Keep Me in the Loop!

Stoker should stop using ALRB Chairman post to raise grower money for congressional race

Not for Release Until: Wednesday, September 10, 1997, 12 noon

12 noon Wednesday, in Santa Barbara

UFW co-founder Huerta: Stoker should stop
using ALRB chairman post to raise grower
money for congressional race against Capps

United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta will use a Wednesday news conference in Santa Barbara to demand that Mike Stoker stop using his job as chairman of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board to raise money from major agricultural interests for his 1998 congressional campaign against Rep. Walter Capps. She will also question whether Stoker’s appeal for backing from powerful grower groups is tied to his efforts to weaken farm labor board regulations protecting farm workers.

Stoker issued a fund raising letter June 12 on stationary featuring the state seal and identifying him as ALRB chairman. In his letter, the announced candidate for next year’s GOP nomination in the 22nd Congressional District, solicited money to help secure "additional contributions from national business and agricultural interests."

At the same time, Stoker is pushing to eliminate or severely restrict the ALRB’s "access" regulation. It grants farm workers the right to speak with union organizers in the fields during non-working hours.

The ALRB is set to decide Wednesday on a proposal from Stoker to hold a series of hearings around the state this fall on issues such as the grower bid to change the access rule. "This proposed dog-and-pony show by the ALRB is just an excuse to boost Mike’s run for Congress," Huerta says. "It is troubling that he is doing agribusiness’ bidding on the ALRB at the same time he is seeking further political donations from the industry."

WHO: UFW co-founder and Secretary-Treasurer Dolores Huerta plus area labor and community leaders.

WHAT: News conference criticizing ALRB Chairman and GOP congressional candidate Mike Stoker for using his state position to raise money from growers.

WHEN: 12 noon, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 1997.

WHERE: Santa Barbara County Courthouse Archway (corner of Anacapa & Anapamu)

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