CLEAT AT IT AGAIN!!

Relevant bills filed and their status

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Charles L. Cotton
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CLEAT AT IT AGAIN!!

#1

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Tue Apr 03, 2007 4:15 pm

I guess CLEAT simply can’t let a legislative session go by without showing its true colors. The “Emergency Powers� bills (SB112 & HB258) have huge support. SB112 passed the Senate on a unanimous vote (one not present). HB258 has been reported favorably from the House Defense Affairs and State-Federal Regulations Committee on March 30th. It’s now in the Calendars Committee and I do not anticipate any trouble getting it to the Floor.

My memory may be faulty, but I don’t recall any opposition to either bill. The House committee did ask some clarification questions, but we had a number of law enforcement agencies sign in in support of the bills, but their representatives did not testify. In short, not a single person seemed to be opposed to preventing a New Orleans-style wholesale gun confiscation during times of emergency. Indeed, some committee members even commented that people need their guns most during such times when law enforcement is non-existent.

With that background - now enters Charlie Wilkerson, Legislative Director for CLEAT. An article in the Austin American Statesman (Austin’s perennial anti-gun liberal publication) was quite positive on the “Emergency Powers� bills. But I guess it was too stressful for CLEAT to resist taking an anti-gun stance for too long. In spite of sweeping support from citizens and law enforcement, both on the state and federal level (a federal law has been passed preventing confiscation), CLEAT fears protecting citizens rights to have firearms with which to defend themselves “would dilute local law enforcements' jurisdiction and the use of officers' discretion.�

Well Charlie, the honest citizens of New Orleans got a good taste of officers’ discretion. As one woman testified, “They didn’t offer me any food, they didn’t offer me any water, they didn’t offer me a ride out, they just took my gun and left me in the dark.� I guess the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies were exercising their discretion when they tackled and woman and drug her from her home for the offense of holding a revolver by it’s back-strap with the cylinder open. And I guess former New Orleans Police Chief Warren Riley and Mayor Ray Nagin were exercising their discretion when they denied that the NOPD and officers from all over the country confiscated legally possessed firearms from defenseless citizens, until the local office of the BATFE ratted them out. And I guess Mayor Nagin was still exercising his discretion when he thumbed his nose at a federal judge in the NRA lawsuit and found himself in contempt and his city obligated to pay attorney fees to the Plaintiffs. No Charlie, we don’t need unbridled discretion and broad jurisdiction during times of emergency when normal checks and balances are non-existent. Texas law enforcement agrees, that’s why they support these bills. These bills are not addressing wrongful seizure of a firearm(s) during normal times when a person still has police protection, the opportunity to buy or borrow another gun, and access to law enforcement administrative remedies or to an attorney. No, these bills deal with the worst of times; when people are truly on their own and the only protection they have is their firearm.

Mr. Wilkerson also said “. . . police need to weigh the public's right to own firearms against the need to keep the peace in times of emergency." Sorry Charlie, the U.S. Constitution, the Texas Constitution and the Texas Legislature does the weighing, not the police. If the Austin American Statesman quoted him accurately, then this statement alone should be pause for concern for everyone, whether or not they wear a badge. (As I previously noted, law enforcement supports these bills.) The words that come out of this man's mouth and his pen are both amazing and frightening. It is baffling that CLEAT would keep him as their Legislative Director, unless of course, he accurately represents their position. Remember this when the phone rings and CLEAT is asking for a donation.

Chas.

Here is Mr. Wilkerson’s full comments:
Charley Wilkison, legislative director for the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, said he is concerned that the legislation would dilute local law enforcements' jurisdiction and the use of officers' discretion. He said police need to weigh the public's right to own firearms against the need to keep the peace in times of emergency.

"There's a balance," Wilkison said. "We're watching to make sure this bill doesn't tip that balance."


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#2

Post by kauboy » Tue Apr 03, 2007 4:26 pm

Scary :shock:, luckily I don't think they have a chance at influencing anything. Thank God!
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Governments should be afraid of their people." - V


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#3

Post by txinvestigator » Tue Apr 03, 2007 4:30 pm

CLEAT has really lost membership in the last 20 years due to stunts like this.

They do a tremendous amout of good for the police in Texas, but their politics have caused increasing numbers to switch to other organizations.
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#4

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Tue Apr 03, 2007 5:54 pm

txinvestigator wrote:CLEAT has really lost membership in the last 20 years due to stunts like this.

They do a tremendous amout of good for the police in Texas, but their politics have caused increasing numbers to switch to other organizations.
Yep, I used to be a member years ago. I cannot imagine why the organization continues to take positions contrary to the majority of their membership.

Chas.

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#5

Post by Skiprr » Tue Apr 03, 2007 8:28 pm

Charles: Hear hear!

Marvelous post.
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#6

Post by kauboy » Tue Apr 03, 2007 9:32 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote: Yep, I used to be a member years ago. I cannot imagine why the organization continues to take positions contrary to the majority of their membership.

Chas.
My guess... an infiltration campaign is afoot. :skep:


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#7

Post by srothstein » Tue Apr 03, 2007 10:15 pm

Charles, way back when i was a shift director for SAPD, I went to one of the CLEAT conferences and heard Ron Delord (then President) explain why the union so often takes positions against what the membership thinks. I wish we could get this out to most people too.

He pointed out that CLEAT is NOT a police organization. It is a LABOR organization for police officers. It has a primary obligation to look at things from a labor point of view and take the position that benefits its members as a labor organization. Thus, many times it has a very Democratic position, since that is the party that does work best with labor. This is true and correct, even though most of its members have a much more Republican point of view. Unfortunately, many times it has to take a position it knows is not going to win in order to make political deals work that will benefit it from a labor point of view.

The problem is that the public views CLEAT as more of a police organization than a labor one. So when CLEAT takes a side, the public thinks the police have that opinion. It can make the police look like they support things they really do not, but it does deliver points on the labor mission.
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#8

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Tue Apr 03, 2007 10:49 pm

Stephen, thanks for the insight. Yeah, I really wish people who are donating to CLEAT would learn what you have stated. I suspect the labor union v. police organization would prompt a good number of people to donate to true police organizations.

Chas.


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#9

Post by kauboy » Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:55 pm

I wish the labor orgs would get the hint that without unions, productivity rises, as do salaries and benefits. Market demand will always be better for the company and the employee alike.

And we need to get the word out that CLEAT does NOT represent the majority of cops.
"People should not be afraid of their Governments.
Governments should be afraid of their people." - V


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#10

Post by KBCraig » Wed Apr 04, 2007 3:08 am

srothstein wrote:Charles, way back when i was a shift director for SAPD, I went to one of the CLEAT conferences and heard Ron Delord (then President) explain why the union so often takes positions against what the membership thinks. I wish we could get this out to most people too.

He pointed out that CLEAT is NOT a police organization. It is a LABOR organization for police officers. It has a primary obligation to look at things from a labor point of view and take the position that benefits its members as a labor organization. Thus, many times it has a very Democratic position, since that is the party that does work best with labor. This is true and correct, even though most of its members have a much more Republican point of view. Unfortunately, many times it has to take a position it knows is not going to win in order to make political deals work that will benefit it from a labor point of view.
You just described why many BOP union members represented by the Council of Prison Locals 33 would happily dump our affiliation with the American Federation of Government Employees, and be even more happy to sever all ties with AFL/CIO. While we are a union, that Labor focus doesn't win any friends, and often is completely contrary to our interest.

I've requested membership info from the Grand Lodge of the FOP. They can't represent me in labor matters, but they've done a heckuva lot more for me re: LEOSA than AFGE ever did.

For those of you keeping score, I'm an anarcho/capitalist-leaning libertarian who works for the federal government and is a union official, who hopes his job (along with most of the feral gummint) is eliminated. Confuzzled? Welcome to my world! :grin:

Kevin

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#11

Post by stevie_d_64 » Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:36 am

Well I can think of no better place to start shedding the true light on a very negative aspect, of a portion, of an organization like CLEAT than this forum...

If we keep the pressure up, a wider audience will soon pick up the tempo with us about them...

I saw all of this in the NRA/TSRA email update last night...

I was shaking my head, knowing it was definitely going to be commented on here...And I think thats great!
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My Take on CLEAT

#12

Post by tfrazier » Thu May 24, 2007 10:25 am

Back when I founded and served as president of the Greenville Police Patrolman's Union, we we're courted by CLEAT and the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO). We went with NAPO because of the extreme "socialist" leanings of CLEAT.

I organized GPPA Local 789 because we had major problems with a chief at the time who seemed to care more about the BGs than his officers. We disbanded the union the day he left employment with the city.

My dad always said three things were ruining this country, plastic, aluminum, and unions (plastic and aluminum have made a lot of progess to date...). He was probably rolling over in his grave the whole time, but my bros and I needed the legal protection and political avenues at the time, just to fight the unfair disciplinary actions every time someone complained the handcuffs were too tight.

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