Best Political Battle (2012)

Jim Righeimer vs. Public-Employee Unions

For decades, Jim Righeimer has made no secret of his desire to strip public-employee unions of their political power, reduce pay and benefits for government employees, and privatize certain public services. The Costa Mesa city councilman's goals make him Public Enemy No. 1 for union bosses, who've made considerable efforts to slam him and his allies as callous buffoons. The war got really despicable in August when a private investigator tied to a law firm that has worked for the Costa Mesa police officers' union tailed the Republican councilman from a bar, called 911 to report a drunk driver and got cops to haul Righeimer from his home for a breathalyzer test. He passed. He had ordered two Diet Cokes at the bar and had the receipt to prove it.


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