The California correctional officers union has contributed $577,000 to a political committee controlled by state Sen. Don Perata, reports the Sacramento Bee. The union has geared up for an 11th-hour push to obtain a legislative pay raise for the labor organization that has worked without a contract for more than two years. A union official says “there is no quid pro quo” between the contribution and the anticipated pay raise bill. However, Jeannine English, statewide president of AARP, called it “appalling” that the union is “trying to buy off Senator Perata so they will get a huge pay increase.”
The union says it contributed to the Perata committee to help defeat a redistricting initiative on the Nov. 4 ballot. Bob Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies and a longtime political finance watchdog, said of the uniion’s contributions to the committee, “the timing couldn’t be clearer,” between the contribution and the push for the pay raise. “They want something from the Legislature, and they’re giving something to the legislative leadership,” Stern said.