On one side, a group of "holdovers" from the dark days of the Ipsen-Seligman era. They are headed by ADDA Executive Vice President Jeff McGrath who recently tried and failed to hold a "special membership meeting." This proposed meeting was nothing short of a shambolic attempt to deny DDAs their democratic right to vote to get rid of AFSCME; the big labor group that has taken $1M in dues from DDAs, and given nothing in return.
On the other side, the "new ADDA," headed by President Marc Debbaudt, together with Board Members brave enough to stand up to McGrath and the deceitful antics of AFSCME. Debbaudt was elected as ADDA President on a platform committed to terminating the ill-conceived relationship with AFSCME, and make the ADDA a truly independent body free to decide on its affiliations and endorsements. Debbaudt urges members to attend the December 15, 2014 meeting to ensure there are no surprises and to hear all the reasons for and against disaffiliation.
A majority of the ADDA Board appears to support Debbaudt's position: It is time to say "thanks and goodbye" to AFSCME. In the three years that AFSCME has purported to represent DDAs at an annual cost of $365,000, there is nothing to show for the $1M in member dues that has flowed to AFSCME.
Worse, AFSCME recently provided the best evidence as to why DDAs should not be represented by a big labor group that ignores the interests of DDAs, in favor of AFSCME's agenda.
AFSCME actively supported and endorsed Proposition 47 despite assurances that AFSCME would not get involved in "non labor related" political issues, and despite their knowledge that the ADDA was opposed to Prop 47.
There are many other reasons why AFSCME is "not a good fit" for the ADDA, but it boils down to this; the original reason for associating with AFSCME was the a result of gross mismanagement by Steve Ipsen and Hyatt Seligman. It's time to put that shameful period in the past and move forward.
McGrath offers no persuasive reason for remaining indentured to AFSCME. His arguments amount to simply "better the devil you know, than the devil you don't know." But the reality is that if members vote to disaffiliate, they will have the opportunity to be independent or to choose from associating with any number of larger organizations who better represent the interests of law enforcement and professionals.
Remaining affiliated with AFSCME is a one way street; there is no way out. There will be no future opportunity to leave AFSCME. If, by some frankly unforeseeable circumstance, the decision to disaffiliate proves to be wrong, there is no down side; the ADDA can always go back to AFSCME - they won't say "No" to $365,000 a year in dues, and neither will other groups who will do more for the ADDA than AFSCME ever did.
Bottom line: AFSCME was a bad deal. It's time to move on.