PORAC is the Peace Officer's Research Association of California. It's basically a lobbying and legal defense organization that has branched out to include such things as retired issues, medic care coverage, etc. In those capacities it's fine. I haven't had to utilize any of their services but I know others who have and they have done good work championing cops and the work we do. But.
I have noticed over the last few years an increasing emphasis on their lobbying effort and political activism, including but not limited to endorsing candidates and allowing promoting 'causes'. It's a couple of those included in their latest magazine offering that has caused me to speak my mind and cancel my membership.
Here's a link to their site and the E version of the magazine I get delivered once a month. This is from the August issue.Please RTWT.
Let's start with an article by Paul Villa, the Chief Lobbyist/Government Relations for the Reno Police Protective Association for PORAN (which is an associate member with PORAC) entitled Strange Bedfellows. It's on page 16 of the magazine. Flip through and give it a quick read. I'm not allowed to reproduce any articles in part or whole so I will have to paraphrase but I encourage you to give that a good read. I think I'm Ok with giving you the title to the article strictly for the purposes of clarity.
In that article he goes to some length to acknowledge that the majority of cops are in fact conservative, of one stripe or another. He went so far as to mention a PoliceOne.com survey that found that found a majority of street officers were opposed to gun control. Here's a link to that survey. He also acknowledges that puts us at odds with mainstream democratic/liberal policies. Ok, fine so far and accurate. He then makes the point that they (he says us but I don't count myself as among his supporters) will take the opposite tack and appeal to Democrats when wages and benefits are under scrutiny. He refers to Republicans in a derogatory manner in regards to fiscal policy. Note the language in that paragraph where the PoliceOne poll is mentioned and the differing way he refers to Dems and Reps. He whines about being questioned as to why they never endorse any Republicans. And here's the payoff.
Mister Villa then goes on, in the very next paragraph, to aver that those of us in the police business hold our pay and benefits above everything else, including the Second Amendment. And that is why they routinely endorse big D candidates in spite of acknowledging that those very same politicians often make the job of policing harder. He goes on to make the argument that he's really bi-partisan and just wants to find a reasonable solution to modern policing but in my mind he has already admitted that he's sold his soul for twenty pieces of silver. In the next to last paragraph he drives that point home when he again alleges that fiscal issues take precedence over other matters when it comes to political endorsements. Essentially he's saying that fiscal conservatives need not apply.
Mister Villa is of course wrong and if he's not then may The Good Lord preserve us all. My priority, both on the job and in my evaluation of political candidates, was police work first with financial considerations taking a distant second place. Most of the cops I know felt the same. We fought for our contracts hard but win or lose, the job was the most important thing in our professional lives. It's precisely the kind of thinking espoused by Mister Villa that got us into this mess in the first place. Me first and to hell with everyone else is anathema to all law enforcement professionals hold dear and to see such printed in the pages of a magazine dedicated to those same men and women makes my blood boil. If it's only about the paycheck it's time to find another line of work and if you believe it's your primary responsibility as a lobbyist for cops to deliver money and only money then you are doing your employers and the general public a huge disservice. Mister Villa, go sell life insurance you venomous, mealy mouthed, boot licker. Make endorsements based on the public and law enforcement good and let the chips fall where they may. Your cops will both understand and support such efforts. Making the job easier and the public safer is job number one and don't you ever forget it. And you cops in Reno (and all of Nevada for that matter) better take a long, hard look at your Chief Lobbyist and start asking some hard questions lest you end up like your California brethren, living in a liberal wasteland. You're uncomfortably close right now if that little tidbit has escaped you.
But wait, we're not done yet. Let's skip ahead to page twenty shall we? There we find the article that caused me to throw my hard copy of the magazine across the room lest I be contaminated by it's mere touch. It's entitled Back to Basics: Another View by Dan Milchovich DPA, a retired Captain from Inglewood PD.
Again, I highly recommend you RTWT as it's a pretty nasty piece of work. It's clear from inference that Captain Milchovich is a card carrying low information voter of the first stripe. I'm going to take just aminute here to refute some of his garbage.
1. You're arguing the wrong point which was that Congress and it's staffers were going to come under the auspices of ACA (aka Obamacare). That was the law but Obama has now 'fixed' that. Once again the political elite have found a way to insulate themselves from laws they expect the rest of us to follow. Funny how often that happens.
2. Wrong. See above. And if you're wondering how the ACA is going to affect insurance premiums wonder no more.
3. It's not moot at all. If they have no skin in the game they have no incentive to find reasonable solutions. Here, read this and answer these questions. Where are all those SS contributions going and where will the money to pay off just the current obligations come from?
4. And? The problem here is that we have incentivized political life by making it all about the pay and benefits as opposed to it being, you know, about the public service. You and Mister Villa from PORAN appear to be cut from the same liberal political cloth. Considering a run for public office perhaps? Let's tie Congressional pay to the Average Yearly Income for Americans, kick politicians out of their retirement system and require them to live under all the rules they require us to abide by. Then we can both sit back and watch the exodus of those who are more concerned with accumulating wealth than doing the People's work and maybe we can get this ship righted again.
5. Again. And? Do you support an opt out provision for Social Security? If so then what's your point? If not then why not? How much exactly are you personally willing to sacrifice to ensure SS doesn't go bust?
6. Are you kidding me? Here, take a look at this and tell me how great that program is and how we should be funding it with taxpayer money.
7. Oh really? The real questions are how much is too much and who gets to decide that? I don't think I'm too comfortable leaving those decisions in the hands of people like you, Captain.
8. And here we go. Gun Control. This is an either/or proposition and damn you for posting your lunatic ravings under your former title, Captain. Either you support the Constitution and the Bill of Rights or you don't. If it's the former then sit down and shut up. You're just wrong. If it's the latter then you failed as a police officer and served under dishonorable terms. I think I know which side of the line you fall on in this debate and it disgusts me. And you end with this quote from Jefferson;
"An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens."
Do you understand how hypocritical you sound? You are arguing for the very thing Jefferson was warning against in a post espousing disarming Americans in violation of the second Amendment to the Bill of Rights. You're either disingenuous, stupid or a liar. Perhaps a nice combination of all of the above?
Bah. You make me ashamed to have ever worn the same uniform Captain. May my forefathers forgive me and my my children forget you were ever called an American.
So. I have sent off the following letter to PORAC in an e-mail;
I just received my August issue of the PORAC magazine and I find that in the interest of maintaining my integrity and ethics I must resign from PORAC effective immediately.
I read with horror the articles from Paul Villa, entitled Strange Bedfellows and Dan Milchovich, entitled Back to Basics: Another View. In one the writer maintains that pay and benefits trumps all other considerations and in the other we are treated to a liberal screed full of nonsense and false information. Both are final straws for me.
I have witnessed the turn of PORAC, indeed much of law enforcement lobbying, from what's good for the general public to what's good for law enforcement bottom lines in general and Democratic politicians in particular. In both cases the missing element is the California Taxpayer. I cannot believe that the hardworking man and woman in California (and Nevada apparently) gets such short shrift from an organization ostensibly about protecting working cops so we can deliver a better service to those we are sworn to serve and protect. I am appalled.
(I signed with my real name)
I'll let you all know how they responded though I anticipate it will be unsatisfying.