By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
So my bill said, you can’t do that. You gotta give notice to the union, the union has to have the ability to show up, and it would strengthen the showing that the employer had to make before they could get an injunction. So that was one piece of it. Someone told me in an elevator -- they were shaking my hand in an elevator the other day saying, "Thank you so much, did you know there are three unions using it right now?" And then got off the elevator, so I don’t know which unions.
The other part of it was that the employers were also using it as a real club against the unions, suing the unions if there was any disruptive behavior by members on a picket line. And the courts in California were starting to go more towards finding the unions liable as a wonderful way to fight them as a deep pocket. So my bill mirrors the federal Norris-LaGuardia Act, which says that unless they sanction the behavior, the unions cannot be held liable for individual behavior of members on the picket line. I think that was an important bill.WEEKLY: Where did you get the idea to do that? Isn’t it a 1931 Act?KUEHL: AFL/CIO federal attorneys brought it to me, partly because they knew that I would love it, since I’ve been a union member since I was seven-years-old. And partly because they couldn’t find anybody else who really understood the arcane, sort of, underpinnings of the difference between the standard of proof that they were using to get injunctions now and the standard of proof that was needed. So since I’m also the chair of the Judiciary Committee, I understand the law. They brought it to me. They were some really great attorneys, I really enjoyed working with them. The kind of guys they’d make a movie about, because they -- they’ve done all the work and nobody understands how if you change the word, "and" to "or" in the law, you’ve, like, saved 27 lives. Those kind of guys. So they brought it to me. WEEKLY:What are some of your notable endorsements? KUEHL: Just briefly, Governor Davis, Senator Boxer, Sheriff Baca, the State Democratic Party, California Nurse’s Association, The Sierra Club, dual endorsement of the CTA, the California League of Conservation Voters, dual endorsement. Plus I got almost all of the City Council members in any cities in and touching the district, including Laura Chick, Joel Wachs, Jackie Goldberg, Ruth Galanter. And then the whole Santa Monica City Council, Agoura Hills City Council, Malibu, you know, Calabasas, even the Republicans in Westlake Village, all the mayors, all the mayors pro tem, California Association of Police and Sheriffs, Police Officer’s Research Action Council, the Police Chief’s Association. WEEKLY: What other endorsements do you really wish you had gotten? KUEHL: The President of Pierce College. I really put myself on the line for Pierce College when they were in between presidents, and they wanted to develop a golf course out there. I thought that was entirely the wrong way to go. There is no college that serves urban kids that are interested in agriculture except for Pierce. And they were going to blow it. I didn’t mean they had to leave it all fallow out there, but a golf course, please. So I really fought. I went to rallies, I wrote to everybody, I wrote to the chancellor, I wrote to the board. We appeared, we put in statements at all the meetings. And then when Rocky Young was picked, I was delighted, ‘cause he was second in command out at Santa Monica College. Good guy. I was delighted. I went to meet with him, we walked all around the campus. Then I read in Wally’s literature, he’s endorsed Wally. So that disappointed me.
Also the Mayor. I wasn’t surprised, because he actually threatened me after I didn’t endorse him. I endorsed Tom Hayden. I said, "You know, Dick, I don’t endorse Republicans. I mean, forget it. I just don’t."
And so he said, "Well, you’ll pay for this." And now he’s done this automated phone dialing thing where you get a message on your answering machine from Dick Riordan.WEEKLY: Saying, "Vote for Wally Knox"? KUEHL: Yes. I even got the call. It’s automated, you know, they don’t know who they’re calling. It’s just random. And in Santa Monica where he’s not even our mayor. WEEKLY: How deep is this left rift on the Westside? Is this race going to create some permanent divides Between people who are supporting you and people who are supporting Wally? KUEHL: No, I don’t think so. I mean, hardly anyone remembers the fights I had with the six guys who were running against me before. One of them is still on the Board of the Conservancy. If you hold grudges, you’re really unprofessional. WEEKLY: Well, we had this omnibus question, and I’m not sure you entirely got through it, your greatest hits, your frustrations, and what you’ve learned.