Saturday, July 23, 2016

EPSOA Scores Big Win Against Wiles

The El Paso Sheriff's Officers Association won a big fight with Sheriff Richard Wiles in arbitration over an effort by Wiles to change a few uniform positions to civilian jobs.

Last Monday commissioners court partially funded the purchase of tasers and body cameras, with the SO paying a portion of the purchase through savings on the civilianized positions.

There's no indication how that money will be replaced so far but it certainly will have an impact on that purchase. 

Essentially arbitration said that the Sheriff was in violation of the labor agreement between the County and the EPSOA. The Sheriff will not be able to change those position to civilian jobs as a result of the decision. Getting an independent third party to side with them was recognition that the SO was breaking their contract with the EPSOA

Adherence to a labor agreement is not only a legal issue but contracts between labor and management are good for accountability and efficiency. 

This is a big win for the EPCSOA after a string of bad political decisions that has resulted in a pretty big waste of union dues on candidates that have lost winnable races. 

The win is also the first big win for the new leadership team at the EPSOA. 

The question is in an election year, how much damage does this do to Sheriff Wiles? 

Frankly the answer depends almost entirely in their ability to leverage the outcome to voters. The EPSOA have dug a hole for themselves that may be a pretty big uphill battle to effectively leverage the decision against Wiles.

On the one hand, protecting the contract terms against the Sheriff in an election year is a big deal. A Democrat going after something that would violate a union contract defies political logic. With Democrats being so pro-labor it's almost the unforgivable sin. 

Except for one small problem.

Attacking unions is usually a Republican move. Ideologically Republicans are opposed to unions and they have codified their opposition to the existence of unions in many states, including Texas. 

The GOP is mostly famously against unions of public employees, like a Sheriff's office association. It wasn't long ago that they were leading a charge to take away the right to organize in some states. 

Well, in an unbelievably strange decision by the EPSOA, they are actually SUPPORTING a Republican for Sheriff.

Seriously, I'm not making that up.

Supporting a candidate who's party wants to end your existence as an organization makes as much sense as an insect endorsing RAID. 

Or Latinos voting for Trump.

It's just a bad idea that just isn't going to end well.

The other thing that makes leveraging the win over Wiles problematic is because Wiles' effort to make those civilian positions is actually a cost-saving move for tax-payers.

Which is funny because if you look at the Republican challenger Tom Buchino's response, its almost comical how he steps on the EPSOA's message:

If you can't read it Buchino essentially complains about playing dress-up because he doesn't think Wiles wears the uniform enough and calls out Wiles for not saving tax payer dollars, which is exactly what Wiles' move does, although its against the union contract.


So the union can't call it a Republican attack on unions because they are supporting a Republican and they can't spend a lot of time really harping on it because it will raise the point that Wiles' way saves taxpayers money. 

The support of a Republican candidate is not only completely short-sighted and counter-productive, but it might be the most efficient way to blow a ton of union dollars other than piling it up, throwing some lighter fluid on it and tossing a match into the pile.

Seriously, where's the path to victory here?

How long do they think they can realistically hide Buchino's Party affiliation? Raza is gonna turn out big against Trump and the Democratic Party is going to use the tool that the GOP uses in the rest of the state and ensure a big straight-ticket push. 

Do. The. Math.

There aren't enough Republicans in town to be competitive to begin with - even considering how terribly we Latino Democrats under-perform in elections. Add to that the fact that the GOP isn't united under Trump. Add to the fact that Buchino has zero name ID and essentially no campaign money other than what he's gonna get from the EPSOA. 

When you go all in - and then lose a madre, you completely weaken your strength and undermine your power as a union. 

Hell the union doesn't even have a majority of their membership as regular voters! Don't believe me? Look it up guys.

Even if they did, that represents a few hundred votes. For the sake of argument, let's say they exceed every effort they have ever done before and turn out 4xs the number of members and their families. That's still a feeble number of voters. 

Another problem for the EPSOA is the fact that other unions, like teachers and fire fighters, operate in non-partisan elections. Easier and more predictable group of voters to deal with. Plus, and this is key, they have seasoned and experience campaign people help with a strategy and execute a game plan.

And what does the SO have?

Chris Acosta? Talk about being in a bad spot. Her go-to source for money in all the campaigns she loses is against her boss. Talk about awkward. Thats like playing Cards Against Humanity with your in-laws!

The EPSOA writes checks and stages a little Election Day event where a few of them get together and go vote in front of cameras. That's it. That is the extent of what they do.

Even though they have added the wrinkle of adding campaign art to their vehicles and some Facebook posts.

Actually that isn't fair, Buchino has some of the cheesiest YouTube videos I've ever seen. You remember that last one right? The "straight shooter" one where he fired a pistol at some unknown target off camera?

Well, just when you think that cinematic gem couldn't possibly be topped...

I mean you gotta love a commercial for a Republican candidate that ends with a tight shot on a cowboy's ass. Am I right?

They got a big win, but now they can't leverage it because they undercut their credibility by endorsing and supporting a Republican in a year Trump is on the ballot.

Election night is going to be really ugly and they aren't going to be on the winning side. 


C.D. said...

1. Lack of a Democratic Primary challenger.

2. By opposing the opposition, it is a public statement of contempt against their political leader.

3. What about the Sheriff could make so many blue collar law enforcement so angry?

Any scenario the deputies win.

C.D. said...

1. Lack of a Democratic Primary challenger.

2. By opposing the opposition, it is a public statement of contempt against their political leader.

3. What about the Sheriff could make so many blue collar law enforcement so angry?

Any scenario the deputies win.