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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Is it "grassroots" or $ 

What does “grassroots” actually mean? The dictionary lists four reasonably common definitions:

noun used with a singular or plural verb 

1. The common or ordinary people, especially as contrasted with the leadership or elite of a political party, social organization, etc.; the rank and file.
2. The agricultural and rural areas of a country.
3. The people inhabiting these (rural) areas, especially as a political, social, or economic group.
4. The origin or basis of something; the basic or primary concept, rule, part, or the like.

Don't meet the definition

A local union-supporting organization called Costa Mesans for Responsible Government (CM4RG) insists upon being identified as a “grassroots” organization. However, it is endorsing the three union-sponsored candidates, and, like the candidates, uses funds provided by Sacramento-based union officers. That is, they’re not contrasted with the elite and leadership, they're supporting, and supported by, the union elite and leadership.

Sacramento-based unions print 'em and mail 'em 

How can you tell?  Well, look at the slick, shiny, four-color mailers filling your mailbox. Notice that “Vote No” scare mailers (with the almost-like Costa Mesa city pictured) come from the Sacramento office of a labor organization, and are routed through a local PAC. The bright, shiny, four-color flyer about cleaning up Costa Mesa (by opposing the Charter and supporting the three labor-union candidates) is supposed to be from CM4RG.

However, both were bulk-mailed from Huntington Beach on the same bulk mail permit -- #438. No point in paying for separate mailing permits when the money is coming from the same place, is there?

Designing, printing, and mailing these heavy, colorful flyers is very expensive – but it doesn't cost CM4RG or the union-sponsored candidates a penny. It’s paid for with money from union members throughout the State – extracted by payroll deduction at the demand of their unions, for distribution as the union officials see fit.

Why is a Sacramento group buying Costa Mesa elections

Why are funds gathered statewide and consolidated   in Sacramento, being spent to frighten Costa Mesa voters to oppose the Charter?

Because the charter removes the right of the unions to extract the political funds they want from the union members’ paychecks. Under the Charter, they actually have to convince each member to donate their money to support the union’s political agenda. That drops them to just slightly more powerful as fundraisers than the candidates themselves. They'll be on the same playing field with any other business that needs to solicit funds.

Are they paying much

People who believe in the 3M’s, Mensinger, Monahan, and McCarthy, have donated just over 33% of the money committed to this election so far. Those who support the Anti-3M’s and/or oppose the Charter have provided a little over 16% of the total. And Big Labor, headquartered in Sacramento, has donated over 50% of the funds for this election! They're using funds they've pulled from paychecks throughout the State to try to hold on to their ability to extract money from paychecks, anywhere and anytime they want!

So, Big Labor is using buckets of money to try to scare Costa Mesa citizens into voting against the Charter – and electing labor-endorsed candidates in the bargain. Big Labor is investing much more than the citizens of the City, and that money is going into scare propaganda.

All that money to buy fear in Costa Mesa

Remember Adolph Hitler’s advice about propaganda (See the 8 Sep blog)? He insisted that,”The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly - it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.” Even if they are lies . . .

It looks like Sacramento union officers are repeating scary slogans over and over as advised.  The unions and their candidates hope that it’s enough to frighten some Costa Mesa voters to vote against their own best interests.

$ is not grassroots

A “Grassroots” definition for CM4RG needs a fifth selection. That's, “supported by and giving support to, the interests of Big Labor headquartered in another city.” That doesn't sound like the rest of the “grassroots” definitions in the dictionary, any more than the union warnings sound like advice intended to help Costa Mesa, or any more than the city pictured on their mailers is Costa Mesa.

We already have a word for it

Maybe grassroots doesn't need to be re-defined. We already have a word that means, “Whatever is good for me and my supporters.” It’s “selfish.” Substitute that word in their group's self-description like this “… is a selfish, non-partisan organization . . . to promote . . . “ Then no new definition is needed.

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