jon vessey

jon vessey: Page 1

Discussed in (click each link for the full post):

Follow the lettuce: Western Growers endorses John McCain - 03/18/08

From their press release (link):
Western Growers' Board of Directors has voted to endorse Arizona's John McCain in his bid to become the 44th president of the United States.

"Senator McCain has shown courage, determination and exceptional leadership skills in support of policies and principles important to Western Growers' members in Arizona and California," said Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif. "He has steadfastly promoted free markets, sensible fiscal policies, repairs of our immigration laws, and knows how important to our economy are the fruit, vegetable and nut producers in the west."
Frequent MSM quote source Jon Vessey is on their board. Through him and others, they've played a role in the long line of "crops rotting in the fields" articles.

Jon Vessey, crops rotting in the fields, and pro-illegal immigration propaganda - 12/05/05

Jon Vessey is a California grower who's been quoted in a few recent articles about how crops will rot in the fields unless growers get more cheap labor to pick it. (UPDATE: see crops rotting in the fields).

On 11/21, the WaPo featured him in "Shortage of Immigrant Workers Alarms Growers in West" (link), and today the Los Angeles Times features him in "Picking a Battle Over Shortage of Farmworkers" (link). And, he was apparently also featured saying similar things in Copley News Service and USA Today. And, the CSM article (link) I discussed in "America's produce industry is facing a crisis" featured another member of the Vessey clan.

However, there appears to be quite a bit more to this story: Jon Vessey is on the Board of Directors of the Western Growers Association (source, cache). And, various Vesseys have been quote sources for decades (PDF file).

And, neither the LAT, nor the WaPo, nor the CSM noted this rather important connection. In fact, here's how the WaPo handled it:
"Today I have approximately 290 people working in the field," Jon Vessey said recently. Vessey runs an 8,000-acre winter vegetable farm with his son, Jack, near El Centro, Calif. "I should have 400, and for the harvest I need 1,100. . . . There's a disaster coming."

The Western Growers Association, which represents 3,000 farmers, is lobbying the Bush administration to make it easier for farmers to tap the labor pool just below the border.
I guess they meant to mention that there's a link between the two paragraphs, but an editor took that out. Or something like that.

Note also that left-wing bloggers fell for this too: here (washingtonmonthly. com/archives/individual/2005_12/007700.php), here (washingtonmonthly. com/archives/individual/2005_11/007643.php), here (brothersjudd. com/blog/archives/2005/12/calling_all_nat.html).

Contact the CSM here, and send emails to these: readers.Rep *at* latimes.com and ombudsman * at* washpost.com.

UPDATE: A commentor at the first PA thread says this unverified bit:
It's going back to 1982, but a leopard does not change its spots. Jon Vessey is the CEO of Vessey & Co. which lost a case in that year filed by the UFW. The Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) found that the respondents (Vessey, Maggio, ...) had bargained in bad faith with the union regarding the contract for lettuce pickers. Remember the iceberg lettuce boycott? The findings of the ALRB are available [in this PDF file].

"America's produce industry is facing a crisis" - 12/02/05

Nothing says propaganda like the annual whine from growers demanding more serf labor lest their crops rot in the fields. There have been a few recent newspaper articles about it, and the latest is "A drought of farm labor" (csmonitor.com/2005/1202/p01s03-usec.html).