Entries by Kevin Dayton

"Other" in California Prevailing Wage Creeps Higher

The California Department of Industrial Relations does not determine state prevailing wage rates for construction trades by surveying contractors or workers or by using statistics gathered by the California Economic Development Department. By law, the state uses union agreements to set prevailing wages. Thus, the prevailing wage is always the “union wage.” And the geographical […]

Citizens Group Objecting to Solar Power in Kern County Is Union Front Group

Construction trade unions in California remain distressed about how solar power is harming the environment. Their latest worry is the 150-megawatt Willow Springs Solar Project proposed for Kern County, in Antelope Valley at the Los Angeles County border. An energy company called First Solar has been planning this project since 2010. In February 2015 Kern County released a […]

College Board in Orange County Lets Unions Take Over Taxpayer Oversight

Unions continue to undermine the independence and effectiveness of citizens bond oversight committees at California school and community college districts. In December 2015, the elected board of trustees for the Rancho Santiago Community College District voted 4-2 to reject an application from the President & CEO of the long-established Orange County Taxpayers Association to serve on […]

Unions Pester Community Choice Aggregation Energy Programs in California

Where there is innovation, there is union interference. Marin Clean Energy, the first “Community Choice Aggregation” program in California, is planning to build a solar farm on a “brownfield” in the City of Richmond. Only one party objected to the project on environmental grounds: “Bay Area Citizens for Responsible Solar,” a front group for California […]

More Union Deals in Monterey County's Quest for Water Project Funding

More than a year of waiting has proven fruitless for Monterey County. It’s now February 2016 and the State of California still hasn’t provided any funding to the Monterey County Water Resources Agency for a tunnel expected to significantly increase its capability for water storage. California State Assemblymember Luis Alejo, who represents the region, could […]

California Construction Unions Saved the Planet Again in 2015

California construction trade unions continue to protect the environment from the scourges of renewable energy and infill development. A chart below provides examples of their achievements for the planet in 2015. Meanwhile, 2015 ends with the annual chatter at the state capitol that “maybe next year” will be the year that the California legislature amends the California Environmental Quality […]

Project Labor Agreement Threats Surge in California in 2015

California’s construction trade unions greatly expanded their campaign in 2015 to get local elected officials to require construction companies to sign a Project Labor Agreement with unions as a condition of winning a public works contract. In 2015, 47 California local governments considered a union Project Labor Agreement mandate for future taxpayer-funded construction contracts. On a few occasions in 2015, Project […]

Unions Stand By Beleaguered California High-Speed Rail

Construction unions were among the top donors to the campaign to pass Proposition 1A, the November 2008 California ballot measure that authorized the state to borrow $9.95 billion via bond sales for development of a “safe, reliable high-speed passenger train for the 21st century.” (See a chart of the top-40 donors to Proposition 1A at the […]

Will Citizens' Bond Oversight Committees Crumble Against Union Power?

Numerous local K-12 school districts and community college districts throughout California have entangled themselves in controversies over facilities construction funded by borrowed money obtained through bond sales. These controversies include the irresponsible sale of Capital Appreciation Bonds, inappropriate expenditures using bond proceeds, and questionable contracts for bond underwriting, construction program management, and project delivery. There has even been overt […]

Construction Unions Dominate a Marin County Bond Measure Campaign

Construction trade unions in California are likely to be celebrating on November 3, 2015 as voters approve another set of local school bond measures and launch another round of taxing, borrowing, and spending. Eight school districts in California are asking voters to approve a total of nine bond measures for school facilities construction on the November ballot. […]

Community College Board in California Will Be Accountable to Voters

The eastern suburbs of San Diego (“East County”) have been and are still regarded as politically conservative. But even this area isn’t impervious to the political movement in California toward European-style social democracy. Labor unions and their political allies have recently gained political control of an East County local government and are now exercising their power. But there is resistance. While the […]

Union Campaign Contributions Pile Up Before School Board Vote on Union Deal

Whenever California voters approve a sizable bond measure to fund construction at a school or community college district, union lobbyists quickly scramble to win control of the work through a Project Labor Agreement. At the Salinas Union High School District, a flood of union campaign money preceded a September 29 board vote to abandon negotiations and […]

Unions Seek Control of Recent California School Bond Measures

Has California school and community college facility construction become a perpetual government stimulus program for politically-favored construction trade unions? Fifteen years ago, it was obvious that many school and college districts in California needed new construction, modernization, or renovation of their facilities for the safety and comfort of students, teachers, administrators, and support staff. That’s […]

California Unions Masquerade as Community-Based Environmental Groups

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is a labor issue. That’s why unions are prominent opponents of any amendments to CEQA that would restrict or prohibit using the law to achieve objectives not related to environmental protection. Unions routinely use CEQA as a tool to pressure public agencies and private developers (or their agents) to sign collective bargaining agreements, project labor […]

"For the Kids" – Comprehensive Review of California School Bonds, Executive Summary (Section 1 of 9)

See the complete California Policy Center report For the Kids: California Voters Must Become Wary of Borrowing Billions More from Wealthy Investors for Educational Construction (complete, printable PDF Version, 4 MB, 361 pages) Links to all sections of this study readable online: You are Here: Executive Summary: “For the Kids” – Comprehensive Review of California School Bonds (1 of 9) More Borrowing for […]

More Borrowing for California Educational Construction in 2016 (Section 2 of 9)

See the complete California Policy Center report For the Kids: California Voters Must Become Wary of Borrowing Billions More from Wealthy Investors for Educational Construction (complete, printable PDF Version, 4 MB, 361 pages) Links to all sections of this study readable online: Executive Summary: “For the Kids” – Comprehensive Review of California School Bonds (1 of 9) […]

Quantifying and Explaining California’s Educational Construction Debt (Section 3 of 9)

See the complete California Policy Center report For the Kids: California Voters Must Become Wary of Borrowing Billions More from Wealthy Investors for Educational Construction (complete, printable PDF Version, 4 MB, 361 pages) Links to all sections of this study readable online: Executive Summary: “For the Kids” – Comprehensive Review of California School Bonds (1 of 9) More Borrowing for California Educational […]

How California School and College Districts Acquire and Manage Debt (Section 4 of 9)

See the complete California Policy Center report For the Kids: California Voters Must Become Wary of Borrowing Billions More from Wealthy Investors for Educational Construction (complete, printable PDF Version, 4 MB, 361 pages) Links to all sections of this study readable online: Executive Summary: “For the Kids” – Comprehensive Review of California School Bonds (1 of 9) […]

Capital Appreciation Bonds: Disturbing Repayment Terms (Section 5 of 9)

See the complete California Policy Center report For the Kids: California Voters Must Become Wary of Borrowing Billions More from Wealthy Investors for Educational Construction (complete, printable PDF Version, 4 MB, 361 pages) Links to all sections of this study readable online: Executive Summary: “For the Kids” – Comprehensive Review of California School Bonds (1 of 9) […]

Tricks of the Trade: Questionable Behavior with Bonds (Section 6 of 9)

See the complete California Policy Center report For the Kids: California Voters Must Become Wary of Borrowing Billions More from Wealthy Investors for Educational Construction (complete, printable PDF Version, 4 MB, 361 pages) Links to all sections of this study readable online: Executive Summary: “For the Kids” – Comprehensive Review of California School Bonds (1 of 9) […]

The System Is Skewed to Pass Bond Measures (Section 7 of 9)

See the complete California Policy Center report For the Kids: California Voters Must Become Wary of Borrowing Billions More from Wealthy Investors for Educational Construction (complete, printable PDF Version, 4 MB, 361 pages) Links to all sections of this study readable online: Executive Summary: “For the Kids” – Comprehensive Review of California School Bonds (1 of 9) More Borrowing for California Educational […]

More Trouble with Bond Finance for Educational Construction (Section 8 of 9)

See the complete California Policy Center report For the Kids: California Voters Must Become Wary of Borrowing Billions More from Wealthy Investors for Educational Construction (complete, printable PDF Version, 4 MB, 361 pages) Links to all sections of this study readable online: Executive Summary: “For the Kids” – Comprehensive Review of California School Bonds (1 of 9) […]