Genevieve Shiroma, new ALRB chair, brings record of ethics problems & mismanagement

Instead of reaching outside ALRB for competent leadership, Governor Jerry Brown has promoted new mismanagement from within: Genevieve Shiroma. “I am absolutely an honorable person,” Shiroma insisted to the state Senate during her confirmation hearing for an unprecedented fourth term last summer. Not everybody agrees. Last spring, California Labor Secretary David Lanier agreed with a state audit that found the ALRB to be a wasteful, abusive, unaccountable organization. We reported that Lanier’s assessment was an indictment of scandal-plagued ALRB member Genevieve Shiroma.…

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Unqualified: Hall’s record shows no experience for ALRB position

“As longtime chair of the governmental organization committees in both houses, Hall oversaw gambling and alcohol policy, and he repeatedly pursued legislation to require porn performers to wear condoms,” the Sacramento Bee reports. “He was not was a leader on agricultural issues at the Capitol; only about half a percent of the workers in his former Senate district worked in agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting and mining, according to the U.S. Census,” the Bee says. “Other than water policy, nothing suggests he dealt head…

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ALRB Chairman Gould quits in ‘angry’ rage

The ALRB’s only respected member has quit in what the Los Angeles Times describes as an “angry letter” to Governor Jerry Brown. Adding insult to injury is that fact that ALRB Chairman William B. Gould IV, a Berkeley law professor emeritus and former chairman of the National Labor Relations Board, made a show of resigning after his term had already expired, but while he remained until a replacement was confirmed. The other two ALRB board members, Genevieve Shiroma and Cathryn…

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Kangaroo court: ALRB’s own rules violate the law mandating impartiality

The state Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) is breaking state law, raising questions about the legitimacy of the board’s actions and decisions. In layman’t terms, the ALRB is illegally serving as the UFW’s own kangaroo court to force UFW contracts on unwilling workers and employers. At issue is the ALRB’s legal mandate to be an impartial advocate of farmworkers, while the ALRB acts as an investigator and prosecutor. One cannot be an impartial prosecutor. Therefore, the ALRB is a kangaroo…

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New ALRB Visalia director: A UFW man since he was 12

Chris Schneider is ALRB’s new Regional Director in Visalia under the state agency’s Office of General Counsel. Schneider never finished college. And he doesn’t have a law degree. But that doesn’t matter because he’s a UFW-certified legal activist. Schneider’s relationship with the UFW goes back before most farmworkers were born. Committed to “UFW struggle” since he was 12 Schneider told the Fresno Bee that he first learned of the “UFW struggle” when he was 12 years old. Five years later, at…

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De Leon ‘slush fund’ tied to UFW lobby triad

California’s pay-to-play political establishment showed itself again. Senator Kevin de Leon’s pushing through the nomination for UFW-backed Genevieve Shiroma to serve yet another term on the state agriculture board has a sleazy money angle. UFW lobbyist Richie Ross – to whom Shiroma paid more than $120,000 in a political deal – was a subject of the appointee’s confirmation hearing before the June 20 Senate Rules Committee hearing that de Leon shared, but the senator did not reveal that he, too,…

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Senator says ‘corrupt’ ALRB is ‘not helping the people at the bottom of the chain’

For the first time in history, lawmakers denounced the ALRB from the Senate floor as a “corrupt” organization. “Unfortunately, the ALRB has turned its back on farm workers and now sees its number-one job as a shill for the UFW,” said Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) during the party-line vote to confirm disgraced ALRB board member Genevieve Shiroma to an unprecedented fourth term. “The ALRB has become corrupt and not helping the people at the bottom of the chain as was…

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Senate confirms disgraced Shiroma for a fourth ALRB term

ALRB-boardmember-for-life Genevieve Shiroma, long accused of bias on the agricultural panel, got a party-line Senate confirmation this week for yet another term. “It’s time for her to retire,” said Senator Tom Berryhill. “She’s been on that board a long time.” Governor Gray Davis first appointed Shiroma in 1999. Headlining the news, the Sacramento Bee called Shiroma “controversial” and cited lawmakers who called her a shill for the UFW. Shiroma got confirmed despite – or perhaps because of – her ties…

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Shiroma was allowed to ignore state impartiality standards

Genevieve Shiroma, the controversial ALRB member, has been allowed to ignore state impartiality standards since her first term began in 1999. Under state law, ALRB board members are required to be impartial on the issue of workers, employees and unions, and to avoid even the perception of partiality. Shiroma’s connections to a prominent UFW lobbyist, and her political donations to lawmakers who govern her powers on the ALRB board, show that she biased and therefore in violation of the law.…

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Shiroma, on defensive, insists she’s ‘absolutely an honorable person’

No longer able to hide from reporters and public scrutiny, ALRB board member Genevieve Shiroma had to face her accusers during her June 20 Senate confirmation hearing for another term. Senators repeatedly asked Shiroma about her bias toward the UFW, her financial and political relationship with UFW lobbyist Richie Ross, her political contributions to pro-UFW politicians, and her failure to account for ALRB spending to deny farmworkers the right to have their votes against the UFW counted. Finally, Shiroma stammered,…

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Summary of Shiroma’s disastrous Senate confirmation hearing

More information on Genevieve Shiroma’s disastrous performance before her California Senate Rules Committee confirmation hearing on June 20. We’ll have the transcripts soon: • Shiroma denied any bias toward the UFW, but none of the senators believed her. Republicans attacked Shiroma – and Democrats praised her – for her UFW bias. • Shiroma admitted everything that Pick Justice said about her long-term political and financial relationship with UFW lobbyist Richie Ross. Republicans attacked her for it, and Democrats praised her…

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Prominent ag columnist calls ALRB dishonest, cheating, & bordering on ‘criminal misrepresentation’

“For anybody with the integrity to view the circumstances honestly the status of California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) is truly astounding in its embrace of dishonesty, partiality and cheating,” Don Curlee wrote in the Agricultural Action Committee’s newsletter, Ag Accent. “The prevailing status at the ALRB level has exceeded intellectual and political favoritism, and descended to a level that approaches criminal misrepresentation,” Curlee wrote in the May 15 edition. “The absolute breaking point was the board’s decision to disallow…

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Shiroma campaigns for senator who tried to broaden ALRB’s powers

The state senator who tried to give greater powers to the ALRB now has ALRB member Genevieve Shiroma’s personal endorsement for his next campaign. Senator Darrell Steinberg, who is term-limited out and now running for mayor of Sacramento, displays Shiroma’s endorsement on his campaign website. Shiroma is a longtime political ally of Steinberg and their mutual deal-maker, UFW lobbyist Richie Ross. Shiroma contributed to Steinberg’s political campaign just before he introduced a bill to broaden the ALRB’s powers on behalf…

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Photo gallery shows the spirited turnout at April 20 courthouse rally

The energetic turnout at the April 20 courthouse rally in Fresno was a real family gathering. Present and future farmworkers gathered to support transparency and ethical behavior in the troubled Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB). They protested the ALRB’s secrecy, cronyism with the UFW, and corruption of the democratic process under California law. Some of the members of the three-judge appeals panel took note of our rally. Inside the courthouse, California deputy attorney general Nelson Richards, arguing for the ALRB…

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