Tonight the DPOC Central Committee is meeting and one of the actions that is likely to be discussed is stripping First District Supervisorial candidate Hoa Van Tran of the party’s endorsement.Ã‚Â Alicia Berhow isÃ‚Â a memberÃ‚Â of the DPOC’s endorsement committee and according to my sources she and others with whom she has close ties to have been lobbying hard for the party to strip Hoa of the endorsement.
At first glance this simply appears to be a reaction to the potentialÃ‚Â campaign report irregularities that folks like Chris Prevatt and Matt Cunningham have been blogging incessantly about for the past several weeks.Ã‚Â However when one takes another look there may be more at play here than just that.Ã‚Â Upon further review there is a potential conflict of interest regarding Ms. Berhow, her position with the party and her place of employment.
Ms. Berhow was a staffer for Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez for five years and as was reported by Mike Lawson here on the Liberal OC on April 3, 2007, she left her position with Loretta to work for the Orange County Business Council.Ã‚Â So in April of 2007 Berhow began in her new position of Director of Workforce Development for the OCBC.Ã‚Â
The OCBC described itself as the following, “The Orange County Business Council serves pro-business interests so that the region’s vibrant economy will continue to expand, bringing the benefits of prosperity to every corner of the county.”Ã‚Â The is a clear indication that the OCBC is a Republican leaning organization which is verifiedÃ‚Â by their political involvement as well.
The potential conflict involving Ms. BerhowÃ‚Â does not simply arise out of her employment with the OCBC, however it does potentiallyÃ‚Â arise out of her involvement in attempting toÃ‚Â strip Hoa Van Tran of the party’s endorsement.Ã‚Â According to a May 15th post on OC Blog and to Janet Nguyen’s re-election website, Supervisor Nguyen has received the endorsement of the Orange County Business Council.
The fact that Ms. Berhow serves asÃ‚Â a member of the DPOC’s endorsement committee while in the employment of the Orange County Business Council could quite possibly lead to the appearence of a conflict of interest.Ã‚Â Questions could quite possibly arise as to whose interests is she looking out for, the DPOC’s or her employers?Ã‚Â Can she possibly serve two masters?
This relationship could lead towards a strain in the relationship between our party and labor groups if labor feels thatÃ‚Â a memberÃ‚Â of the party’s endorsement committee is actually doing the bidding of the OCBC.Ã‚Â I have no evidence to verify that this is indeed the case, however sometimes the appearence of such a conflict is all that is needed to spark such a dispute or strain.
The DPOC’s relationship with labor is far more important than any one person or an any one election.Ã‚Â Labor must know that the DPOC and the folks in leadership positions within the party are looking out for their best interests.Ã‚Â We cannot at the end of the day have labor officialsÃ‚Â asking themselves if members of the party’s endorsement committee are serving two conflicting masters.