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June 2010 Primary Sets in Motion a Battle for the Soul of California

June 2010 Primary Sets in Motion a Battle for the Soul of California

Statement by California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski

“The results of tonight’s primaries set in motion a battle for the soul of California. It’s Main Street vs. Wall Street, with the winner having an opportunity to shape California’s future for decades to come.

“After months of obscene campaign spending, billionaire CEO Meg Whitman will use her seemingly unlimited fortune to try to stage a hostile takeover of our state. She’s made clear that, if elected, she plans to bring a Wall Street agenda to California. What that means for working families is more massive tax giveaways for corporations and the wealthy, and wholesale cuts to education, public safety and programs that our state’s most vulnerable rely upon. Whitman’s economic philosophy, which she honed as a corporate executive and director in places like Goldman Sachs, is simple: What’s good for Wall Street and the wealthy is good for everyone. California families know all too well just how flawed that philosophy is.

“The contrast between the candidates couldn’t be starker. Jerry Brown shares the Main Street values that built this state’s economy into a global powerhouse and expanded our middle class. Brown has a spent a lifetime fighting for working families. He presided over the creation of nearly 2 million jobs as Governor. He fought the exploitation of workers by large corporations as Attorney General. His experience, values and leadership are exactly what this state needs to get back on track.

“It’s equally critical that Sen. Barbara Boxer is sent back to Washington to continue to fight for working families on key issues like financial reform, health care and workers’ freedom to join unions. Boxer is a champion for working families. Californians can’t afford to have a Senator like failed CEO Carly Fiorina, who joins Whitman on the “Wall Street Express” ticket.

“With record unemployment, a huge budget gap and a rapidly shrinking middle class, the challenges California faces in the next four years are epic in proportion. Because the stakes are so high, the California labor movement intends on engaging like never before. We’ll counter Whitman’s massive spending with an unprecedented grassroots campaign to reach voters on the issues they care about: jobs, health care, retirement security and rebuilding the middle class. We’ll work harder than ever to re-elect Sen. Boxer to the US Senate and send more worker-friendly candidates to Sacramento.

“The battle for California’s future begins tonight. Workers look forward to meeting the challenges that face our state and using this election as the springboard for California’s economic rebirth.”


The California Labor Federation represents 2.1 million workers in 1,200 unions throughout the state. In April, the Federation announced the launch of a massive grassroots campaign that will expose Meg Whitman's Wall Street agenda by reaching out to millions of voters through a multi-pronged member communications program and independent expenditures, focusing heavily on person-to-person contact, including:

  • An army of 25,000 volunteers who will help spread the message of Whitman's dangerous agenda and Jerry Brown's record of fighting for working families.
  • A member-led worksite information blitz that will reach 150,000 union workers with informational flyers in the coming weeks and hundreds of thousands more between now and the election;
  • Phone calls, door knocking, union letters and mail to union voters, who make up about 1 in 5 voters statewide on Election Day;
  • The launch of a brand-new website, www.WallStreetWhitman.com, which will serve as one-stop shopping for families seeking information on Whitman's positions on economic issues and what her Wall Street agenda will mean for their families. The website will also serve as a hub allowing worker activists to engage others in the campaign through extensive use of email and social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter.
  • Sustained public actions between now and November to ensure that everywhere Whitman goes, working people will be there to tell the truth about her Wall Street agenda for California;
  • The most cutting-edge and targeted voter communication program ever used in California to ensure working families receive the information they want and need on the candidates and issues they care about;
  • A large, targeted independent expenditure program to reach millions of non-union voters in-person, through the mail and on the air.

For more information, visit http://bit.ly/98Ox54

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