Ed Ring, of the California Policy Center, notes there are 6000 public sector unions in the state of California alone, with a cash flow of $1.2 billion dollars each year.

Think they will be a big factor in the upcoming election cycle?

In fact, with that kind cash, public sector unions are one of the most powerful agents in every election cycle.

Ed Ring, Executive Director, California Policy Center, was the featured speaker at the SPARC dinner event, Wednesday, March 16, 2016, at the Fremont Hills Country Club in Los Altos Hills, California.

Ed Ring chats with attendees at the Fremont Hills Country Club during the VIP wine reception just prior to the March SPARC event in Los Altos Hills.

Ring, based in Sacramento, edits a publication called Union Watch and told SPARC members and guests that the list of myths about public unions is a long one. Protect the middle class? Since taxes are disproportionally paid by the middle class, the benefits due to public union members are mostly paid for by middle class taxpayers.

Did you know in California, the average city worker makes $124,000 each year? Did you know the debt taxpayers owe for the benefits of public workers is now in the trillions of dollars?


The advent of daylight savings time means this is the view from the dining room of the Fremont Hills Country Club in Los Altos Hills, where SPARC meets monthly for dinner and intelligent discussion on the issues of the day. Did we mention we meet in a sensational location?

The costs of operating city, county, and state governments are now 70-80% personnel costs. That’s why a great deal of the work of government—repairing roads, maintaining parks and buildings, updating equipment and technology—is having to be put on hold to pay for the generous salaries, benefits, holidays, sick leave, and pensions of public workers. It is a very big debt.

Ring’s call to action includes visiting CaliforniaPolicyCenter.org to check out the data he and his staff have compiled. The web site database includes much denser information on this important issue.

The backstory of the power of the public sector union in America is not well known. Voters must be armed with this knowledge to make intelligent decisions at election time. Did you know two-thirds of all tax proposals are approved each year by voters? Whom do you think campaigns for those proposals and where do those campaign dollars come from?

This is just a reminder of the kinds of things you miss if you happen to miss a SPARC monthly dinner: it is the background information on what really makes politics move in the Golden State. Thanks to Ed Ring for traveling from Sacramento to Los Altos Hills to make his fascinating presentation. And thanks to all SPARC members and guests for turning out on a stunning March evening to enjoy good company, intelligent conversation, and a fascinating talk. The gorgeous setting is tossed in as an added benefit!

SPARC president, Peter Verbica, thanks Ed Ring, of the California Policy Center, for driving all the way from Sacramento to keep SPARC members up to date on issues relating to public unions.


What a great event with Ed Ring on March 16, the eve of St. Patrick’s Day!