Costa Mesa Troubles are Page One News at New York Times

It’s always interesting to read the New York Times in the morning and see local news on the front page.  But there it was, the issue of local government’s war on public employees played out in the nation’s newspaper of record.

From the story: “Costa Mesa, population 110,000, is California in miniature. For years, public employee unions across the state have often used their influence — sometimes behind the scenes but occasionally with public, hardball campaigns — to push for improved worker pay and benefits. They have exercised power beyond their numbers by donating money to lawmakers, burnishing candidates’ credentials with endorsements and supplying volunteers during elections.

 Public employee unions are hardly the only group involved in bare-knuckles politics. Businesses lobby fiercely and executives make hefty campaign donations.

But public workers have a unique relationship with elected officials, because government employees are effectively negotiating with bosses whom they can campaign to vote out of office if they don’t get what they want. Private unions, in contrast, don’t usually have the power to fire their members’ employers.”

The story has already gained nearly 200 comments at the time of this post, so feel free to asdd your voice to the debate there and here.

The online version of the story doesn’t have the terrific photo spread, so I’m guessing copies of the Times are going to be hard to find at your local Starbucks today.

  7 comments for “Costa Mesa Troubles are Page One News at New York Times

  1. junior
    June 22, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Speaking of Wisconsin & CA”

    “We still have the best cheese,” says Mary Deheck. She buys 100 pounds of cheese per year, typically colby or cheddar, for herself and her daughter, and for gifts.”

    “Last year, California made 2.1 billion pounds of cheese, while Wisconsin produced 2.4 billion, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics.”

    • Kathy Findley
      June 22, 2011 at 9:11 pm


      • junior
        June 23, 2011 at 6:11 am

        Kathy – just a side note, refering to the “Costa Mesa – Wisconsin in CA” square box ad link in the upper left corner of the blog page – and an example of my slightly warped sense of humor – right Dan?

    • Cheesehound
      June 23, 2011 at 6:10 am

      I’m diggin what you are saying Junior. Nothing like ripping into a fine piece of Cali or Wis cheddar to ease that peckish feeling just before lunch. California and Wisconsin do have the finest.

      No only problem I have with cheese is how can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six different kinds of cheese? It’s absurd.

  2. junior
    June 23, 2011 at 9:54 am

    “How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six different kinds of cheese?”
    — Charles de Gaulle, French general & president. Newsweek (New York, 1 Oct. 1962).

    Over 400 kinds of cheese now:

  3. Ltpar
    June 24, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    There are places in the United States where public employee unions are out of control, but Costa Mesa is not one of them. In fact, both the cops and genneral employees associations have been rather low key for many years. The Cops made some very poor decisions on how they fought the election of Jim Reinheimer and actually alienated many voters. This can be attributed to inexperience in playing hardball politics and failing to dig up enough dirty laundry to blow the guy out of the water. Now, pay backs are a bitch and both the cops and all employees are feeling the pain. The Costa Mesa employee groups need to take a couple of steps backward, put their collective heads together and come up with a comprehensive plan to deal with the Council majority.

  4. santa ana guy
    June 25, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Odd that this story isn’t getting more attention here in the OC. Scapegoating Unions for poor governance and Cali’s financial losses is unacceptable. Unions did not create this mess, and have sacrificed quite enough already.

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