By Jon Ortiz The Sacramento Bee
Published: Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

The not-so-special special session that opened Monday marked the last chance for out-of-contract state employee unions to cut a deal with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The Assembly likely won’t assemble again until Jan. 3, so it’s not around to approve contracts before they go to the governor. From here on, all deals go to Jerry Brown.

For most unions, the guv-elect is a welcome change. Six bargaining units representing 63,000 state workers still don’t have contracts. Half are prison and parole officers represented by the California Correctional Peace Officers Association. They haven’t had a deal since 2006. They despise Schwarzenegger.

CCPOA was a big Brown backer. It spent $1.8 million to get him elected. About 90 percent of that money went into independent October ads attacking his GOP rival, Meg Whitman.

On Monday, Brown made a quick trip to CCPOA’s two-day convention at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. A spokesman said he talked about the seriousness of the state’s budget deficit.

CCPOA retiree Bob Walsh, who attended the convention, said Brown spoke for about 12 minutes. “Warm and fuzzy,” Walsh said, “and short on specifics.”

Brown flew to Vegas for CCPOA, but he might not walk across the street for the 7,400-member California Statewide Law Enforcement Association.

There’s bad blood between CSLEA President Alan Barcelona and Brown, made worse when the union put $1.6 million into pro-Whitman ads. (It didn’t air messages attacking her opponent.)

CSLEA has blasted Brown, the outgoing attorney general, for not fighting harder against a proposed $20 million cut to his Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement. CSLEA represents bureau narcotics agents.

Then Brown dissed Barcelona in an infamous telephone voice-mail message that went public late in October.

“By the way, what I’m looking at is an open letter to CSLEA members,” Brown said in a recorded message to a police group that became headline fodder after an aide was heard suggesting Whitman was a political “whore” for cutting deals with law enforcement unions. ” ‘We don’t know what Jerry Brown we’ll have for the next four years. We can’t afford the risk.’ ”

Then Brown got personal: “So this is Barcelona. Not one of our stalwart officers, if you want my opinion.”

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