Politics & Government

The Buzz: Union member courts California Republicans

It was as if he were announcing his presence at a support group.

“I’m Todd Hancock,” the man in a red shirt said. “I’m a member of CTA.”

Hancock was introducing himself at a committee meeting Saturday at the California Republican Party convention in Anaheim.

The CTA, of course, is the California Teachers Association, a major benefactor of Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic causes.

It’s also among three public employee unions that have contributed recently to the state GOP.

Republican delegates, Hancock said, “are surprised to see us.”

Hancock, a Chino high school teacher, and his wife, Mary, who is also a teacher, note that some 35percent of CTA members are Republicans, representing untapped potential for the GOP.

“We’re educating the next Republicans,” she said of her students. “We need support from the party.”

Labor officials have credited the state party’s new chairman, Jim Brulte, with their inclination to give.

They describe it as a tentative effort by unions to work with the GOP.

David Siders


Incumbents J.J. Jelincic and Michael Bilbrey have been re-elected to the 13-member board of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, according to a tally of votes still to be certified by the secretary of state’s office. Roughly 57percent supported Jelincic over his three challengers. Bilbrey bested one opponent with about 66percent of the vote. CalPERS sent out 1.2million ballots to its members, and about 140,000 participated. Jelincic’s and Bilbrey’s new terms start on Jan.16.

Jon Ortiz


“We would never win the argument with the legislative analyst.”

Steve Peace, former lawmaker and finance director to then-Gov. Gray Davis, explaining that proponents pulled the plug on a ballot proposal to add privacy protections to California’s constitution after the Legislative Analyst’s Office warned it could spur “unknown but potentially significant costs”