Friday, November 7, 2014

Which Way A.D.D.A.?

As noted last week, the time is fast approaching for the Association of Deputy District Attorneys to decide whether to terminate their expensive, ineffective and unrepresentative relationship with AFSCME; the big labor organization that disgraced former ADDA Presidents Ipsen and Seligman courted to gain a bailout package arising from their mismanagement and personal agendas.

At the time that the ADDA Board proposed 'affiliating' with AFSCME, members were promised an "Escape Clause," an opportunity to end the 'affiliation' (don't you just hate the union jargon). Despite that promise, the Dragnet has learned that Seligman executed a secret "side letter agreement" with AFSCME that gives the ADDA Board the power to deny members a vote on whether to exercise the Escape Clause.

Under Seligman's side letter agreement, the ADDA Board Members can simply decide not to give members a vote on the Escape Clause. Such a decision would make the affiliation permanent, and there is basically no way out. DDAs would be locked into an unholy relationship with a big labor group that has already reneged on its promise not to drag the ADDA into political campaigns that are adverse to members - AFSCME supported Proposition 47, a poorly written, highly political voter initiative that will result in thousands of felons being released from state prison. AFSCME also used the ADDA's "Business Representative" to mislead members of the Professional Peace Officers Association (PPOA) into believing the ADDA supported an attack on PPOA.

Although it would seem bizarre that the ADDA Board would actually pursue such an undemocratic course and deny its members the opportunity to vote, that appears to be highly likely. Simply put, there are only a handful of ADDA Board Members who support giving members the right to vote on the Escape Clause. The rest are either deeply entrenched big labor people, seduced by empty promises from AFSCME, or simply too scared to take a position that might upset AFSCME.

There are 11 members of the ADDA Board. Today, we look at members who appear to be in favor of democracy and giving DDAs the opportunity to vote.

President Marc Debbaudt has made no secret of his desire to terminate AFSCME - he campaigned on that very issue.

Vice President Michelle Hanisee: In her goals statement, the ADDA's newest Board Member says that she wants to "Improve ties with fellow law enforcement organizations." Such a position would indicate that she was probably not impressed with the way AFSCME behaved regarding their support of Proposition 47. Hanisee also wants to "Upgrade the ADDA website and establish ADDA email addresses to make it easier for members to communicate with the board." An indication, perhaps, that she supports a democratic ADDA that will be transparent and responsive to members' concerns.

Treasurer James Evans: In his goals statement he says that he will "Strive to make ADDA a completely independent association" and "Create alliances with all other law enforcement related associations/unions within the county." It's hard to imagine that Evans would oppose a members vote on the Escape Clause, given his stated goals.

Director Anthony Colannino: In his goals statement he says that "most of us became DDA’s because our internal make-up requires us to do what we believe is the right thing, regardless of cost."If doing the right thing means supporting democracy, then Colannino will allow members to vote on the Escape Clause.

Director John Harrold: His goals statement leaves no doubt as to his position "I believe the best decision and the wisest course of action is to exercise the “Escape Clause” and disaffiliate from AFSCME before it is too late."
What of the remaining six Board Members? Readers can take a look at their goals statements on the ADDA website and take a guess. We will return next week with our analysis of their likely positions.

Of course it is open to those Board Members to comment here and state their positions. Equally, if we have misstated or misunderstood the position of the five mentioned above, we welcome their comments.



Anonymous said...

Everything here shows why we need a strong union to stand up to a bunch of lies from a union busting management stoolie. There may be 5 suck ups on the Board, but thankfully there are way more Board Members who understand the need to have a powerful bargaining unit backed up by a powerful union like AFSCME. Your pathetic attempt to bully the Board into letting members vote will fail. The fact is that most members are too absorbed with their own problems to give a rats ass about the union. If they are allowed to vote, they will destroy the union just to save themselves less than the cost of a Starbucks a day. We need to trust the wisdom of the union people on the Board, and make the decision that the rank and file cannot be trusted to make.

Anonymous said...

We should never have been associated with AFSCME. Any board member who votes to deny he rank and file a say in this, is a union stoolie. I expect the ADDA will try to fudge the vote so will never know which of the board members are willing to suck up to the union and betray their fellow ddas. This is disgraceful and thank you Dragnet from making this public.

Anonymous said...

Let's be real clear here. The whole situation with AFSCME is rigged. The monthly ADDA board meetings are held at AFSCME's downtown HQ with all their union 'brothers' around to intimidate the board. It takes men and women of real courage to walk into the lions den and poke a stick in their eye by saying "F you AFSCME, you've taken our money, promised the earth and delivered sh*t. Now we're going to terminate you." But Debbaudt, Hanisee, Evans, Colannino and Harold have the guts to do it.

The there's the rest. Craig Gold is a union guy through and through, and still believes AFSCME will help him become a judge one day. You know he will vote against DDAs, just like he ran against a fellow DDA for judge in 2012, and lost.

Jeff McGrath, union guy.

Loren Naiman, wouldn't say "boo" to a sheep, he'll fold like a paper bag.

Stuart Lytton, nice guy but hasn't got the stomach for a fight with AFSCME, he'll fold too.

Bobby Grace and Eric Siddall? Who knows? They probably hold the balance of power. Let's hope they side with the good guys.

Anonymous said...

@8:08am. You nailed it.

Anonymous said...

The ADDA board should be unanimous in leaving the decision to the rank and file members. Any board member who votes against a democratic vote is clearly part of the goose-stepping jackboot thugs in the picture. I urge all ADDA members demand their vote, and to vote against AFSCME. There are many far better suited partners for the ADDA.

Anonymous said...

8:08AM. Please state who you are and where you get your information. The ADDA Board Members you mention have never stated that they are opposed to allowing the general membership a vote, and union rules prohibit them from responding to comments here.

The time and place for airing views is at a monthly meeting, so get off your lazy ass and go to a meeting to express your views during the allotted time for questions. Too much trouble for you? Probably. That's been the experience of the ADDA Board, you people like to snipe comments here, but when you actually have to make the effort to go to a meeting, you all have something better to do.

That is why there will not be a vote, you people cannot be trusted to make a fair decision based on the facts. All you care about is lowering your union due.

Anonymous said...

11-7 @. 5:54pm. Gee!!! I'm so thrilled to have a union to tell me when and where it's okay for me to have an opinion. Really.

Anonymous said...

Most of the comments here demonstrate precisely why this ADDA fiasco must be ended. The union thugs will pressure the weak links on the board to deny members a vote, guaranteed. They will fold. I hope they do because that will result in an office wide movement to decertify. And that is what we need

Anonymous said...

AFSCME is a really bad fit for Deputy DAs. It's a socialist oriented organization with an ant-law enforcement bias. The only reason the ADDA is in bed with them dates back to those two clowns, Ipsen and Seligman. Time to put their shenanigans in the past and move towards a law enforcement oriented organization, like ALADS - something DDAs can be proud of, not ashamed of. Screw the ADDA Board if they don't back a termination of AFSCME, and decertify their asses.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, ALADS. A shining example of a well run organization. Nice to blame Seligman and Ipsen when it was a vote by DDA's that created the present situation. We get what we deserve until we become interested enough in our own well being to get involved. Debbault has his own agenda in mind. Instead of a prince he becomes a king.

Anonymous said...

11:24 is right. Until DDAs stop being such a bunch of self-interested self-absorbed whiners, AFSCME is the best choice. There are important decisions to be made and most DDAs do not have the understanding of the issues to make informed choices. Prop 47 is a case in point, as well as being socially and economically the right direction for our nation, it will significantly reduce the caseload of many DDAs las the ese low-level cars will be passed to the city attorney office. Also, the ADDA made themselves look stupid by opposing a measure that was sure to pass. AFSCME was right on prop 47, and that's why Debbaudt is whining.

Anonymous said...

I don't like AFSCME either. But at least it provides some adult supervision to the members of the ADDA board. After watching corrupt board members like Ipsen use the ADDA to propel their political schemes, do you really want to leave a tempting sight (like our big pile of dues payments) unguarded without oversight?

Anonymous said...

9:22 may be correct about supervision. While a number of board members can be counted on to have sound judgement and put other DDA's interest ahead of their own, the rest (possibly the majority) can't be counted on to put their own self interest in check, or alternatively have sound judgement to begin with. That being said the ultimate decision on affiliation should be left to the membership at large.