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It's not unusual for Democrats and Republicans in the state legislature to accept big contributions from special interests, including both corporate and labor money, but sometimes the timing gets a bit too coincidental.

Democratic Sen. Juan Vargas is leading the charge against so-called big box stores, a cause dear to the heart of big labor. Yesterday he collected $7,800 from the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees-CA People, and $5,000 each from the California State Association of Electrical Workers and the California State Pipe Trades Council PAC.

It happened to be the same day the Senate passed Vargas's SB 469 to require an economic impact study before cities may approve big box super-centers.

News of yesterday's passage of the bill was greeted today by an effusive news release by Mickey Kasparian, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 135. "We thank Sen. Vargas for introducing this bill as well as Sen. Christine Kehoe for her support,” Kasparian said.

Kasparian is also president of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, which lobbied heavily for a San Diego big box ordinance that was ultimately repealed by the city council after a costly referendum campaign paid for by Walmart.

We have Vargas's campaign finance disclosure filing here:


Here is the full text of Kasparian's release:


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