I am not talking propositions here, but rather real live people who were forced to act as a backdrop to an Arnold press event where he praised firefighters for battling a 24,000 acre blaze down in Burbank. We have been hearing rumblings ever since from our firefighter friends and today they held a press conference to clear the air.
At the event Sept. 30, the governor shook hands and posed for pictures with a crowd of firefighters and other emergency workers.
From just released AP story:
Firefighters were "ordered and forced" to participate, said Los Angeles County firefighter Greg Alldredge said Thursday at a news conference. "We were very displeased with this - having to shake hands with somebody who really doesn't support us."
Ventura County Fire Capt. Jack Nosco said he was among the firefighters ordered to flank Schwarzenegger at the event, in which the Republican governor lavishly praised several departments that extinguished the blaze along the edge of Los Angeles.
"We declined to do it voluntarily," Nosco said.
The governor tries to blow this off by saying it is just "union bosses" stirring up political trouble, but this was the firefighters who brought it to the attention of the union.
From this morning's LATimes.com:
He didn't, says Pat McOsker, president of United Firefighters of Los Angeles, who went to the command center to check on the condition of colleagues who had been on the job for three days with little sleep. He says the men and women flanking the governor were acting under duress.
Some of the firefighters, he says, approached him at the command center. "They say, 'Hey, we've been told we're going to be a part of this press conference with the governor. Can they do that? Can they make us stand with him? We're not happy about it.' "
McOsker told them to go ask their chiefs if they were required to follow such an order.
The answer was yes.
"It was utter hypocrisy," says McOsker, whose differences with the governor go beyond Prop. 75.
You know, the governor and his team try time and time again to say that they are the ones standing up for public employees' rights. But one thing is clear; it was the governor who abused the trust and the free will of these fire fighters. After spending days battling to save people's homes these weary public servants were used as props by the very governor who has been attacking and trying to take away their voice. These firefighters proudly spoke up, with distain and disgust at the "utter hypocrisy." Mr. Governor, next time you want some props, find your own.
More campaign news:
McCain is dragging his well worn "Straight Talk Express" to California to shill on behalf of Schwarzenegger. He has an 0-4 batting record in the state, so this may turn out to be a good thing for us. Read more.
Almost all the results of a new poll by the San Jose State University's Survey and Policy Research Institute show just how low an opinion California holds of Arnold. He has now sunk to new lows, and the majority of Californian's aren't willing to re-elect him, and believe that he's put the state on the wrong track. Read more.
The governor is getting a refund. No, not one of the big tax refunds Bush gave to all those refunds. This one is $1.25M he gave illegally to Redistrict California. Read more.
All that and more at BetterCA.com. Have you stopped by yet?