Capo Recall: Are Maddox and Winsten the Union-Endorsed Candidates?

Did beleaguered Capo Trustee Ken “Lopez-Maddox” go hat in hand, with his colleague Mike Winsten, to solicit support from his old allies at the Teamsters Local 952?  A top official of that Union said so at the Truman Dinner while drinks were flowing, and it makes sense – the two are really hurting for funds, and Maddox has had a friendly relationship with that Union since his days as a “moderate Republican” assemblyman.

And it would be outrageously, hilariously hypocritical as these guys’ constant unvarying line of attack on the folks who are trying to replace them – the Capistrano Unified Children First 2010 movement – is to call them (falsely) “Union candidates,” “Union thugs,” “Union tools,” “Union puppets,” ad nauseam.  They literally don’t write or say a sentence about their opponents without getting in the word “Union.”  So I’d been dying to see if I could get any proof of it.  (As one other Union official who has heard the story and believes it told me, “If you could prove it, that would be EXPLOSIVE.”  And what blogger doesn’t want to be explosive?)

But my calls to the Teamsters – including the official (who out of courtesy I won’t name) who first told the story to three witnesses  – went unanswered and unreturned for weeks.  It was obvious that they knew how embarrassing it would be to Ken and Mike if they confirmed the story, but if it weren’t true, why couldn’t they just say no?

Well, yesterday I finally managed to get a hold of that top official – somebody kindly gave me his cell phone and I repeatedly dialed it until he caved in.  “Mr. xxxxx,” I asked, “Is it true that Ken Maddox and Mike Winsten approached the Teamsters to ask for their endorsement or support, and are they getting it?”

The official stiffly responded, as if reading carefully chosen words off a script, “At no time did Ken Maddox or Mike Winsten approach the Teamsters Local 952 for an endorsement, and the Teamsters Local 952 is not endorsing either side in the Capistrano Unified election.”

“Well, I understand it would be awkward for them to be publicly endorsed by you, but is your Union going to be giving their campaign money?”

Again:  “At no time did Ken Maddox or Mike Winsten approach the Teamsters Local 952 for an endorsement, and the Teamsters Local 952 is not endorsing either side in the Capistrano Unified election.”

When I reported this back to the three witnesses (that’s CTA’s Mike Stone and two of the Capo Children First candidates)  they were stunned at the about-face.  “Wow, I guess he really spoke out of school that night, and regrets it!”  So, that’s all I’ve got – three people heard a high Teamsters official say it, and the Teamsters official after weeks of evading me denied it in stiff, evasive terms.  Make your own judgments.

I mean, that’s all I’ve got for now.  Obviously the financial contributions from the Teamsters would be coming this month, too late to appear on quarterly reports before the election and embarrass the candidates.  I’ll be keeping an eye out though, whether the recall is successful or not – it’s never too late to be explosive, even if it would only be a little firecracker at that point!


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.