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Fundraising Amps Up For Proposition A, B Committees

On Tuesday's ballot, voters will choose whether to approve two propositions involving city labor agreements and workers' pensions.

Proposition A

In the past week, a union trust gave an additional $320,000 into defeating Proposition A, a ballot measure that would ban project labor agreements for San Diego city projects if passed.

That brings to $1.18 million the amount raised by the anti-Prop. A forces, far outpacing the business interests pushing Proposition A. That committee, Fair and Open Competition, has raised $755,000 so far.

Taxpayers to Preserve Community Jobs -- an anti-Prop. A committee -- has benefited mainly from the California Construction Industry Labor Management Cooperation Trust. The trust is responsible for more than 90 percent of its donations.

The labor trust is “heavily involved” with promoting and protecting project labor agreements (PLAs) around the state, according to secretary/treasurer Scott Strawbridge. A PLA is a type of collective bargaining agreement that a city can enter into with workers for city projects.

“We think (PLAs) are good business for our contractors and union members,” Strawbridge said.

A big part of the money in the trust comes from laborers themselves, he said. Clauses in certain PLAs specify that a small amount of money per hour worked goes into the trust.

Others who are opposing Proposition A with their checkbooks include:

Members’ Voice of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, with a $45,000 donation and the San Diego chapter of the State Building and Construction Trades Council, with $40,000.

On the other side, Fair and Open Competition – Yes on A raised about $237,000 since May 20, about a third of their overall total. The pro-Prop A committee received $100,000 from the Associated Builders and Contractors of San Diego, and other donations from assorted pro-business and building groups. The committee has also received about $114,500 in non-monetary contributions.

Proposition B

Opponents of Proposition B, which will enter new city employees into a 401(k) style pension if passed, raised nearly $78,000 since May 20.

The committee, San Diego Can Do Better, received several donations, including:

$25,000 from the National Public Pension Coalition

$17,500 from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

$15,000 from the PACE of California School Employees Association

San Diego Can Do Better has raised about $182,000 this election, with an additional $53,000 in non-monetary contributions.

On the other side, the pro-Proposition B forces have raised nearly 10 times what the labor-backed contributors have collected.

Committee Comprehensive Pension Reform for San Diego received about $16,000 in donations this past week, including $10,000 from the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce PAC, bringing their total raised to about $1.5 million.

The committee also received about $323,000 in non-monetary contributions, consisting mainly of consulting services and mailers.

Other committees

Two committees are working either to support or oppose both propositions.

Several pro-union city organizations donated to Just Say No, San Diego, a committee formed to defeat both propositions A and B. Those donations include:

$5,000 from Protect Neighborhood Services Now, sponsored by the San Diego Municipal Employees Association

$5,000 from San Diego Firefighters Local 145 Political Fund

$4,000 from the San Diego Democratic Party

$2,000 from the San Diego Police Officers Association.

The committee has raised about $149,000 this election.

San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee supports both propositions A and B and has raised $38,000, with $10,000 of that raised in the past week.

Information on how much these committees have spent on the specific propositions are not included in campaign finance reports.

Candidates and committees must file campaign finance reports daily until next Tuesday’s primary election if they receive more than $1,000 in a single donation.

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