The California Correctional Peace Officers Association is publicly opposing Proposition 93, the measure that would change the state’s term limits law.
The union’s move is a reversal of its earlier decision to back the initiative. And it comes in the wake of an 11th-hour defeat of a pay raise for prison guards at the end of this year’s legislative session. Sources close to the union have privately placed the blame for that raise’s defeat at the hands of legislative leaders. The union also opposed a prison construction and reform package, AB 900, that cleared the Legislature earlier this year.
Now, it appears, payback is coming in the form of the measure that could lengthen Senate Leader Don Perata's and Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez’s grip on power. The 28,000-member union, one of the most powerful political players in the Capitol, has long been known for aggressively bankrolling its causes.
An angry posting on the Paco Villa blog, which has ties to CCPOA, reads: “Bear in mind, Fabian Nunez and Don Perata, the self-serving weenies behind the proposition, are the same 2 friends of CCPOA who butt-shot us on the last-minute MOU bill…among other back-stabbings and screwings. If no other reasons existed to retain term limits, denying these slimy little worms a shot at extended political life would make opposing 93 worthwhile. SCREW them."
Kevin Spillane, a spokesman against the initiative, said in somewhat less colorful language that he was well aware of CCPOA’s plans, and “fully expects their political, and financial support.”
Current law, approved by voters in 1990, limits the terms of lawmakers to six years in the Assembly and eight years in the Senate. Thus, a legislator could serve a maximum of 14 years.
Proposition 93 would limit the total served to 12 years–but it would allow the time to be served in one house. It also applies to current lawmakers, including the speaker and the Senate leader. If Proposition 93 is approved by voters on Feb. 5, Nunez, who is termed out next year, could stay an additional six years, and Perata could serve four more years.