When longtime OC Labor Federation head Tefere Gebre was nominated to become executive vice president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, failed Assembly candidate Julio Perez stepped in as the OCLF’s interim director. Perez was unanimously elected earlier this month as Gebre’s permanent replacement, according to the OC Weekly.
But Perez’ appointment might be very bad news for local moderate Democrats. Perez told the OC Weekly that “I know some people will measure me by how many elections we influence or how we change city councils,” he says. “But I don’t give a sh*t about elections. I don’t give a sh*t about how many Democrats we get into office. I do care about people who will enact policy. We have a saying in the movement: ‘We have permanent issues, not permanent friends.’
Perez is being honest about this. When he ran for the 69th Assembly District in 2012, as a suspected carpetbagger, he ensured that the Latino vote would be split between him and Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez, ensuring that Tom Daly, the former Mayor of Anaheim (with a sordid anti-Latino and anti-poor families record) would advance to the general election. That is exactly what happened.
Now you can figure that Perez won’t be endorsing moderate Democrats like Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido. But you know what? They probably don’t need Perez or his union organization.
While Orange County is becoming more blue, and more independent, I don’t see a major push in the direction of Perez’ liberal politics. If anything the Democrats stand to lose at least one or two legislative seats in 2014, as we outlined in an earlier post. ObamaCare and the NSA scandal figure to hurt the Democrats, particularly the liberal ones who backed ObamaCare.
So will Perez actually accomplish anything as the new leader of the OCLF? We don’t think so.
It is too bad that Perez is so liberal. The only Democrats that can win in Orange County are the moderates. But Perez will do his best to hurt them and he will waste millions of labor dollars backing unelectable liberal candidates. He is destined to fail.