Labor Group Blacklists Jude Barry

A statewide labor group sent out a sharply worded letter yesterday indicating that it has blacklisted local Democratic political consultant Jude Barry and his company, Catapult Strategies. In the letter, Art Pulaski of the California Federation of Labor (CFL) attacks Barry for “supporting the efforts of an anti-union committee” seeking to qualify a so-called “paycheck protection” initiative.

Barry recently helped found a technology firm, Verafirma, which allows initiative-backers to gather signatures electronically on computers and devices such as iPhones. That company—not Catapult Communications—has leased its technology for test-runs to four initiative campaigns, including the Paycheck Protection Act. That initiative would require unions to get members’ approval before dues can be spent for political campaigns, and is part of a nationwide movement to disrupt unions’ political power.

Today’s “Capitol Alert” from the Sacramento Bee reports that Barry has worked for CLF-backed candidates, such as Rep. John Garamendi in the past. It also points out that neither Barry nor his firm are involved with the initiative in question.

“It’s unfortunate and inaccurate,” he said. “I have not now, nor have I ever, worked for that campaign.”

An LA Times blog today points out that Barry has also worked for progressive stalwarts including Howard Dean, Richard Gephardt and the late Sen. Edward Kennedy.

The three other initiatives leasing Verafirma’s technology are all progressive causes: One would reinstate the right of same-sex couples to marry, another would legalize, regulate and tax marijuana, a third would change the state’s legislative vote requirement to pass a budget or raise taxes from two-thirds to a simple majority.

Barry send out an email today pointing out that he is not profiting from the deal.

“I personally was not involved in seeking the account in question and do not participate in any way, including any profits that may come from this account. I am one of seven stakeholders in the company and do not have majority interests nor sole discretion over our policies.  Nonetheless, I was asked by the California Labor Federation to break our contract with the campaign. To do so without cause would be discriminatory and wrong and something I and the company were not willing to do.”
Read More at the Sacramento Bee.

9 Comments

  1. The Bee and LA Times would have no way of knowing, but these tactics will sound all too familiar to local politics-watchers. While many union organizations might forge alliances with guys like Jude, the SBLC is ruthless about attacking anyone that doesn’t toe their party line. I wouldn’t be surprised if their fingerprints are all over this unfair smear campaign.

  2. Sounds like a reasonable business practice.  What’s the big f***ing deal?  Is the CLF going to blacklist Google because Republican campaigns use the search engine?

  3. SBLC’s Chavez with control of Democratic Central Committee is backing former San Jose Councilman Williams who will vote as SBLC tells him

    Williams win gives SBLC’s former San Jose Council majority control of Santa Clara County Supervisors

    Barry is backing Teresa Alvarado, daughter of longtime former Supervisor Blanca Alvarado for Supervisor Gage’s seat

    Chavez, big loser in last election’s complete labor candidate defeat, saw Phaedra fired will do what it takes SBLC candidates win or she gets fired

    SBLC polls say Williams is losing because Teresa’s latino vote

    Chavez doesn’t want Blanca angry so can’t attack Teresa, so attacks Barry who will cut deal with Chavez to save future Democratic election business

    • The Democratic Central Committee has not yet officially taken a position on the Supervisor’s race, but you will be surprised to learn that SCCDCC will not endorse Forest Williams over Teresa Alvarado.  SBLC doesn’t have as much control over the party’s endorsement as they may have at one time.

  4. DCC endorsement votes at April 1 meeting with Williams behind SBLC wants No or Dual endorsement not public endorsement fight to motivate Blanca’s latino voters to go to polls in June

    Dueling Push Polls will show each candidate ahead with high undecided voters

    Knock down and dirty Supervisor’s race winner between 2 San Jose candidates or San Jose and South County candidate depends on candidate who turns out voters in both June and November

  5. It’s kind of hard to follow the intrigue here, but it seems to be saying that at the end of the day, the voters won’t have much to say about anything after the Democrat power brokers have done their thing.

    Does this mean that it would just be simpler and cheaper to cancel the election and give each of the Dem candidates a chainsaw and lock them in a steel cage?