It’s no secret the Voice of OC got its start with very generous funding from the Orange County Employees Association. What many of us didn’t know was how dependent the Voice of OC still is on OCEA funding, which is in turn funded by government employee dues automatically deducted from their paychecks.
According to this press release from Supervisor Janet Nguyen’s state Senate campaign, the Voice gets 63% of its funding from the county employees union.
Sixty. Three. Percent.
Here’s the breakdown from the press release:
TOTAL FUNDS RECEIVED (report from latest 2 year period) : $797,040
Orange County Employees Association
Wylie Aitken (Former Chair Democratic Foundation of OC)
United Food & Commercial Workers
Former Democratic Senator Joe Dunn
*Major Democrat Donors:
Unnamed small donors
*(donors to: Act Blue, DCCC, Barbara Boxer, Beth Krom for Congress, Alan Lowenthal for Congress, Loretta Sanchez for Congress).
The Voice is totally dependent on the OCEA to meet payroll, pay its rent, fund benefits, and other expenses. When you think about that, the Voice’s outrage campaign against Freedom Communications deal with Anaheim to broker naming rights for ARTIC is comical. How does the Voice question the ability of a Freedom Communications subsidiary (the OC Register) to cover Anaheim government impartially, when it is reporting on county and city governments whose employees are represented by the funding source that keeps the Voice of OC’s lights on? We’re expected to believe Freedom’s deal comprises the OC Register’s Anaheim coverage, but the Voice’s dependence on OCEA has no effect on its coverage?
Think about it another way. At the same time that it was spending $600,000 last year trying to elect John Leos to the Anaheim City Council, we now know the OCEA was also giving hundreds of thousands to the Voice of OC; and the Voice was reporting obsessively about Disney’s spending on behalf of candidates opposed by OCEA, while giving much less attention to OCEA’s campaign activity.
All of which goes to the point of Nguyen’s press release:
Unfortunately, Janet’s efforts to reform CalOptima and outreach to the community have been mischaracterized by the Voice of OC blog whose only interest is to further their own political agenda through an organized smear campaign.
Some have asked why this Blog has taken such an interest in a smear campaign against Janet Nguyen?
The answer should be obvious. Just follow the money. A check of the Voice of OC’s most recent IRS filings shows that nearly all of their funds come from labor unions and Democrat donors. A full 63% comes from a single public employee union – OCEA. The remainder from Democrat/liberal donors or groups. These entities all have a huge stake in making sure State Senate Dems keep their 2/3rds super majority.
AMEA Negotiations Coming Up; Watch Voice Of OC Reporting On Anaheim
The Anaheim Municipal Employees Association is an affiliate of the OCEA. It’s contract negotiations begin later this month, and its current contract expires January 3.
The Voice has already hit Lucille Kring with a below the belt piece accusing her of trading votes for campaign contributions (without any evidence). Will we see a continuation of past pattern of targeting City Hall in hopes of freezing and demoralizing it during negotiations. I hope not. But keep an eye on the kind of stories the Voice writes about Anaheim in the coming months.