Here at the Hudson for Assembly Campaign we find the article below extremely hypocritical. Among the list of candidates endorsed by the Daily Republic are Jim Frazier and Lois Wolk. These candidates' campaigns have both benefited greatly from union organizations of city employees. We urge the paper to either retract their endorsement or retract the article. Endorsing candidates who take city employee contributions after writing an article saying they wouldn't shows a lack of journalistic integrity.
We do agree with the message of the article. District 11 needs a candidate who will tackle the pension crisis not make it worse by catering to the public employees special interests. We can't afford to have an Assemblyman who will continue to increase the benefits to union employees at a time when city, county, and state budgets are extremely in the red. It bewilders us that they have endorsed the candidates they have.
-Austin Allen, Digital Director
From the Daily Republic Sept. 30 -
"Candidates in local city council races must open their eyes and see that they cannot take money from city employee unions and then effectively tackle systemic budget problems.
Fairfield alone is short about 13 percent in its state pension obligation of nearly $400 million. And Fairfield is in pretty good shape compared to other California cities. Stockton and San Bernardino, with their bankruptcy filings, come to mind.
Even though the city is in relatively good shape in terms of unfunded pension obligations — and we use the word “good” extremely loosely here — the City Council this year declared a fiscal emergency and placed a 1 percent sales tax measure on the November ballot to shore up city finances.
Projections for the future remain bleak. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System in March lowered its projected annual return on investments by 0.25 percent to 7.5 percent. Then this summer, CalPERS announced its return for the prior year’s investments was a paltry 1 percent.
The lower 7.5 percent projection translates to an increase in required local pension payments of somewhere between 1 percent and 3 percent starting July 1, 2013. Imagine the financial hit if pension fund payments were based on the actual 1 percent return.
Something has to be done, and done quickly, to address runaway pension costs. City council members cannot take the necessary actions if they take money from those whose benefits they control. Why: Because accepting money from city employee groups taints the negotiations process.
We tossed out the no-union challenge in early May 2011 in advance of the last Fairfield City Council race. We renewed the challenge in September 2011 as that race hit its stride in advance of the November elections.
The election took place, with candidates accepting city union money. The result was expected: only minimal changes to city employee retirement packages, and only affecting future hires.
We renew the challenge today for the upcoming city council races in Suisun City, Vacaville and Rio Vista. Any candidate in those races who accepts money from city employee groups will forfeit our backing in the Nov. 6 elections.
Until such time as the retirement age and promised benefits for public-sector employees are rolled back to pre-1999-2000 levels — before the Big Lie where cities and counties were told they no longer had to contribute to CalPERS because market returns were so strong — elected officials must make tough decisions or face bankruptcy.
This cannot be done while taking contributions from the same employees they face across the bargaining table".
Here at the Hudson for Assembly campaign we find this article extremely hypocritical. Among the list of candidates endorsed by the Daily Republic are Jim Frazier and Lois Wolk. These candidates have both benefited greatly from union organizations of city employees. We urge the paper to either retract their endorsement or retract the article. District 11 needs a candidate who will tackle the pension crisis not make it worse by catering to the public employees special interests".