Why California Federation of Labor is Nervous About the Leaked Conversation

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

I wonder who in the Los Angeles City Council or the Los Angeles County California Federation of Labor (Cal Labor) has pissed off Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong? The paper that usually coddles and covers for Democrat politicians and organized labor is running full force with exposes on both of these wretched hives of scum and villainy.


The latest pushback over the racist conversation between President of Cal Labor Ron Herrera, L.A. City Council President Nury Martinez, and Councilmembers Kevin DeLeon and Gil Cedillo that Cal Labor plans to investigate the breach of this “Illegal” recording of a private conversation at their offices.

The leaked audio of then Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez privately making racist remarks was part of a “serious security and privacy breach” at L.A. County Federation of Labor offices involving “illegal” recordings of “many private and confidential conversations in private offices and conference rooms,” the federation told affiliates Sunday in an email, according to text provided to The Times.

Federation spokesperson Justin Wesson did not respond to multiple messages Monday seeking comment about the memo, which is circulating among Los Angeles labor activists and leaders upset by the federation’s involvement in the scandal.

The federation’s internal messaging raises questions about how many more secret recordings of top L.A. power brokers might exist or become public.

What are Los Angeles power brokers and officials doing having secret meetings at Cal Labor to begin with? This too-cozy relationship with unions and the people who are supposed to be running L.A. is like raw sewage that is being dumped into the ocean through back channels: clandestine, illegal, and corrupt. It stinks to high heaven.

Now that back channel has been exposed, and it couldn’t come at a more pivotal time.


Her remarks were made during an October 2021 meeting at the federation’s offices, where the group discussed the city’s redistricting process.

In its message to affiliates, which was sent on behalf of Herrera, the federation said it had been successful at removing audio clips posted on Reddit and getting the anonymous user suspended, and said it planned to investigate and “make sure these crimes are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Ooh… they Big Mad. They also sound really nervous.

Cal Labor was the driver behind the AB5 law, which destroyed independent professionals across the state to benefit the labor unions. My colleague Levon Satamian documents the damage here, along with links on just how destructive the law has been across all sectors, not just labor. The lawmaker who engineered this for her union cohorts? Then-District 80 Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher. Gonzalez-Fletcher used all her political capital and chicanery to ram AB5 through the Legislature, and Governor Gavin Newsom signed it into law. It ultimately became an albatross around Gonzalez-Fletcher’s neck politically but invested her with eternal favor from her labor allies.

The California Citizens Redistricting Commission changed the lines, and thus the demographics of Gonzalez-Fletcher’s Assembly district. In no small part to the massive fall out surrounding AB5, Gonzalez-Fletcher had also become toxic in the Assembly. Her planned political rise to Secretary of State and then Governor (God help us) met a dead-end street, thanks to the work of Managing Editor Jennifer Van Laar, Deputy Managing Editor Kira Davis, and others on this site. Gonzalez-Fletcher resigned from the California Assembly, but not without carving out her own niche at The California Labor Federation.


San Diego local KUSI News reported:

Politico first reported in November 2021 that “California Labor Federation officials have voted to endorse Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) as the powerful organization’s next leader.” Adding, “The non-binding vote by the body’s executive council will not immediately elevate Gonzalez to a new role or cause her to leave the Legislature because Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski has not stepped down or reached the end of his term. Pulaski will work with the organization to craft a succession timeline.”

One of Gonzalez-Fletcher’s most notable pieces of legislation is the controversial AB 5, which essentially bans many California companies from hiring workers as independent contractors.

Monday, Gonzalez-Fletcher announced her official resignation from the State Assembly on Twitter, where she vowed to continue her “life’s commitment to serve & empower working Californians.”

More accurately, Gonzalez-Fletcher continues to serve and empower herself, as per usual. This entire leaked conversation may well be one of those instances.

It is interesting that a month after the October 2021 recorded conversation between Herrera, Martinez, DeLeon and Cedillo, POLITICO dropped the news that Gonzalez-Fletcher had been tapped as Cal Labor’s next leader.

Peep this timeline:

  • January 2022: Gonzalez-Fletcher resigns from the California Assembly.
  • March 2022: Herrera was re-elected as President of Cal Labor.
  • July 2022: Gonzalez-Fletcher takes up the reigns as Secretary-Treasurer of Cal Labor.
  • October 2022: The “LatinX Scandal” exposing the leaked conversation unfolds.

All this could be a huge coincidence. But I don’t believe in coincidences—especially in politics, and particularly with these players.

Guess who at Cal Labor has lead the charge in condemning racism and anti-Black language?

You love to see it.

Gonzalez-Fletcher’s fellow Labor stooge over at the AFL-CIO has joined the chorus:

The Labor movement has been rife with racism for quite some time, but do go off, Liz.

The connective thread between that October 2021 meeting and Gonzalez-Fletcher’s? None other than L.A. City Councilman Kevin DeLeon. Back in 2018, when DeLeon was in the State Senate, he and Gonzalez-Fletcher were as thick as thieves, crafting legislation together, like the destructive SB100, which set the goal to phase out all fossil fuels from the state’s electricity sector by 2045, and AB 1066, the farm workers overtime bill which did little for farm workers and even less for farmers.

We see how well these laws have been doing for Californians. Not very.

DeLeon is a card-carrying member of the Political Industrial Complex of California, trading offices as much as he trades favors. After a failed run for Dianne Feinstein’s U.S. Senate seat, he picked up a seat in the Los Angeles City Council in 2020. Before that seat was even warm, he decided to run for Los Angeles Mayor in 2022 but didn’t make the Top 2 in the jungle primary.


Now he is smack dab in the middle of this LatinX scandal. We will see what’s the next shoe to drop.


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