In this photo provided by the Las Vegas News Bureau, fireworks burst over the Las Vegas Strip at midnight on New Year's 2011, as seen from Trump International Hotel. (AP Photo/Las Vegas News Bureau, Brian Jones)
What does the California School Employees Association have against California?
The question occurs because CSEA, a huge union representing 215,000 school support staff around California, had a conference in Las Vegas. Gov. Jerry Brown flew there to speak to the group.
It's tone deaf to be in Vegas, for both the union and Brown. California unions that use Nevada for events often say they like to support union-owned hotels -- Vegas is full of them -- and that room rates are often significantly cheaper than in Nevada. Those are fair points, but a union that's part of a coalition asking taxpayers for more money should at the very least be keeping its business in California.
One also would think that, if the political optics of public employees taking their convention business out of state weren't problematic enough, that weather considerations would be a factor. Las Vegas in summer is no picnic. Tuesday's high was 95 degrees, with thunderstorms.
California has no shortage of better conference options. And the San Diego weather Tuesday: 79 degrees and beautiful. Monterey, if you like the summer cool, was 64.
And if the school employees absolutely must to gamble, California has no shortage of Indian casinos.
Come home, CSEA! It's for your own good, and your state's.
Lead Prop Zero blogger Joe Mathews is California editor at Zocalo Public Square, a fellow at Arizona State University’s Center for Social Cohesion, and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (University of California, 2010).