In Sacramento County, where police officers allegedly shot black 22-year-old Stephon Clark eight times, including six in the back, District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert’s acceptance of contributions from law enforcement unions, while the case is still pending, has opened her up to criticism and sparked conversations about law enforcement unions’ involvement in politics throughout the state.
Law enforcement and organized labor have always made strange bedfellows. Like other public sector unions, law enforcement associations negotiate wages and contracts with county government. But unlike most unions, which tend to lean Democratic, law enforcement associations – and, in turn, the candidates and causes they support each election – often champion conservative causes, putting them at odds with left-leaning organizations and social movements, like the ACLU and Black Lives Matter.
Although campaign finance has become a heavily publicized concern in both state and national politics, the contributions given to politicians running in county races elude parallel scrutiny. Individual contributors and unions alike are able to fund the candidates of their choosing and, for the most part, fly under the radar without having to answer questions regarding whether their advocacy aligns with the interests of voters and taxpayers.—The Desert Sun