De Leon demonstrated his “Sí se puede” loyalty to the extreme in the state Senate.
All for nothing. Just before De Leon officially announced that he would challenge 84 year-old establishment US Senator Dianne Feinstein next year, the UFW rushed to become the first union to back De Leon’s rival.
Feinstein is a US Senator who represents California in Washington, DC. She makes federal laws. She does nothing for the UFW.
Meanwhile, de Leon, the highest-ranking state senator in Sacramento, writes laws affecting the state of California. De Leon done a lot for the UFW:
- He pushed for the UFW-backed overtime pay legislation for farmworkers.
- He was the keynote speaker at the UFW’s 20th Constitutional Convention.
- He pushed the absolutely pro-UFW Genevieve Shiroma to become chairman of the state Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB).
- He denied translators to Latino farmworkers who made statements against Shiroma before the state Senate.
- He shepherded the incompetent Isadore Hall as the latest UFW-backed member of the ALRB.
- He went out on a limb to defend Hall against allegations of cronyism, insisting falsely that “nothing unseemly” was going on – even though Congresswoman Nanette Barragán had called Hall a “crook.”
- He shielded Isadore Hall from sworn witness statements that Hall had threatened anti-UFW critics.
- He pretended not to notice the UFW leadership’s sexism and homophobia.
- He headed a slush fund tied to a UFW lobbying triad.
And the UFW stabbed him in the back.
We at Pick Justice don’t pretend to like Kevin de Leon. He has always supported the UFW One Percenters. He has never been fair with other farmworker unions, or with Pick Justice. He denied translators to Pick Justice members who gave testimony to the Senate committee that de Leon chaired during the Isadore Hall confirmation. We dislike de Leon for all the reasons given above.
We just think it’s rotten that the UFW would stab its top state Senate supporter in the back.
Just imagine what the UFW is doing to the humble people it pretends to speak for.