California labor leader Don Novey placed a multimillion-dollar bet on Meg Whitman to become California’s next governor and lost, says the Sacramento Bee. He played the game with other people’s money. Now one of the state employee unions that the labor legend advised to oppose Gov.-elect Jerry Brown must negotiate a new contract with the incoming administration. The California Correctional Peace Officers Association, which Novey is credited with building into a political powerhouse before he retired eight years ago, is going after its former leader over a contract dispute.
The 63-year-old former Army intelligence officer and amateur boxer insists he has not suffered a mortal political wound. Law enforcement groups paid him at least $560,000 in fees in the past two years to dispense political advice. None has dumped him, Novey says. The corrections union in the past used millions in dues from members to sponsor tough-on-crime measures, provide money for crime-victims groups, and elect union-friendly lawmakers. “Novey was early in recognizing the potential of crime fear as a new anchor of politics,” said University of California Berkeley law professor Jonathan Simon.