Tuesday, November 8, 2016
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- Alert for the Tuesday, November 8, 2016 General Election
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- Inherent Conflict of Interest – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins
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Tag Archives: safety unions
Inherent Conflict of Interest
The Police Officers’ and Firefighters’ Associations (unions) bankrolled the Measure B tax-hike campaign. FPPC campaign disclosure forms show the police and fire unions spent an overwhelming $39,247.50 in our city election ($19,033.50 police, and $20,214.00 fire) to influence voters on Measure B and the City Council race.
This is nearly four times the $10,000 they contributed to the “Yes on Measure A” campaign in 2014, for eleven tax hikes, on residents and businesses. The fire union probably spent more than $100,000 on their Measure P campaign in 2012, to outsource our local Fire Department to Los Angeles County for a reduced level of service, for their own financial benefit.
None of the firefighters and only about one-fourth of the police live in town. They campaign in our local elections to maximize their pay and pensions, and raise taxes and fees to pay for it, no matter how excessive and unsustainable.
The latest available El Segundo City Employee compensation data, for 2014, at TransparentCalifornia.com, shows the 58 sworn police employees had the following total annual pay and benefits statistics: Minimum=$139,028; Maximum=$358,536; Average=$228,240; and Median (half above and half below)=$214,867.
The 44 sworn firefighter employees had the following total annual pay and benefits statistics: Minimum=$148,235; Maximum=$375,524; Average=$247,646; and Median=$225,882. The firefighters are paid to sleep and eat, including some of those hours at the overtime rate of 150% their regular pay rate.
The union campaigns have nothing to do with safety and everything to do with union greed.
– Mike Robbins
by Michael D. Robbins
Director, Public Safety Project, PublicSafetyProject.org
April 7, 2014
Three flyers containing verifiable factual information about Measure A were distributed to residents and small businesses on the weekend of April 5, 2014.
Click on each of the links below to view, download, and print them. Please share them with your friends and neighbors in case they did not get all of them.
Flyer #1: Vote “NO” on Measure A – Eleven Tax Hikes in One Measure! – Distributed on Saturday, April 5, 2014. (119 KB PDF file)
Flyer #2: 36 MORE REASONS TO VOTE NO ON MEASURE A – Distributed on Saturday, April 5, 2014. (206 KB PDF file)
Flyer #3: Vote “NO” on Measure A, and Against BILL FISHER! – Distributed on Sunday, April 6, 2014. (168 KB PDF file)
Below is the content of Flyer #3, with added photos, links, and information documenting the facts contained in the flyer.
Vote “NO” on Measure A, and
Against BILL FISHER!
Measure A is ELEVEN Permanent Tax Hikes in a Single Ballot Measure
Have the Measure A Supporters Earned Our Trust?
The “Yes on A” campaign has lost the debate. Their arguments have been refuted, and many have been shown to be outright deceptive and dishonest. So they switched to using the campaign slogan, Measure A is “supported by people you know and trust”. But if you really knew most of them, you probably would not trust them.
“Measure A – Supported by People You Know and Trust” slogan on a “Yes on Measure A” campaign mailer delivered on 3/29/2014.
See PublicSafetyProject.org for more information, details, and proof.
Sandra Jacobs, one of two “Yes on A” campaign co-chairs, was one of a slate of three Fire and Police Union sponsored City Council candidates.
See the details on the below, including the $46,204 in campaign money.
Joe Harding, one of two “Yes on A” campaign co-chairs, was AGAINST the tax hikes when he was a Hacienda Hotel employee. NOW, this ex-employee is FOR the tax hikes that will be devastating to his former employer.
Harding spoke out strongly against smaller Utility Users Tax (UUT) and Hotel Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) hikes at the 8/3/10 City Council meeting. Anyone can verify this by watching the City Council meeting video at PublicSafetyProject.org or ElSegundo.org. Here are his quotes from that meeting:
“Joe Harding, representing the Hacienda Hotel and also a resident of El Segundo.” “Most of you have seen first-hand what our industry has endured over the past 27 years.” “Our industry just can’t handle any increase.” “You must say ‘No’ to the hotel killer tax!” “A TOT and a UUT would hit us twice. That’d be like kicking us when we’re down, and then running us over for good measure.” “The City must make unpopular and difficult adjustments to their payroll and expenses.” “Leave the TOT where it is.”
Click HERE to see the video of Joe Harding making this speech at the 8/3/10 El Segundo City Council meeting, and to read a transcript of his speech.
Looking down the “Yes on A” campaign’s list of supporters (“People You Know and Trust”), we find:
(Click HERE for more details and documentation on these “People You Know and Trust”.)
- Four were City Council candidates sponsored by the Fire and Police Unions, who get huge pay raises and pension increases in return for their campaign support
- One tried to steer a City contract to a friend for nearly twice the price – for $120,000 when the more qualified bid was $65,000 for the same job
- One was a no-show El Segundo City Clerk who worked full-time for another city, but collected TWO government paychecks
- One is an ESUSD school teacher union member who misused school district facilities, public resources, and students to campaign for a City Council candidate
- One resigned his elected City Treasurer office due to his extra-marital affair with a current school board member who is also on the list
- One is a police captain who made the news for bullying and harassing a city resident at his workplace for posting the public record Police and Fire Union salaries on his website
- And missing from the list are the following employee union Measure A supporters who donated a total of $17,500 to the “Yes on A” campaign as of 3/23/14 (from FPPC filings):
- El Segundo Firefighters PAC donated $5,000 on 2/11/14
- El Segundo Police Officers Association PAC donated $5,000 on 2/25/14
- El Segundo City Employees Association donated $5,000 on 2/28/14
- California Teamsters Public Affairs Council donated $2,500 on 3/11/14
- Do you trust all the City employee union members who donated $17,500 (thus far) through their unions – to get a whopping $6.6 Million per year in return to pay for their past and future excessive pay raises and resulting pension increases?
Bill Fisher’s Forgotten History
Let’s go down the memory hole and recover Bill Fisher’s forgotten history. Fisher’s political career was launched by the Fire and Police Unions when they ran a three-candidate slate including Fisher and Sandra Jacobs (“Yes on A” campaign co-chair).
Fisher claims he knew nothing about the union support. However, Fire Union president Kevin Rehm’s cell phone number was on the campaign signs for each of the slate candidates as the contact number for campaign sign management.
Firefighters union president Kevin A. Rehm managed the delivery, installation, and maintenance of the campaign yard signs for all three candidates – Sandra Jacobs, Bill Fisher, and Eric Busch. A sticker appeared on every sign with his cellular phone number. It read:
“This sign has been placed with the permission of the owner. If you have any problems with this sign please call: (310) 422-9411 We will fix the problem ASAP. Thank you!”
I called that number during the election campaign and Kevin Rehm answered. I spoke with him and asked him questions about the firefighter union’s candidate endorsements. You can do an Internet search for the following keywords to see that this is Kevin Rehm’s phone number: (310) 422-9411 Kevin Rehm.
See the photos of the three candidate’s campaign signs with firefighters union president Kevin Rehm’s cellular phone number on them below. The first two photos show the entire signs at a distance to make it clear the close-up photos of the sticker on the corner each sign are of the same campaign signs.
The El Segundo firefighters union installed triple the campaign signs for City Council candidates Sandra Jacobs, Bill Fisher, and Eric Busch at a house on the east side of town.
The El Segundo firefighters union installed double the campaign yard signs for City Council candidates Sandra Jacobs, Bill Fisher, and Eric Busch at a house on the east side of town.
See the photos below of the campaign signs with firefighter union president Kevin Rehm’s cellular phone number (310-422-9411) on them as the sign placement and maintenance coordinator. His phone number sticker was on all the campaign signs for Bill Fisher, Sandra Jacobs (one of the two Measure A co-chairs), and Eric Busch.
Bill Fisher’s City Council campaign sign with El Segundo firefighter union president Kevin Rehm’s cellular phone number on it.
Sandra Jacobs’ City Council campaign sign with El Segundo firefighter union president Kevin Rehm’s cellular phone number on it.
Eric Busch’s City Council campaign sign with El Segundo firefighter union president Kevin Rehm’s cellular phone number on it.
The unions sent out slate campaign mailers featuring studio portrait photos of all three candidates, with color-coordinated backgrounds.
See the scanned images below of the campaign slate mailer postcard sent to El Segundo voters by the two unions.
The front side of the campaign mailer shows photos of a firefighter standing next to a fire engine and a police officer standing next to a police car. It reads:
“What do El Segundo Firefighters and Police Officers Have in Common?”
The back side has the photos and names of El Segundo City Council candidates Eric Busch, Sandra Jacobs, and Bill Fisher. It reads:
“Firefighters – Police Officers – Paramedics
BUSH – JACOBS – FISHER
The Best Choice For Public Safety
On April 13th Support
Eric BUSCH – Sandra JACOBS – Bill FISHER
Paid For By The El Segundo Firefighters Association – PO Box 55 El Segundo, CA ID #1231824″
The firefighters and police unions claimed that they endorsed “The Best Choice For Public Safety”. That was a lie. They endorsed the candidates who would give them the biggest pay raises and pension increases, and then raise taxes and fees on the residents and businesses to pay for it all.
Click on each picture for a larger view (will open in a new browser window or tab).
When then Councilman Bill Fisher was confronted at a City Council meeting about the conflict of interest created from his firefighter and police union campaign support, given that he votes on their pay raises and benefits increases, he claimed he did not know the unions were supporting his campaign!
Notice how the firefighter and police union campaign slate mailer has professional studio photos with color-coordinated matching backgrounds of Bill Fisher and the other two union-endorsed candidates. Clearly, Fisher posed for his professional photo and a copy of it was sent to the unions for use in their campaign mailer. Also, Fisher wants us to believe he did not know who was distributing, installing, and maintaining his campaign signs around the city throughout the his campaign.
Rehm sent a deceitful campaign mailer on official Fire Union letterhead, threatening seniors with “the possibility of our paramedics not being available when you need them” if the three union-approved candidates were not elected!
The El Segundo firefighters union even sent out a campaign letter on their official union letterhead, signed by union President Kevin Rehm, 1st Vice President Breck Slover, and 2nd Vice President John Bilbee, threatening senior citizen voters with “the possibility of our paramedics not being available when you need them” if the three candidates approved by the union were not elected!
See the scanned image of this letter and the envelope it was sent in below.
Click on the letter below to see a larger image of it (will open in a new browser window or tab).
Click HERE for an analysis and the text of the Senior Scare Letter on our old web site. Then click the BACK button in your browser to return to this web page.
The mysterious “Committee To Continue The Progress Of El Segundo” spent $46,204 including union and out-of-town donations campaigning for the slate. Fisher narrowly lost that election, but was APPOINTED to the Council two years later. That election was CANCELLED due to lack of candidates. The unprecedented campaign spending intimidated potential challengers.
Fisher rewarded the unions well with 11.25% to 23% in pay raises during the Great Recession, including retroactive pay raises effective nine months before the date of approval, plus additional 5% annual “step-raises”, jacking up compensation and pensions. Fisher also supported single pay raises of 14.9% to 32.3% for the non-union managers (Deputy Fire Chief, Fire Battalion Chiefs, Police Chief, and the Fire Chief) to avoid “salary compaction”.
The pay raises were approved in secret in one or more closed session City Council meetings, and were made public and given a public vote of approval as a mere formality in the April 7, 2009 and December 2, 2008 open session City Council meetings, after they were already a done deal.
These pay raises included the following:
|JOB CLASSIFICATION||PAY RAISE||DATE APPROVED||CONSENT AGENDA ITEM|
|Firefighters||11.25%||April 7, 2009||E11|
|Fire Engineers||11.25%||April 7, 2009||E11|
|Fire Captains||11.25%||April 7, 2009||E11|
|Police Officers||15.0%||April 7, 2009||E12|
|Police Sergeants||15.0%||April 7, 2009||E12|
|Police Lieutenants||18.0%||April 7, 2009||E8|
|Police Captains||23.0%||April 7, 2009||E8|
|Fire Battalion Chiefs||16.9%||December 2, 2008||E8|
|Deputy Fire Chief||14.9%||December 2, 2008||E8|
|Police Chief||23%||December 2, 2008||E8|
|Fire Chief||32.3%||December 2, 2008||E8|
In addition to the above pay raises, the firefighter and police employees were (and still are) given 5% annual “step raises” in each of the first four or five years after the year they are promoted or assigned to a new position.
In addition to the above pay raises, the firefighter and police employees were (and still are) given periodic “longevity” raises every so many years.
Rehm’s pension pays him $172,516 per year. Measure A will only pay for more union rewards!
Kevin Rehm’s annual CalPERS pension from working as an El Segundo firefighter is $172,516.08 per year according to the CalPERS Database on the FixPensionsFirst.com website at:
Fisher hoped to get appointed to City Council again without an election, but a third candidate emerged the last day of the filing period. Please Vote NO on Measure A and AGAINST Bill Fisher on April 8th. For voting information, see ElSegundo.org or contact the City Clerk.
This flyer is a response to late campaign mailers and late campaign contribution reports.
Check the PublicSafetyProject.org web site for documentation, proof, and responses to any last-minute hit pieces.
Authored by Michael D. Robbins. Not authorized or endorsed by any candidate or committee.
Paid for by Michael D. Robbins, P.O. Box 2193, El Segundo, CA 90245. 4/4/2014 Rev. 1