So, who have been the top two political donors in California over the past decade, accounting for around one-third of all political donations during the period when the Golden State went from the envy of the world to the laughingstock of the nation? According to the L.A. Times,
--The California Teachers Assoc., which spent $211.8 million.
--The California State Council of Service Employees, $107.4 million.
We've seen what the teachers unions have done to public education out west. But what is the California State Council of Service Employees? It's the state version of the national Services Employee International Union, the labor juggernaut headed up by the Obama White House's most frequent visitor, Andy Stern. More than 350,000 of its members are California state employees. Which may help explain why Obama put Stern on a conference call with the Schwarzenegger administration to discuss how the state wouldn't get stimulus money if it followed through on the governor's meek threats to maybe fire a couple of state employees. Gee, I wonder what Stern is going to recommend in his new role as a member of the administration's fancy new deficit-reduction panel?
Never forget: When confronted last year with his wretched impact on California governance, Stern said: "Democracy is an ugly thing at times." Now he's poised to inflict that ugly on the rest of the country as well. Good thing that President Obama, in the words of spokesman Robert Gibbs yesterday, has been so busy "reducing the undue influence of special interests and their lobbyists over government."