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Liberals. . . talk glibly of a people lifting themselves by their bootstraps but fail to realize that nothing can be lifted or moved except through power.
By 1975 Cesar Chavez had achieved power. He was (and is) supported by a large segment of the church hierarchy with endorsements from the pulpit of his various boycotts, approval of his philosophical goals, and generous financial contributions. He was revered by the vast majority of the media and student activists. And the union had at its disposal a growing political slush fund accumulated from members’ mandatory contribution of one day’s pay a year.
All of this spelled v-o-t-e-s to certain politicians. With the UFW’S political action fund, Chavez declared candidly in 1981, “we have. . .attraction for the politicians.” And indeed, the politicians eagerly jumped on Chavez’s bandwagon.
Chavez used his power for the coup d’etat of all times, pushing through a labor law that has allowed his union to gain unprecedented and near-dictatorial control not only over farmers in the state but over UFW members. And as a result, as Profs. Cottle, Macaulay, and Yandle conclude, “Codetermination is alive and prospering in California under the protective shield of the CALRA.”