Cash not care - Page 5

Downtown groups are spending big money and making telling alliances in this election

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Downtown's money has filled local mailboxes with reams of campaign propaganda
PHOTO BY BEN HOPFER


Paulson said that the Labor Council values "sharing the wealth ... So we don't want Measure B [Jeff Adachi's pension reform] or K [Newsom's hotel tax loophole closure, which has a poison pill that would kill Prop. J, the hotel tax increase pushed by labor] or L [Newsom's sit-lie legislation]," Paulson said.

CPMC's plan is headed to the board in the next couple months, although Sup. David Campos is proposing that the city create a health services master plan that would determine what city residents actually need. Hospital projects would then be considered based on that health needs assessment, rather than making it simply a land use decision as it is now.

Moss told the Guardian that UHW endorsed him because of his positions on politicians and unions. "I agreed that politicians should get not involved in union politics," Moss said. "The United Healthcare Workers seem to be a worthy group," he added. "All they said was that they wanted to make sure that they had access."

But CNA member Eileen Prendiville, who has been a registered nurse for 33 years, says she was horrified to see UHW members recently oppose Campos' healthcare legislation. "I was shocked that they were siding with management," she said.

Prendiville believes UHW is obliged to support CPMC's Cathedral Hill plan, which is why it is meddling in local politics. In his letter to the board, Browner noted that his company and its parent company, Sutter Health, can't legally do so directly. "The fact is that CPMC and Sutter Health are 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, nonpartisan organizations, and we neither endorse nor contribute to candidates," Browner wrote.

"When UHW settled its contract with its members [as part of its fight with the rival National Union of Healthcare Workers], they had to publicly lobby for Cathedral Hill," Prendiville claimed.

SEIU 1021 member Ed Kinchley, who works in the emergency room at SF General Hospital, is also furious that UHW is pouring money into downtown's candidates and measures. "UHW isn't participating in the Labor Council, it's doing its own thing," he said.

Kinchley said UHW, which is currently in trusteeship after a power struggle with its former elected leaders, is being controlled by SEIU's national leaders, not its local membership, which explains why it's aligned with downtown groups that have long been the enemy of labor.