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California Republicans haven't been faring too well in recent elections. But they have a shining hope for their future in Proposition 32, a ballot initiative pretending to be about getting money out of politics that leaves giant openings for corporate political spending while effectively defunding unions for political purposes.

The new ad, above, from opponents of Prop. 32, effectively spells out who's behind this; as a San Francisco Chronicle editorial urging a no vote on the initiative puts it,

Proposition 32 purports to be an even-handed attempt to reduce the influence of special interests in California. It is anything but balanced. The most telling way to assess the motive and the effect of this initiative is to follow the money.

The bulk of the financial backing for Prop. 32 has come from conservative ideologues who have made no secret of their desire to tamp down the clout of labor unions. A group linked to the billionaire Koch brothers just poured $4 million into a committee just formed to help pass Prop. 32.

The fight against Prop. 32 is a fight for democracy in California.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 11:10 AM PDT.

Also republished by California politics.

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Comment Preferences

  •  TheHill "Ca Prop32...Citizens United on Steroids" (5+ / 0-)
    California's Prop. 32 would be Citizens United on steroidsConservative activists in California are promoting a deceptive ballot proposition that would increase the ability of business groups and billionaires to dominate state elections. The measure, Proposition 32, claims to be an even-handed effort at campaign finance reform – but nothing could be further from the truth. Prop. 32 (or “Stop Special Interest Money Now,” as its big money supporters prefer to call it) would cripple the ability of unions to participate in politics, but have little or no impact on unlimited spending by corporate executives and other wealthy individuals....

    ...The biggest corporate spenders include Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America of Washington, DC, with over $71 million, PG&E, with over $66 million, Chevron Corp., with over $50 million, and the tobacco giants Virginia-based Philip Morris and North Carolina-based R.J. Reynolds, with a combined total of $65 million. Most of this spending was on initiatives that provide special breaks for corporations. Prop. 32 would not fix that – its many exemptions mean that corporations could still spend big on campaigns and super PACs

    Unions are also major players in California politics. The two largest players, the California Teachers Association and the State Council of the Service Employees International Union, together account for $168 million of spending, well over half of labor’s total spending.

    The biggest single contributor, the teachers union, has spent heavily to protect funding for K-12 public education and limit class sizes for California students, not for corporate tax breaks or to block health warnings on tobacco and other carcinogens. Prop. 32’s restrictions against spending through payroll deductions -- which is how unions raise money for political campaigns -- would virtually eliminate this public interest spending....

    ...Prop. 32 would also have no impact on spending by billionaires, the 0.1% of the electorate who are currently bankrolling federal super PACs....

    ...This shows the deep cynicism behind Prop. 32. Its principal backer, the right-wing Lincoln Club of Orange Country, was a key player in the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which has led to a massive increase in billionaire-funded super PAC spending...

    ...Prop. 32 is the polar opposite of even-handed campaign finance reform. It would turn California elections into Citizens United on steroids.

    Let all Bush tax cuts expire and , bring on the Sequestration cuts to defense.

    by kck on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 11:27:22 AM PDT

  •  Do we have any polling on this yet? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Senor Unoball

    It looks like all the correct groups are "on it" although I haven't heard much about this Proposition just yet.

    "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

    by Sychotic1 on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 11:31:05 AM PDT

  •  Anti-32 ads are very good (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    I've been hearing quite a few anti-32 ads on the radio while driving to and from work. These ads are very good and present a very effective argument.

    I've heard no pro-32 ads, though that certainly will change.

    In any case, I'm very encouraged that the anti-32s are first out with the advertising, because that greatly helps shape the argument.

    And the list of ad sponsors that runs at the end of the ads helps a lot, because it very clearly shows the wide range of feelings against the measure, from voting-rights groups to unions, to well, just about everybody else.

    I'm not familiar precisely with exactly what I said, but I stand by what I said, whatever it was. -- Mitt the Twit

    by Senor Unoball on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 11:39:34 AM PDT

  •  I don't see any way to put a limitation on the CU (0+ / 0-)

    decision.

    Doesn't it pretty much bar any limitations on contributions to PACs?

    If money equals free speech, anything that limits an entity's ability to excercise their free speech would be deemed unconstitutional.

    How would you get around CU?

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