The newly-minted president of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1000 slammed California Gov. Gavin Newsom after the Democrat announced plans to close the California Correctional Center in Susanville, which is staffed by SEIU members.
Richard Louis Brown, who made headlines earlier this year by pledging to slash union political donations, told “Your World” on Friday that it appears Newsom is targeting Lassen County workers because the area – just northwest of Reno-Sparks, Nev. – is heavily Republican. In 2016, 73% of Lassen voters selected Donald Trump; the highest margin in the state.
“I believe in the power of voting and in this election for Local-1000, 2,637 people said Richard Louis Brown, fight for us. And my first fight is to make sure that our employees of all the public sector unions at the prison up there in Lassen County are protected and they don’t lose their job through no fault of their own,” said Brown.
“The only reason this governor’s closing that prison down, because he is attacking small towns, he’s attacking people and their families because these people in Lassen County have conservative values that he disagrees with – and so he is mad – and since he is mad he wants to close their lives down, he wants to destroy them.”
Brown said his union will not “sit here in the state of California and take this” from Newsom, who is facing a fall recall.
Host Neil Cavuto noted that he reached out to Newsom’s office for a response but had not heard back by airtime.
Cavuto called Brown an “anomaly” among union bosses, in that he is trying to tamp down on the politicized nature of unions and also seeks to cut membership dues.
“I’m really happy to be on FOX,” Brown replied. “A lot of people have different opinions about me but let me be crystal clear, everything I say is what I mean and I praise God every day that I live in the greatest country on Earth, and I’m fighting for the people in Lassen County.”
“This governor has lost his mind.”
Brown said that the prison has consistently “run in the black” financially, has not had major problems in a state with otherwise infamous penitentiaries, and that there appears no other reason than spite or politics for Newsom to make such a decision.
He added that in the past, inmates at the prison have been drafted into helping local residents during wildfire outbreaks in the area. Two wildfires, the Sugar Fire and Dotta Fire, are currently burning just southwest of the prison in nearby Plumas County.
“I would tell the unions across the state of California [to] wake up: Wake up, do your job, fight for your people and stop playing these political games. That is what I would tell unions across California,” Brown added.
Brown’s union represents 96,000 workers employed by the State of California, as well as select members at worksites outside the state, in Illinois, Texas, New York and Hawaii.