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Petition vs. David Crane as Regent

Gov. Schwarzenegger nominated David Crane for the Board of Regents just before he left office in December 2010. The nomination is currently stalled in the Senate, opposed by Senator Leland Yee and others, but Governor Brown has yet to withdraw Crane and nominate a better candidate.

Crane is outspoken opponent of public sector unions. He recently published an inflammatory editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle attacking collective bargaining rights for public employee unions, couching these rights as threats to public higher education and good governance.

You can read and sign the petition here

Please sign and distribute widely.

Chris Rosen, co-Chair of BFA

P.S. Senator Ted Lieu’s excellent rebuttal of David Crane

Senator Ted W. Lieu (D-Torrance), Chair of the Labor and Industrial
Relations Committee, released the following statement regarding the
confirmation of University of California Regent David Crane:

I actively oppose the confirmation of David Crane as a UC Regent. I
read Mr. Crane’s Op-Ed in the San Francisco Chronicle in which he argues
for the elimination of collective bargaining for public sector
employees. I cannot support someone for the powerful post of UC Regent
who continues to perpetuate the myth that collective bargaining caused
our state economic crisis and has a fundamental misunderstanding of how
our state budget operates.

In his Op-Ed, titled “Should Public Employees Have Collective
Bargaining”, Mr. Crane argues that because of collective bargaining,
“general fund spending on higher education, parks and environmental
protection was flat or lower.” As a matter of historical fact, that is
false. Our general fund spending generally declined because of a
national economic recession. The recession was not caused by collective
bargaining or public sector unions, but by private sector, out of
control Wall Street firms at the time.

The specific reason our general fund spending sharply declined was
because the person Mr. Crane advised, former Governor Arnold
Schwarzenegger, reduced the Vehicle License Fee and replaced it with . .
. nothing. As a result, the state general fund lost over $5 to $6
billion in revenues per year for every year Mr. Schwarzenegger was in
office. The VLF reduction has resulted in a total loss of over $30
billion to the state, an amount in excess of the current California
budgetary shortfall. How conveniently Mr. Crane forgot to mention that
critical fact when it doesn’t suit his ideological assault on public
sector unions.

Now that Mr. Crane senses his confirmation may be in jeopardy, he
attempts to marginalize his own Op-Ed by releasing a new statement
saying he really didn’t mean to attack all public sector unions, just
those who happen to have statutory civil service protections. For those
in Ivory Towers that distinction may have some academic meaning, but for
everyone else in the real world that is a distinction without a
difference. Civil Service protections do not prevent employees from
being terminated or laid off, they provide standards for government to
follow when firing or disciplining employees. Such protections do not
guarantee appropriate wages or benefits, nor address a plethora of other
issues, such as workforce safety issues.

Mr. Crane’s Op-Ed also discusses political spending by public sector
unions. In his world view, political spending by the California
Teachers Association is inappropriate, but the massive political
spending by the Koch Brothers would presumably be acceptable.
I cannot, and will not, support someone for the post of UC Regent who
blames public sector employees, such as teachers, for somehow being
responsible for our economic crisis or the resulting decline in general
fund spending. We need UC Regents who are interested in solving
problems, not those who twist historical facts to suit an ideological
agenda.

Originally posted at http://www.camajorityreport.com/index.php?module=articles&func=display&aid=4613&ptid=9

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One Comment

  1. The petition passed 500 signatures in the first 48 hours (as of Sunday afternoon).