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Dewar-DeclarationOnSkunkTeam11-20-08[1]

Dewar-DeclarationOnSkunkTeam11-20-08[1]

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Published by: tastysternburger on Jan 22, 2011
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01/24/2011

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D
ECLARATION OF
T
HOMAS
D
EWAR
I
N
S
UPPORT
O
F
UHWsf-2606520
1GEORGE C. HARRISSOMNATH RAJ CHATTERJEEJACQUELINE A. BOSPATRICIA SVILIKMORRISON & FOERSTER
LLP
 425 Market StreetSan Francisco, California 94105Telephone: 415.268-7000Facsimile: 415.268-7522Attorneys for RespondentSEIU-UNITED HEALTH CARE WORKERS-WEST (“UHW”)IN RE:HEARING ON WHETHER A TRUSTEESHOULD BE APPOINTED AT SEIU-UNITEDHEALTHCARE WORKERS-WEST UNDERARTICLE VIII, SECTION 7 OF THE SEIUCONSTITUTION.
SUR-REBUTTAL DECLARATIONOF THOMAS DEWARHearing Officer: Ray Marshall
I, THOMAS DEWAR, hereby declare:1.
 
I make this declaration based on my personal knowledge.2.
 
From 2005 to 2008, I worked as press secretary for Service Employees InternationalUnion (SEIU) Local 790. Local 790 was a San Francisco-based SEIU local representing almost30,000 public employees. In early 2007, Local 790 merged with nine other locals to form Local1021. While employed at Local 790, I worked with Josie Mooney, who was Executive Director of Local 790 until late 2006, when she went to work with Andy Stern at SEIU International.3.
 
In late February of 2008, I was contacted by Josie Mooney, who was at that timeSpecial Assistant to SEIU International President Andy Stern. She arranged a meeting over brunchwith me at the Fog City Diner in San Francisco, California. When I asked her what the meeting wasabout, she said that she wanted me to join “a skunk team that Andy [Stern] and I are puttingtogether.” I specifically remember that term because it sounded very cloak and dagger to me. I hadnot heard the term “skunk team” or “skunk works team” prior to that time.
 
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D
ECLARATION OF
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UPPORT
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UHWsf-2606520
24.
 
At our meeting at the Fog City Diner on or about March 1, 2008, Ms. Mooneyrecruited me for a public relations project intended to discredit UHW president Sal Rosselli and tocounter UHW’s “Platform for Change” campaign at the upcoming SEIU Convention in June 2008.She said that “resources are not a problem” and that “this is a top priority” of Andy Stern. She alsosaid that the skunk team had a “silent partner.” When I asked her if I would be employed by theInternational, she said that I would continue to be employed by Local 790, but that the Internationalwould reimburse me for the work I did for the skunk team. Her reasoning was that if I “went onto theInternational’s payroll, people at the local wouldn’t trust or talk to me anymore.”5.
 
As Ms. Mooney explained it to me over brunch on March 1, 2008, my role on theskunk team would begin with writing letters to the editors of various newspapers and journals toundermine Sal Rosselli’s credibility and with crafting a message about why Andy Stern’s platform atthe Convention was a good idea. She explained that the International needed a communicationseffort on the ground here in California. She said, “We have to trustee them.” I asked her, “Are yougoing to trustee them?” And she answered, “We have to.” She also indicated that UHW was toblame for the failure of SEIU to win an election for nurses in Ohio.6.
 
Ms. Mooney wanted me to commit to join the skunk team before going into furtherdetail. I was unsure about whether to join what I considered to be a smear campaign by theInternational. Ms. Mooney emailed me on March 4, 2008, urging me to make up my mind and wrote,“You have to give me your commitment. I am (as we speak) selling you at the highest levels. Don’tblow that :).”7.
 
I agreed to a second meeting with Ms. Mooney. She told me that Thomas DeBruin,International Vice President of the SEIU and President of Local 1199-P, and her “silent partner”would be there.8.
 
The second meeting was on March 10, 2008. It happened at night, and the locationwas rescheduled three different times in the hour beforehand. Initially, it was going to be at awine bar in Oakland close to the UHW office, but then the skunk team got nervous because theyfigured that UHW staff member Paul Kumar frequents that bar and they did not want anyone from
 
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D
ECLARATION OF
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HOMAS
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EWAR
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UPPORT
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UHWsf-2606520
3UHW to see us. Finally, it was decided that we would meet at a restaurant in Oakland calledOlivetto.9.
 
Our second meeting was attended by Josie Mooney, Tom DeBruin, and two “silentpartners,” Mark Mosher and Tom Whitehurst, who are principals of a public relations firms calledBarnes Mosher Whitehurst Lauter & Partners. I was told that Mosher and Whitehurst were in chargeof putting together the communications strategy and that DeBruin was overseeing these efforts onbehalf of the SEIU International. Sitting next to two top International staff members and twoprincipals of a large public relations firm, I was the most junior person in the group, by far. Thediscussion was centered around figuring out the best way to ruin Sal Rosselli’s credibility. Thecurrent charges regarding a 501(c)(3) organization never came up.10.
 
In order to make the project sound appealing, Ms. Mooney said to me, “You can beknown as the guy who helped save Andy’s ass in California.”11.
 
Rather than trying to undermine Rosselli’s personal credibility, I suggested that weappropriate his Platform for Change. I did not know Rosselli personally and had been led to believethat he was some sort of a monster. I had read the Platform for Change beforehand because themanagement of Local 790 had said it was so outrageous. But to me, it seemed to be taking afundamental position that I thought our members would support. I suggested that it would be moreeffective to appropriate this platform as our own in order to appeal to rank and file members ratherthan just driving them away from Rosselli by personally attacking him. When I made thissuggestion, Mooney said, “No, we can’t do that.”12.
 
At that point, one of the public relations consultants, John Whitehurst, said that he hadseen the opposition research file on Sal Rosselli that Sutter Hospital had prepared. Sutter Hospital isnotorious for being an employer that is hostile to unions. The term “opposition research” was usedseveral times in that conversation. Whitehurst lamented the fact that there was nothing in theopposition research file showing any self-dealing or corruption by Sal, and said “Sal is clean.”13.
 
The skunk team group then brainstormed about which of the senior staff at UHW theycould convert to their side. For instance, they knew that Paul Kumar had recently purchased a home,and they knew its location and the amount of his mortgage. They rhapsodized about the idea of him

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