lack of support for the State budget; specifically noting that all Orange County legislators with the exception of Democrat Lou Correa and Republican Van Tran voted to cut education funding in SBX3 4. CSEA also lobbied affirmatively for AB 406 [Yamada] and SB 810 [Leno].
Team “A” Meetings
AD 68 Van Tran [R] met with Danny Martinez while Tran was speaking on the telly in opposition to HR 5. Martinez was receptive as usual; he welcomed our compliment to Tran for no on the Education budget cuts saying he is always opposed to education cuts. Disputed CSEA’s stated view that we are now 50th in funding saying that the NEA website had California 26th for a ranking. Said he believed AB 406 would end up in appropriations with a cost, which would be a problem; said Tran might support the bill if it was amended to have no cost. Lastly, he said it was unlikely that Leno wouldn’t put SB 810 up for a vote this year.
SD 33 Mimi Walters [R] met with Legislative Director Garth Eisenbeis, was his usual receptive and pleasant self who was engaged on AB 406 but not the other issues. No particular reaction on the budget issues- had no answer why education was 60% of the cuts when only 40% of the budget. No reaction on SB 810.On AB 406 he seemed like the reality that classified staff has to be paid on in-service days anyway, so why not provide training/ cross training.
SD 35 Tom Harman [R] met with Senate Fellow Megan Steinman, who said Harman voted for Education cuts because he believed that there should be a 10% across the board cut in State spending. On AB 406 the attitude was receptive, but said Harman as a politician who believes in local control would be opposed to mandates on school districts. No clue on SB 810.
Team “B” Meetings
AD 67 Jim Silva [R] He told us, as he did last year, that he was a teacher and his one experience with a classified employee that is supposed to make us feel that he respects us. He said that raising taxes is not justifiable given the economy and the high cost that people already have to live with. He talked about the high cost of union labor and contractors. Also as last year, he mentioned his shelf in the corner that he bought at a garage sale and was refinished by a friend at a fraction of the cost he would have had to pay had he gone through normal channels. We cut his story short by telling him that we remembered it from last year. His decision making priorities are safety, education and health. We asked why education was cut 60% when it only represents 40% of the budget; to which he said he didn’t know about that. He said that the waste needed to be eliminated to help the education funding problem and that we should do something about it. We told him we could try but it would help to know what he meant by waste. We asked him to identify what he felt the waste was, to which he said he didn’t know. Terry Burke and Kathy Heard provided him with documented information that depicted the student services and programs in their districts that are being reduced or eliminated due to the budget cuts and the classified employees that are being laid off as the result. The conversation began to be argumentative so we decided to drop this subject and address SB 406 and SB 810 instead. AB 406: We briefly explained the bill to him and the benefits of having adequately trained classified employees. The information we gave him regarding the cost was based on what we were told the day before in our briefing meeting and the fact that the written summary we were provided with states (Emphasis added): “The bill would ensure that training is made available to classified employees, from existing funds …”We also provided him with the handout we were given for that purpose. SB 810 We briefly summarized this bill and its origins but ran out of time to go into it in details
SD 34 Lou Correa [D] all teams but Team D joined the meeting and we met with Chief of Staff John Scribner [Correa had an issue at home with school age child]. John was delighted that we wished to commend Lou on voting against the education cuts. He also cautioned that he didn’t think California had hit bottom on the economic problems saying that there were likely two more rounds of foreclosures to move through the system. He said that he thought the deal just made for 2009-2010 was already in trouble. Discussed with us the process that the additional funding fro Orange County as a result of Lou’s vote on the budget. Receptive on the AB 406 discussion; affable but guarded on SB 810.
Team “C” Meetings
AD 69 Jose Solorio [D]- the team started the meeting by telling Solorio how unhappy we were that he had voted to cut education; he said he knew how unfortunate it was but he was just following directions from his party.—he clearly got the message. Will clearly support AB 406 and wanted to know if his support would get him out of the dog house with CSEA. Always supported SB 840 and will support SB 810.
AD 71 Jeff Miller [R] this is perhaps the meeting where of CSEA teams this legislator treated us the most poorly. The office failed to keep a confirmed appointment, so we returned later in the day to meet with aide Johannes Esudero. Miller did stop in to the meeting but retreated to his office when we mentioned that they had failed to keep prior appointment. Completely inconsequential meeting, this office showed little or none of the barest level of respect that we routinely receive form the most hostile legislators.
AD 73 Diane Harkey [R] team met with Legislative Director Sharon Gonzales, who listened. While admitting that Harkey was new to Sacramento, she said Harkey voted to reduce education funding because it was a “band-aid” to the problem. Noted that she looking forward to revisiting the Ed budget once she settled in. Was open to AB 406; and said that SB 810 at over 80 pages was, “overwhelming.”
Team “D” Meetings
AD 70 Chuck Devore [R] met with Kevin Eastman, who said education should be a top priority but not by raising taxes.—government should be more efficient. No comment on AB 406; not likely to support SB 810.
AD 72 Michael Duvall [R] met with Gino Facetti, Legislative aide on labor issues, who said hopefully after May 19th election we will be able to make education a priority, but right now it’s not fair to pick and choose which programs to cut. Was opposed to SB 810, but he said we should send him the data on school district savings. On AB 406 he asked us to explain the importance of the bill. Issue of importance to his boss- public utilities.