New Blog on the Block
The Daily News reports on the newest blog site to catch the eyes of political insiders, the Engineers and Architect Association’s Blog City Hall. Robert Aquino, the 9,000 member Association’s leader said via press release he wanted the new site to provide a stronger voice for rank-and-file city employees.
Maybe, maybe not. The EAA is currently a division of the AFL/CIO, and that’s just the way Aquino wants it. Numerous sources have reported to us that a few years ago, SEIU local 347 attempted to re-organize the union under their direction, as they proved more adept at providing their members better benefits, but Aquino quickly attached himself to a Virginia police officers’ union to stop the re-organization. The association prevented the AFL/CIO from getting involved, as the SEIU and the police officers union are both under its direction, one union is not allowed to raid another.
The consequences of Mr. Aquino’s power-hungry moves are dangerous and far-reaching. The EAA is run by an ‘agency shop’ forcing members to pay dues whether they want to join the union or not. Also, they’ve been attacking L.A. City Employees Retirement System Board Commissioner Shelley Smith for an alleged ‘conflict of interest.’ Funnily enough, no such conflict exists, and Smith’s credentials are impeccable. Aquino’s attacks on a well-meaning and well-intentioned civil servant proves his grip on the union is about as strong as his grip on reality is weak (sort of reminds me of the man he supports in the Mayor’s race, Villaraigosa, except his grip on the union and reality are weak). Most importantly, he’s not giving the rank-and-file city employees he wants to help the opportunity to choose their own union.
And now he’s entered the blog foray. I, for one, welcome him. But seeing as how he neglected to post any of this information on his own website, and many of his union members have taken the time to forward information to me, I feel compelled to do it for him, making sure the anonymity is kept and their stronger voice is heard. He can thank me later.
Word of advice to the new blog on the block: If you want to expose wrongdoing in City Hall without fear of retribution, you should start with your own organization.