Sunday, September 20, 2015

UPDATED. And UPDATED again "In addition, we will start negative campaigning against your reelections bids..."

UPDATE: LoCo followup determines this letter is a FAKE, " — or at the very least unsanctioned by the union leadership."

Fake Union Letter Threatens Supervisors: ‘We Are Coming For Your Jobs’; Author Unknown - LoCo

...Lovelace told the Outpost that when he received the email last week he assumed it was legitimate, as did 1st District Supervisor Rex Bohn, who said he’s been told personally by union members that they’re “coming after” his position on the board (a stance he considers ironic given that he comes from a blue-collar family with plenty of union members). When told that the local union rejects the email’s purported provenance, Bohn said he figures it probably came from one of their organizers.

Fourth District Supervisor Virginia Bass said that when she received the email she figured it likely didn’t come through the official channels of AFSCME Local 1684. “It’s unfortunate that that’s the way it’s signed,” she said. “It’s probably [from] somebody who has a lot of passion and just wasn’t thinking clearly when they hit ‘send.’”...

Bolinger said it’s not unheard of for non-union members to impersonate union reps. But regardless, he explained, no union communications are sent without authorization from the executive board or an official agent....

UPDATED AGAIN: THC responds: ◼ “It wasn’t us: AFSCME doth protest too much - THC

As you may recall, we wrote a piece just last night about a shocking letter sent to the County Supervisors from the AFSCME. In case you missed it, check it out here.

Now, in the absolute shit-storm of backlash they are receiving due to the sheer nastiness and idiocy of the letter, AFSCME has started back-pedaling like their paddle boat is going over the edge of Niagara Falls....

No response from the mysterious email sender; the Union says they have no idea who the author is - John Chiv/Words Worth

This is an email sent out to the Supervisors today.

Dear Supervisors:

The AFSCME Union was made aware today of an online letter circulating on the Lost Coast Outpost and possibly other media blogs or outlets.

We would like to make it perfectly clear that this Union has not authorized this letter and has no idea who the author might be.

Any communications actually sanctioned by the Union will be signed appropriately. If you have any questions, please contact us at the Union office.

Joel Bollinger, Office Secretary


Talk about nasty.

You may not know about a new blog in town. It's called The Humboldt Consequential (THC for short, haha). It's kind of Mirror-like, for those of you who were around for the Heraldo/Mirror blog wars.

The latest post there includes what is (purportedly) a VERY NASTY letter from a AFSCME, threatening our Board of Supervisors. WHO wrote this? (Salman likes to end his emails in solidarity, and he's certainly capable of that tone, but...WHO is it?) It's riddled with incoherent sentences, and typos, somebody's rant that wasn't ready for prime time?

Humboldt Consequential's latest post exposes union strong arm tactics and intimidation - John Chiv/Words Worth

Like Chiv, I am going to post THC's post in its entirety. Normally, one does not do that, you excerpt and credit, but, you know, they're anonymous, so it's fair game. (Sorry, whoever you are, and THANKS for airing this.) This needs airing. The rest of their commentary is, of course, their opinions and numbers crunching... is their math accurate? Note that this is purportedly a Union threatening to use their Union dues to attack elected officials who aren't doing what they're told, INCLUDING elected officials who dared to endorse our Supervisors. Really, LoCo, this is right up your 'balance of power' alley... this is a naked power play, not a stitch hiding it.

Is it for real? Or is this taking a layer off The Onion?

AFSCME threatens to hold Humboldt hostage; “Me too” screws the rest of us 
Posted on September 20, 2015 by thehumboldtconsequence

THC fans, we’ve got something that you’ll get a really good laugh out of. We’ve been laughing for a few days about it, if only to keep ourselves from crying.

But it’s actually really bad news, at least for people that don’t like getting robbed. Your friendly local AFSCME (the union that represents public employees here in Humboldt) sent a letter to your very own Humboldt County Supervisors this past Wednesday. And it’s not just any letter.

No, it’s a shameful letter that illustrates just how self-centered, greedy, and nasty this organization really is. We’ve reproduced it in full for your reading pleasure/horror:

—–Original Message—–
Sent: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 08:38 PM Pacific Standard Time
To: Bohn, Rex; Fennell, Estelle; Lovelace, Mark; Bass, Virginia; Sundberg, Ryan
Subject: We are coming for your jobs-

Mr. Lovelace excluded as he is pro working class and pro economy and pro America.

So AFSCME had another contract meeting last night. Great turnout. We have voted overwhelmingly to move forward to cast a strike vote if we don’t receive an acceptable contract. Have fun doing our jobs. But more interestingly, we will be starting exploratory committees to run active members and retired members for capture the offices you hold, as the trust fund baby crew holding office now does not understand the working class or America.

In addition, we will start negative campaigning against your reelections bids. So hopefully you have hidden all of your dirt. It will be exposed to the public in mass media campaigns, doorstep pamphlets, radio airings, press releases and TV commercials, to Betty Chinn center and Catholic Charities, to Redwood Empire Little League, to the neighborhood watch etc. We just got word we have the funding and backing of the broader AFSCME brotherhood as well as our local fund raising. Hope you like to fight.

It was also brought to our attention that Rex Bohn has the endorsements of our state assemblyperson and state senator, Mr Wood and Mr McGuire, who are Democrats, and we assumed are the allies of the working class of America. They have also been contacted with a similar message to opposition to there support of Rex Bohn’s reelection. Also included are statements made by Rex Bohn about not needing AFSCME votes, reported and documented facts about personal history, the fact he is a trust fund baby and does not understand the working class. We will also be sending members to Sacramento to let lobby and advise them that if they endorse Bohn, a stated independent, who but who really is an all out Tea Party Conservative, then they will also be campaigned against negatively by the local and by broader AFSCME when it is there time.

It’s time to play hard ball.

Bass and Sundberg will be the next focus.

Solidarity and Unity, AFSCME LOCAL 1684

Basically, we’ve got a bunch of whiny little f***s that think they should be paid even more than they are now – which, as we will get into, is far beyond what the regular Joe/Jane in Humboldt is earning. And the best part is that they do not give a shit that it is you and I, their neighbors and fellow Humboldt residents, whom they are demanding empty their pockets so that AFSCME members can profit.

We’ve delved into the cushy jobs that AFSCME members hold before, but let’s refresh you. Check out how much each County employee earned on average in 2013:

Pretty sweet deal, huh? Must be reaallly rough.

$43,177 in average wages, plus an additional $14,180 in retirement contributions and benefits. Not too shabby – especially when you consider that the average income for an entire household in Humboldt is $41,426 according to the most recent census info.

So, the AFSCME wants its members to earn even more than most families of four do. Don’t fail to notice that the cost, per Humboldt resident, to support their current compensation packages is nearly $1000. (Also note that cost is per county resident ; the burden of cost is much higher for tax-payers.) How excited will you be to pony up more of your hard-earned money to support these entitled ingrates getting paid nearly twice what you bring home?

It seems like the AFSCME is less Robin Hood, and more “robbing every ‘hood in Humboldt.” THC particularly loves how the slogans they paste all over town say “Me too,” as if these motherf***ers are the ones being left behind in Humboldt’s wage inequalities. Is that a sick joke? No, actually, they are dead serious.

The AFSCME has their heads too far up their asses to realize the irony of that slogan. You see, THC isn’t so much a fan of the “Me too” thinking as we are of the “What about the rest of us?” line of thought. As in, why can’t these idiots understand that demanding these higher wages threatens the very fabric of our already cash-strapped County? “Me too”means that when one person in employ of the public gets a raise, then everyone else does too. Can you think of a few people working for our government who sure as hell don’t deserve raises? THC can.

Do you know what percentage of workers the AFSCME represents compared to our population? About 1%. Which begs the question, who really is the 99% in Humboldt County? According to the AFSCME website, only about 11% of wage and salary workers are part of a union. So, again, who is desperate for fair compensation? Not the members of the AFSCME.

In case that compensation comparisons alone don’t show you the difference between how good they’ve got it compared to your average Joe, check out the non-financial benefits that AFSCME members get, according to their website:

Are you f***ing kidding? It sounds like a damn summer camp, not a job! The AFSCME is hoping that you and I are stupid enough to believe that “Me too” benefits you directly, instead of actually costing you and the County more for their sole benefit.

Quite frankly, with that kind of neighborly attitude, THC is of the opinion that that AFSCME members who whine that they don’t get paid as much as other union members in other areas can just pack up and GTFO of Humboldt. Newsflash, assholes: Nobody here gets paid as much as they would in other areas. Deal with it, or take yourselves elsewhere.

Now that we’ve got our financial and ethical objectives to the AFSCME’s bullshit out of the way, let’s take a look at the form that the offensive letter itself takes.

Let’s start off by saying, for crying out loud, that THC sincerely hopes that whoever wrote this letter was drunk as hell. Here at THC, we are by no-means grammar-nazis (proof-reading is sooo boring!). But we do think that a letter as poorly written as this is probably not the best representation an organization should put forward for their official communications. So, um, if they do get raises, maybe they should use the money to put themselves back through elementary school. Just sayin’.

In keeping with their decidedly childish level of literacy and coherence, the AFSCME resorts to school-yard bullying to threaten our Supervisors into acquiescence. It’s just plain nasty, and for all you AFSCME members out there – maybe you should demand that the organization leeching off your union dues should comport themselves with a little bit more respect.

On top of that, do these idiots really think that dragging Betty Chinn and the Catholic churches into the mix makes them seem like victims? These are charitable organizations that serve the truly under-privileged and destitute communities in Humboldt. How many AFSMCE members have to go to the soup-kitchen, we wonder?

Also of note, THC cannot think of a single time that Betty Chinn has endorsed any political candidate aside from Rex Bohn. That’s right, the recipient of the Presidential Citizens medal – the second-highest civilian award in the United States – from Barack Obama himself, feels that strongly about the good that Rex has done for our communities. Is she supposed to feel bad for people that enjoy ridiculously better lives than the people she helps? Not to mention that any wage increase given to County employees would take away funds that could potentially be used to help those same people. Give us a break.

And don’t get us started on the AFSCME’s mention of Redwood Empire Little League. Targeting little league kids? Keep your filthy, self-centered hands and politics away from our children, AFSCME. Seriously.

And perhaps our favorite part is that the AFSCME leaves Mark Lovelace out of their hate-filled message. Um, of course Lovelace supports raping the County’s coffers to meet your demands. Lovelace is done with this County – he doesn’t give two shits how much farther the policies he supports will drive us into the poor-house. Hopefully there’s enough room for the entire County at the Betty Chinn center, because that’s where this AFSCME bullshit could send us.

All in all, THC fans, we hope you are as outraged by this as we are. Don’t let the AFSCME hold the future of our County’s success hostage. In their case, “Me too” leaves out the rest of us. Next time you see them waving their signs in front of the court house, don’t honk your horn at them – roll down the window and show them your middle finger. That’s exactly what they’re doing to you.

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ADDED: (from the comments at THC, and THIS, I think represents the rank and file FAR more than that nasty threatening email)
September 20, 2015 at 8:18 PM Embarrassed says:
I am a 15 year county employee. By and large I enjoy my job and I believe that I do pretty good work for the people of Humboldt County. I also think that I have a very fair compensation and benefit package. I do earn more than the average county wage and I am grateful for it. To all those reading the letter from the AFCME Union representatives, Please be aware that neither the sentiment, the tone, and certainly not the grammar represents my own feelings or that of most county employees. Overwhelmingly we all work hard and appreciate what we have, we have simply been hijacked by vocal extremists. Please except my personal apology and that of many likeminded county workers.


  1. Point of information for the comment section. This entire right-wing fueled blogosphere controversy was fake. What we know is the union disowned was falsely attributed to them.

    Sometimes, though, when somebody writes something that feels right it kinda makes it truish right?

    It would be nice for those LoCO listed as fueling this faux-fire simply stated they were wrong to run with a fake email attributing and using it's negative message against what is, indisputably, an important institution in our community.

    Rose this is what you wrote. "The latest post there includes what is (purportedly) a VERY NASTY letter from a AFSCME, threatening our Board of Supervisors." That is not true and THC and you were wrong to "purpote" it.

    Here is the best I can find correcting the record. "LoCo followup determines this letter is a FAKE, " — or at the very least unsanctioned by the union leadership."

    I guess your argument would be you don't have any responsibility as you used the term purportedly. All those words like nasty (all caps) associated with AFSCME which were completely unfounded and wrong just get to stand. I mean, it's probably true anyway, right?

  2. Sigh. As usual. Liberal John, you don't read so good, do you? If you read MY comments about the thing, I asked if it was a page out of the Onion, or someone's rant not meant for prime time.

    But here's a fact. The letter WAS sent to the Board. Even Lovelace, in his remarks in the LoCo piece, says he thought it was real. Bass equivocated, oddly. But everyone else believed it was real.

    And it WAS 'nasty' - wasn't it?

    Here's another interesting 'fact' - for those who are trying to explain it away, they're saying it came out AFTER the meeting, so ANYONE had access to that information, NOT JUST insiders... you notice they're not denying the content?

    Whatever. But no, 'time/date' stamps aren't 'easy' to fake, as one defender asserts.

    I'll say this, it's a shame this happened, the rank and file aren't guilty of this kind of thought pattern, and they're made to look bad by people with 'Salzman-like' mentalities.


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