It’s no secret that money changes hands every day between politicians, lobbyists, government agencies and contractors who solicit business from the government. Some argue that when lobbyists and corporations donate money, it’s a sign of a community’s support for a politician’s values.
Others say the money is intended to curry influence or favor.
So we decided to analyze the issue for ourselves in real time.
Five elected officials on the Orange County Board of Supervisors are responsible for allocating billions of taxpayer dollars each year. They also receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from their constituents, lobbyists and government contractors.
Each week, before the Board meets to deliberate how to spend valuable taxpayer resources, we will use public records to quantify campaign contributions they’ve received from some of the companies seeking a contract with the County, the lobbyists representing those companies, and their affiliates. Then we will gaze into the crystal ball to make predictions about how the Board will vote.
We will also follow up to tell you how previous predictions turned out. That way, we can all see the facts and decide for ourselves.
This analysis is compiled as a public service by the Orange County Employees Association, an organization that for more than 75 years, has proudly represented the interests of working families in our community. Our 18,000 members proudly stand together to improve the lives and working conditions of employees in our great County as part of a movement that established the 40-hour work week, paid vacations and wages and benefits that built the American middle class. When working people stand together to bargain for fair wages and decent benefits, California’s middle class gets stronger.
Unfortunately, that American Dream is slipping away for too many families. The American middle class is under attack by Wall Street bankers and their lobbyists who work to outsource jobs to many third world countries and slash wages for workers everywhere.
Our parents and grandparents generation built the American middle class brick by brick. OCEA and our partners are the voice of California’s working people. We are committed to restoring the American Dream.