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Bar graph showing outside spending on California elections, with independent expenditures growing dramatically and dwarfing other forms of outside spending. No on 32 caption.
California Republicans are starting to show their hand on Proposition 32, the ballot measure that's branded as political reform but actually sharply limits union political spending while leaving giant openings for corporate spending. But as much as Republicans want voters in general to believe the political reform claims, they're so excited that they can't quite avoid giving away the real plan:
California Republican Party Chair Tom Del Beccarro, who was elected partially on a platform of getting the CRP's fiscal house in order stated this explicitly:
"This November, Prop 32 could well pass, bring {sic} reforms to our system, including barring direct contributions from corporations and unions and paycheck protection. When that passes, California will have a more level playing field, Republicans will have a new day and be rather competitive statewide." (Newsmax)
That's pretty blunt: Proposition 32 is about reviving the California Republican Party. Yes, it bars direct contributions from corporations, which sounds like balance—but it exempts Super PACs, which would still be allowed. Unions, meanwhile, would face newly erected barriers to raising money from their members for political spending. Spending that favors Democrats is cut, while spending that favors Republicans goes right on growing. And California Republicans know that's their big chance to dig themselves out of the giant electoral hole they're in.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 08:59 AM PDT.

Also republished by Dream Menders.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Laura - most people probably don't realize (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RLMiller, wilderness voice

    that in California corporations can give corporate cash directly to candidates. Regarding big public companies we have seen significant direct spending on ballot initiatives and propositions, but almost no direct corporate support of candidates. So what the GOP is trying to do is trade direct corporate campaign contributions, which are legal but nonexistent, for prohibiting union contributions which are legal and very significant.

    I think the ads for the Yes on 32 could be very powerful "Stop corporations from buying politicians. Did you know that it was legal ..........................."

    This one is going to be a challenge to manage the message.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:22:35 AM PDT

  •  How about (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "stop electing candidates that can be bought."

    Unions are being targeted because they are made up of ordinary people who deliver actual goods and services.
    While you'd think that people who are dependent on them would be grateful, that's not how it works.  Incompetents tend to be jealous of people who can look after themselves and put much effort into scheming how they can be made to work for them. Electing such people to public office is a really bad idea.
    If the gift of gab is a man's only talent, he ought not to be put in charge of our public resources and assets.

    Willard's forte = "catch 'n' cage". He's not into "catch and release."

    by hannah on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:34:32 AM PDT

  •  How about the prison guards' union? (0+ / 0-)

    The one that makes sure that there is no reform to 3 Strikes or drug laws......

  •  My union sucks (0+ / 0-)

    I'm represented by SEIU Local 1000, the outfit that was the losing party in the recent Supreme Court decision in Knov v. SEIU Local 1000.  I am also a fair share employee.  SEIU Local 1000 did in fact fail to appropriately notify members and fair-share payers when it temporarily raised fees in 2005 and 2006.

    The Court ruled that unions must give nonmembers an immediate chance to opt out of unexpected fee increases or special assessments required of employees in closed-shop workplaces, such at California's state government.

    In this instance, Dianne Knox and other nonmembers like me didn't receive legally required notice before being charged a $12 million assessment to raise money for the union's political fund.  

    Here is what the Court said:

    The SEIU, however, asks us to go farther. It asks us to approve a procedure under which (a) a special assessment billed for use in electoral campaigns was assessed without providing a new opportunity for nonmembers to decide whether they wished to contribute to this effort and (b) nonmembers who previously opted out were nevertheless required to pay more than half of the special assessment even though the union had said that the purpose of the fund was to mount a political campaign and that it would not be used for ordinary union expenses. This aggressive use of power by the SEIU to collect fees from nonmembers is indefensible.
    And what was the union's response:

    The union said that the yearly opportunity workers have to opt out was sufficient.  Here

    Meanwhile, the union has not released the vote count, but claims it was more than 64%.  The union has not yet refunded any of the dues it has taken since 2005 that it allocated to political campaigns without asking for approval from rank and file or fair share employees.  And who in the union came up with the idea that in the midst of an extant contract, the union should promulgate a side letter with Governor Brown to reduce state workers' pay, when this repeats a Schwarzenegger reduction 2 years ago, when all employees with whom I have spoken have said they would not have approved had they been asked, and when the State Board of Equalization and the Franchise Tax Board have uncollected taxes in an amount more than 4 times the amount of money gained by cutting state workers' pay.  This union has earned the mistrust of its members, and has been unresponsive as well.  It is no wonder that the GOP is able to take advantage of the situation.  SEIU Local 1000 needs to be decertified.

    This is us governing. Live so that 100 years from now, someone may be proud of us.

    by marthature on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 01:38:14 PM PDT

  •  Broke (0+ / 0-)

    Remember, this is also against the backdrop of the California Republican Party going broke:

    Lucas O'Connor, San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council

    by withthelidoff on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 03:17:35 PM PDT

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