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News + PoliticsGrassroots Democrats denounce PAC that helped get Haney elected to Assembly

Grassroots Democrats denounce PAC that helped get Haney elected to Assembly

Govern for California is anti-labor, anti-teacher, anti-single-payer, and pro-Matt Haney. Now county committees around the state are telling Democrats not to take the money.

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Several county chapters of the California Democratic Party have passed or are considering resolutions condemning the anti-labor plutocratic group Govern for California and calling on Democratic candidates to refuse to accept the group’s money.

The SF County Central Committee approved that resolution Sept. 28, with Sen. Scott Wiener and Assemblymember Phil Ting the only ones voting no.

Haney touted his support from labor but took big money from an anti-labor group that his own county committee is denouncing.

It’s a particularly interesting vote because Govern for California was one of the largest contributors to the Assembly campaign of Matt Haney.

The resolution has no binding authority, but it’s part of a growing movement among grassroots Democrats to distance the party from a powerful group of very rich donors who are under investigation for dubious campaign spending and openly seeking to end tenure for teachers, end organized labor in government, and block single-payer health care.

Haney insisted he supported single-payer, but he took $285,000 in direct contributions from Govern for California affiliates. Check out this video where David Crane, the co-founder of the group, explains how he helped kill single-payer:

And here he talks about ending government unions and tenure for teachers:

The resolutions coming before local county committees are essentially the same as this one, which was introduced in LA:

WHEREAS the LACDP has concern and vested interest in funding sources for our local state assembly and state senate candidates within Los Angeles County; and

WHEREAS Govern for California has gone on-the-record taking anti-union positions on various bills pending in Sacramento and has made clear that the founders have a goal of weakening the positions of organized labor and working families; and

WHEREAS recent news accounts show that Govern For California’s donation operation is “undemocratic” and has orchestrated a mechanism for a small cadre of wealthy donors to bypass California campaign finance rules, essentially laundering contributions in ways that are dispiriting to the rule of law; and

WHEREAS the Los Angeles Democratic Party is the state’s largest and most powerful committee in California and has a history of standing with our brothers and sisters in organized labor;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Los Angeles County Democratic Party will refuse donations from Govern for California and will encourage state candidates to do the same; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Los Angeles County Democratic Party will officially encourage the California Democratic Party to pass a similar resolution, cementing our concerted position that our party is one that supports organized labor; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that any organization that works to undermine working families in Los Angeles or California will encounter a similarly strong response from progressive Democrats.

Tristan Brown, a member of the Sacramento Labor Council and the Sacramento County Central Committee, told me he had introduce a similar measure. “This is an anti-labor group, and we need to reject them,” he told me.

GFC’s influence and money clearly helped Haney win his seat in the Assembly. Now his own county committee says that was wrong.

Haney, oddly, didn’t show up and didn’t send a proxy. That’s unusual for elected officials who are by charter members of the committee. So no vote was recorded for Haney on this issue.

Of course, it’s too late now. He won. With anti-labor money paving the way.

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Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.

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